Karen E. Edmond, a professional-in-residence in Niagara University’s social work department, has been selected as the May Spotlight by the New York state chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
Edmond, who coordinates field practicums for NU’s social work department, teaches Introduction to Social Work, Diversity, Social Justice and Field. She has also supported on-campus diversity initiatives through her work with Diversity Advocates and NU Alliance, and is responsible for the integration of a diversity content component in freshman symposium classes.
Edmond’s latest endeavor for the NU’s campus community is the formation of the SHEA (Sisters Helping through Empowerment and Acknowledgement) mentoring group. This program gives young women of color an empowered voice on campus through weekly mentoring meetings and activities. The participants also mentor young girls of color in the Niagara Falls community at the Francis Center.
“I believe that the drive to do community social work is something that is innate, and that many of the intervention skills learned for individuals and families can be developed to work with larger groups and communities. One just needs to have the passion,” she told the NASW website.
Edmond earned an associate degree in mental health counseling from Erie Community College, before adding a B.S. in social work from Buffalo State College and a master’s in social work in child welfare services from the University of Buffalo.
With more than 20 years of professional experience to her name, Edmond has worked with a wide range of populations, including infants and toddlers, pregnant teens and adolescents experiencing mental health problems.
For her work, Edmond has been recognized with multiple awards, including the Dena P. Gold Memorial Award for outstanding study, field work and other contributions related to families, women and children; an Arthur A. Schomberg Fellowship; the SUNY College at Buffalo Certificate of Merit (as a finalist for the President’s Medal); the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Scholastic Achievement Award; the Association of Faculty of African Descent’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship; the State University’s Chancellor’s Award of Student Excellence; and the State of New York’s Award of Merit for Community Service.