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Sculpture, garden placed as tribute to retired social worker

by Judy Hughes last modified Jun 21, 2010 12:25 PM

May 20, 2010

           LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An outdoor sculpture that Louisville artist Dave Caudill created and gave to the University of Louisville's Kent School of Social Work honors 1991 alumna JoAnn Harrison, his wife and a longtime social worker.


The 12-foot-tall piece, "The Balance of Dreams and Plans," was dedicated today in a ceremony outside Oppenheimer Hall on the west side of Belknap Campus. Speakers included Harrison, Caudill and Kent School Dean Terry Singer.


"In social work, dreams and plans must come together to provide the best outcomes for our families," Harrison said. "It makes me very happy to know we've been able to leave a lasting legacy to the university that has given me so much."


Atop a black metal pedestal, the abstract stainless-steel artwork is the centerpiece of the JoAnn Harrison Rose Garden and brick-paved Oppenheimer Hall plaza with special lighting.


The couple also gave Kent School a collection of books and framed photographs that illustrate people helped by social workers.


Harrison retired in 2004 after serving for 32 years and in many roles at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. She worked in the Jefferson Region of the state agency's Department for Community-based Services.


In the early part of her career, Harrison was a family services worker for foster care and adoption, helping people prepare to be adoptive and foster families. Then she worked with the state's special-needs adoption program for children with medical and psychological conditions.


Her later administrative jobs included office supervisor, program supervisor, clinical associate and district manager, in which position she oversaw 450 professional staff members and programs serving 1,200 children in care and 400 foster parents.


Harrison returned to school mid-career to gain her master's degree in social work at Kent School. She also had studied photography and creative writing at UofL.


For more information, call Matt Williams at 502-852-4919.

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