• To better serve Waco, School of Social Work moves into new home downtown

    School of Social Work downtownPerhaps no other school at Baylor is more involved with the local community than the School of Social Work, and that involvement is at the heart of the school’s move over Christmas break into a new home in downtown Waco — right in the middle of the people the school and its students aim to serve.

    “We come expectantly, intent upon being good neighbors,” wrote Dr. Diana Garland, social work dean, in an editorial for the Waco Tribune-Herald. She noted that the School of Social Work already collaborates with more than 100 local nonprofit social service agencies that provide internship opportunities for BU students, “amounting to more than 68,000 hours of free professional services annually to Central Texans.”

    The school moved into the former Wells Fargo Bank building at 811 Washington Ave. Earlier this fall, social work students in Dr. Michael Sherr’s class began making contact with their new neighbors, mapping out nearby businesses, city and state offices, churches, nonprofit agencies and residences and dropping by in groups to introduce themselves in an effort dubbed “Project Neighbor.”

    In another example of how the School of Social Work can help the local community, 17 Baylor graduate students in December presented their research on poverty reduction initiatives to the Waco City Council. Their in-depth research was lauded by City Council members and was the topic of an editorial in the Waco Tribune-Herald. The research was a timely gift to the city, as Waco Mayor Jim Bush has announced that battling poverty will be his chief priority in 2011.

    Sic ’em downtown, Baylor School of Social Work!