BRONX, N.Y.—Lehman senior Eric Reyes was named Student of the Year at the New York State Social Work Education Association’s annual conference in Saratoga Springs last month. Reyes, who is completing his bachelor’s degree this semester, won the award for his work in developing and running workshops for his fellow students over the last three years.
Along with his co-facilitator, Kareem Butler, who is a Lehman graduate (B.A., ’04) and current MSW candidate, Reyes created a workshop and presentation titled “Who Moved the Cheese? Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone.” The workshop is based on the best-selling book, Who Moved My Cheese?, which proposes different ways for people to deal with change in their lives.
“It was a huge honor to win the award,” says Reyes, who works as a program coordinator at Planned Parenthood in addition to handling a full course load at night. “I was truly humbled and excited. My journey to the bachelor’s degree has been long and filled with many challenges. Getting this award was just a reminder that all that hard work didn’t go unnoticed.”
“Eric is an extremely hard-working student,” says Dr. Carl Mazza of Lehman’s Social Work Department. “His academic success and integrity make all of us at Lehman very proud.”
Lehman was well represented by other students, too, including Manny Diaz, also an undergraduate social work major, who made a presentation with Butler and Dr. Mazza about mentoring male social work students. The conference also featured a presentation by Anne Abrams, a student in Lehman’s MSW program, who delivered a presentation with Dr. Patricia Kolb (Social Work) about the benefits of pet therapy for those with developmental disabilities.
“All four of our students were informed and connected with the audience,” notes Dr. Mazza. “They presented important and timely information. They all did us incredibly proud.”
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