CU graduates first master of social work students, among 474 graduates for academic year 2009-10

CU graduates first master of social work students, among 474 graduates for academic year 2009-10

May 7, 2010
For Immediate Release

Members of the first master of social work graduates from the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling at Campbellsville University include from left, with their professors: Front row – Dr. Candace Hansford, assistant professor of social work; Ann Cook Adcock, Lesley Renee Smith Newton, Shannon L. Ryan Nottingham, Gloria Jean Greynolds; Baerette Leeann Bishop Daniel and Dr. Darlene Eastridge, dean of the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling. Second row – Dr. Michelle Tucker, assistant professor of social work; Juliana Marie Brown, Phoebe Ann Dewar-Williams and Nancy Danelle Draper Coomer. Back row – Tracy Monique Murray, Kristina Lynn Cooper, Dr. Japheth Jaoko, assistant professor of social work; Misty Renee Curry, Aimee Renee Morris, Patricia Ann Scott; Tony Michael Rutherford; Dr. Helen Mudd, associate professor of social work; and Debbie Carter, assistant professor of social work. (Campbellsville University Photo by Bayarmagnai “Max” Nergui)

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Fifteen students made history tonight at Campbellsville University as the first class of master of social work graduates from the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling since it moved to Campbellsville University from Louisville in 1998.

Their dean, Dr. Darlene Eastridge, delivered the address to the graduates and spoke of perception and passion.

And their president at the time Carver School was established, Dr. Kenneth W. Winters, now a state senator, was presented the Campbellsville University Leadership Award in recognition of his vision in bringing the Carver School of Social Work to Campbellsville University.

Although the 15 graduates are the first to receive the master of social work degree from CU, the university has seen numerous individuals walk across the stage to receive their bachelor’s of social work degree from the Carver School over the past several years, as well as a number of master’s of counseling graduates.

The Carver Social of Social Work was moved to CU from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

A total of 122 students received master’s degrees at the ceremony with a total of 474 students receiving academic degrees for the 2009-10 academic year. Commencement for undergraduates at CU is Saturday, May 8 at 9 a.m. at Powell Athletic Center with 195 receiving degrees.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University; Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the CU Board of Trustees; and Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs, made the Leadership Award presentation to Winters who served as president of CU from 1988 to 1996.

“It was his aggressive and visionary leadership that led to the location of the Carver School of Social Work to Campbellsville University,” Carter said. He said Winters gave “11 years of strong leadership as president of Campbellsville University.”
Winters said he was extremely honored to receive the award, and he was proud of the institution, its students, faculty, staff and administration.

“I will cherish this award for the rest of my life,” he said.

Winters received an honorary doctorate degree from CU in 1999 and is now a state senator representing the 1st district.


Dr. Kenneth W. Winters, president of Campbellsville University when the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling was brought to Campbellsville University, is congratulated by Dr. Michael V. Carter, president, after Winters received the Campbellsville University Leadership Award from Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the CU Board of Trustees, at left, with Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs, in back. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

Eastridge, in her address, said, “Graduates, you are stepping into a new place tonight. A place where people hold preconceived perceptions about college graduates and what they think your abilities to be.”

She said most everyone has had a biased perspective at one time or another, and she urged the graduates that options are plentiful now that they have their master’s degrees.

“Hold on to a perspective that, driven by passion, I can accomplish my goal,” she said, “and ‘it cannot be done’ is an attitude, not a fact.”

She urged the students to “broaden your perspective and realize your true potential to impact the world…hopefully you can identify where it is your passion lies and start a plan to make a difference in the world.”

Eastridge said, in addition to the conscious efforts of Winters and Dr. Robert Clark, academic dean emeritus, the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling is a part of Campbellsville University because of the late Bobby Himes’s enthusiasm and excitement. Himes was a long-time faculty member of CU having retired nearly a decade ago.

She urged the graduates to “decide what it is that you want to change in your own life. “Remember, your existence ripples into other areas of life (family, friends or jobs).”

“The most important point I can convey about perspective is gratitude,” Eastridge said. “You’ll find you have more friends, more job opportunities, better recommendations from references and just plain enjoy life more if you look at life with a perspective of gratitude.”

She also told the audience to do whatever you do in life with passion. “Begin to appreciate what you have and find a passion within yourself for doing what you’re good at,” she said.

Kristina Lynn Cooper of Campbellsville, responded to Carter’s charge of asking the graduates to say good words about their alma mater and to live by the words in the university’s academic seal – fellowship, leadership and scholarship.


Dr. Darlene Eastridge, dean of the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling, spoke of the impact of perspective and passion on the world at the master’s commencement at Campbellsville University. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

Cooper said for six years, during which she received her undergraduate and now graduate degree, “Campbellsville has provided me with an outstanding educational experience. CU is a place where I can feel comfortable to be myself; A place where I can openly express my thoughts and ideas; A place to call home.”

She said, “To my fellow graduates, I encourage us not to take for granted the knowledge and opportunities that have been imparted to us here. Let us be mindful of those who are not fortunate enough to pursue such a dream as we here have accomplished. Let us realize the blessings God has given us and never waste an opportunity to thank Him for them.” she said.

The master of social work graduates include: Anne Cook Adcock of Somerset, Ky.; Juliana Marie Brown, Kristina Lynn Cooper, Aimee Renee Morris, Tracy Monique Murray and Lesley Renee Smith Newton, all of Campbellsville; Nancy Danelle Draper Coomer of Jamestown, Ky.; Misty Renee Curry of Greensburg, Ky.;

Baerette Leeann Bishop Daniel of Lewisport, Ky.; Phoebe Ann Dewar-Williams of Elizabethtown, Ky.; Allison Michelle Driskell of Hardinsburg, Ky.; Gloria Jean Greynolds of Liberty, Ky.; Shannon L. Ryan Nottingham of Leitchfield, Ky.; and Tony Michael Rutherford and Patricia Ann Scott, both of Columbia, Ky.

During the ceremony, Herman Hardesty, a 1958 graduate of CU, president of the Alumni Association, installed the alumni. He said the graduates have made friends that will last forever. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to welcome you as graduates,” he said.

Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the Board of Trustees, led the invocation; and Winters gave the benediction.

The Campbellsville University Chorale gave a pre-commencement concert, conducted by Dr. Tony Cunha, assistant professor of music. Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of music, was organist.

Quarteto Gracioso, composed of Nell Chaudoin, Sunghye Kim, Denis Santos and Dr. Lisa McArthur, associate professor of music, played special flute music. Dr. Mark Bradley, professor of music, led the hymn and the alma mater, “Campbellsville, We Love Thee.”



Nancy Danelle Draper Coomer of Jamestown receives her master of social work hood from Dr. Darlene Eastridge. (Campbellsville University Photo by Munkh-Amgalan Galsanjamts)


Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.

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