The University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW) is pleased to announce a gift from the SunTrust Foundation to establish scholarships in financial social work and to support programs that will strengthen social workers’ expertise in the field.

Scott Wilfong, Greater Washington and Maryland Division president and CEO of SunTrust Bank; Jean M. Cross, senior vice president, regional sales and marketing manager, SunTrust Bank, Greater Washington/Maryland; Christine Callahan, PhD, MSW, research assistant professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW); Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, dean and professor, UM SSW, are standing, left to right, for the presentation of the gift on Oct. 21, 2014 at the UM SSW in Baltimore.

Scott Wilfong, Greater Washington and Maryland Division president and CEO of SunTrust Bank; Jean M. Cross, senior vice president, regional sales and marketing manager, SunTrust Bank, Greater Washington/Maryland; Christine Callahan, PhD, MSW, research assistant professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW); Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, dean and professor, UM SSW, are standing, left to right, for the presentation of the gift on Oct. 21, 2014 at the UM SSW in Baltimore.

The SunTrust Foundation Scholarship Endowment in Financial Social Work will provide an annual scholarship of $2,000 for a first-year student pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work beginning in the fall of 2016. So that students can take advantage of such an opportunity at the earliest possible time, a one-time gift of $2,000 from SunTrust Foundation will allow a scholarship to be awarded in the fall of 2015 while the endowment fund matures.

The endowment fund will consist of a gift of $33,333 from SunTrust Foundation to be bolstered by a 1:2 match from the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, Inc. , bringing the fund to $50,000.

In addition, the gift from the SunTrust Foundation will establish a fellowship for an advanced-year student who is to be assigned a financially-oriented field placement and will support administration of the SSW Financial Social Work Initiative (FSWI) in keeping with its expanded operations. The student will be awarded a stipend of $10,000 during the academic year 2015-2016 as a recipient of the SunTrust Foundation Fellowship in Financial Social Work.

Further, the SunTrust Foundation and the FSWI will collaborate to offer staff training on site in the community to an organization seeking to incorporate financial stability into its broader mission.

“Social workers can play a pivotal role making financial education resources available to more people, and that has the potential to change lives,” said Scott Wilfong, Greater Washington and Maryland Division president and CEO of SunTrust Bank. “The SunTrust Foundation is proud to show its support for students who want to make a positive difference by helping people manage their money more effectively and achieve a sense of financial well-being.”

As an additional benefit, the Woodside Foundation is offering a matching funds challenge grant to help sustain the work of the FSWI. This challenge is in effect for gift commitments through 2014. Given that all components of the SunTrust Foundation gift, at a total of $58,000, are eligible, the SSW will benefit at a level of more than $100,000.

“Our graduate students are always looking for practical ways to help distressed clients and communities,” said SSW Dean Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, “and so learning the strategies of financial social work is a huge plus for them. The generosity of the SunTrust Foundation and the Woodside Foundation to create scholarship support for them is a ‘more than you could hope for’ development. The support for agencies to continue this kind of work is going to be great for families who receive their benefit and good for future generations of students who get to learn from this experience.”

“As a former banker, I know the emphasis our banking community places on helping Maryland families gain a strong financial foundation for their futures,” said Meg Woodside, MBA, MSW, who is trustee of the Woodside Foundation, an SSW alumna, and co-founder of the FSWI. “SunTrust has recognized the value of preparing social work practitioners with the competencies to assist clients in strengthening financial capability, building assets, and navigating the financial landscape. We are very grateful for this leadership gift,” she said.

The University of Maryland School of Social Work established the Financial Social Work Initiative (FSWI) in 2008. The FSWI integrates social work research, education, and practice in the innovative field of financial social work to advance economic stability and well-being. The initiative enhances the unique and longstanding role that social workers possess in empowering clients and communities.

The SunTrust Foundation’s mission is to support nonprofit organizations and institutions engaged in activities promoting education, health and human services, culture and art, and civic and community involvement that contribute to the social and economic development of the communities we serve.
 

For more information, contact: Patricia Fanning,  410.706.7946 (office), 443.615.5811 (mobile), University of Maryland, Baltimore Office of Communications and Public Affairs.