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Terri_Combs_OrmeA faculty member, student and alumna of the College of Social Work received statewide honors this spring for exceptional work in their field.

Terri Combs-Orme, the Urban Child Institute Endowed Professor, received the Social Work Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Annie Farris, a master’s student at the college’s Nashville campus, received the Middle Tennessee Branch and the Tennessee State Master of Social Work Student of the Year awards.

Alumna Alyce Benson received the State of Tennessee Social Worker of the Year Award.

The Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers presented the awards last month during Social Work Day on the Hill in Nashville.

Annie Farris on right
Annie Farris on right

Combs-Orme, a UT professor since 1993, focuses on neuroscience, particularly infant development and parenting. She is helping Tennessee social workers learn more about the brain development of youngsters ages zero to three and how the knowledge can be used to improve children’s lives. Through her work with the Memphis-based Urban Child Institute, she is developing a brain awareness curriculum to be used in training social work students and practitioners in Tennessee.

Alyce_BensonFarris’s studies focus on children and families, with an emphasis on treating trauma. Her internships have dealt with children in the state’s custody, and she is interested in child welfare advocacy. Farris is the graduate student representative on the board of directors of the Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Benson is the clinical director of the Chattanooga Autism Center. During her eighteen-year career, she has served as a case manager, independent support coordinator, family liaison, social skills training coordinator, and a multi-specialty licensed clinical social worker who treats people of all ages with developmental disabilities. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1996 and a master’s degree in 2001.


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