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YWCA names WMU dean 'Woman of Achievement'

by Mark Schwerin

April 19, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Dr. Earlie M. Washington.
Dr. Earlie Washington, health and human services
KALAMAZOO--The YWCA of Kalamazoo has named Dr. Earlie M. Washington, dean of the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services, one of five 2011 Women of Achievement.

Washington and the four other recipients will be honored at the 27th annual YWCA Women of Achievement Celebration at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel. The 2011 Women of Achievement were announced April 8.
As previously announced, Dr. Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran will receive the 2011 YWCA Lifetime Woman of Achievement Award. Joining Wilson-Oyelaran this year will be Washington and fellow Women of Achievement Mary A. Doud, Mikell Thurston Griffith, Pattie Huiskamp and Sylvia C. Pahl.

The Women of Achievement Award is given annually to women in the community who have made significant contributions within specific arenas as a volunteer or in a career.

Washington earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Tougaloo College in Mississippi and her master's degree in social work from Ohio State University. While serving as acting director of the Gerontology Program at Tougaloo College, Washington received a United Negro College Fund Faculty Development award, allowing her to pursue her doctoral degree in social work at the University of Chicago.

Washington has made significant contributions to WMU and the Kalamazoo community. She first came to WMU in 2000 as director and a faculty member in the School of Social work--one of six schools and departments in the College of Health and Human Services. Since her arrival, the enrollment of that highly respected college has grown by nearly 80 percent.

As dean of the College of Health and Human Services since 2006, Washington:

Washington has served as the Principal Investigator for numerous grant funded projects in the areas of gerontology, substance abuse, and social work education. She has recently contributed to a published book, "Women of Color on the Rise: Leadership and Administration in Social Work Education."

On the national level, Washington has provided years of leadership to the Council on Social Work Education and the National Association of Social Workers, in which she has held both appointed and elected positions. She has served as co-chair of the CSWE Commission on Accreditation and as the Region 6 representative to the National Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification with the National NASW Board of Directors.

An independent selection committee determined recipients of the Lifetime Woman of Achievement Award and the Women of Achievement Awards from the numerous nominations that were received. The YWCA will be announcing the 2011 YWCA Young Women of Achievement Award recipients at a later date.