Bruce Hall, professor in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University has been named 2004 Social Worker of the Year by the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Hall has been a part of Colorado State’s School of Social Work for 30 years and during that time has made significant contributions to both the program and the field. Hall is committed to pushing students harder than they thought they could be pushed, helping them to look outside of themselves and out into the community, and ultimately, to making a change in someone’s life.
"I am proud to have one of our faculty members honored for his commitment to social and economic justice," said Deborah Valentine, director of the School of Social Work at Colorado State.
When Hall joined Colorado State’s School of Social Work in 1973, he created a social work class that has worked to make a change in the Fort Collins community. This class reinforced his belief that experience is the key for students to own their knowledge and understand what part they play in society.
Students in the undergraduate field practice class identified community issues that were important to them and initiated creative ways to deal with the problems. In 1984, students tackled hunger and homelessness and began a lunch program, cooking hot meals for anyone in need. In the first days of the program, 30 lunches were served; by that following weekend the students had served 65 meals.
Also through this class, Hall led Roadhouse Crisis, a program that helped train students to cultivate skills in interpersonal communication, de-escalation and accessing community resources in crisis situations. The Roadhouse Crisis program consisted of a telephone line people could call to be connected to a trained individual who would answer questions or help with personal problems such as the sorrow after a break-up or test taking anxiety. The phones were recently turned off due to the rise in internet usage. Hall estimates that more than 5,000 people called and received assistance during the life of the program.
Recently, Hall has worked to establish the "Friends of CSU Social Work." The program is designed to connect social workers in a nationwide network, giving them the opportunity to identify issues field workers are facing across the country, as well as discover the successes people are achieving.
For more information about the School of Social Work at Colorado State, visit www.cahs.colostate.edu/sw/.