Spencer named University of Michigan MSW student of the year

(March 20, 2012) ANN ARBOR, Mi. - Rudy Spencer, a 2009 graduate of the McConnell Scholars Program, earns top Master's of Social Work award at the University of Michigan.
Spencer named University of Michigan MSW student of the year

Rudy Spencer, McConnell Scholar Class of 2009

Rudy Spencer, a 2009 graduate of the McConnell Scholars Program at the University of Louisville, has been named Student of the Year at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and the National Association of Social Workers (Michigan Chapter). He will receive the award March 22.

"While this is a great honor for me, it should be shared and celebrated with you," Spencer told McConnell Center Director Gary Gregg. "By every measure of this award, which examines my leadership, commitment to political and community activities, academic performance and dedication to NASW's Code of Ethics, you have played a fundamental role in helping me achieve this distinction."

The University of Michigan-NASW Student Social Worker of the Year was selected based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated leadership qualities (active member of student organizations)
  • Contribution to the positive image of a social work program
  • Commitment to political and community activities
  • Success in academic performance
  • Degree to which the student represents the professional ethics of social work as defined in the NASW Code of Ethics

Spencer, born and raised in Louisville, will earn a master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan next month. Focusing his studies on human services management, health policy and entrepreneurship, Spencer completed a 912-hour practicum as an administration and policy intern at The Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Spencer is a part of the 2011-2012 cohort of the American Evaluation Association’s Graduate Diversity Internship Program. This program selects eight students a year to raise awareness concerning evaluative thinking for under-represented communities and to promote culturally responsive evaluation work. He is also the recipient of the University of Michigan's Dean's Mission Scholarship and Michigan Opportunity Grant.

From 2009-2010, Spencer was a program coordinator and job recruiter at Family Scholar House in Louisville for a $1.5 million grant from the Community Foundation of Louisville and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to help single parents attend college and find employment. In 2011, he completed a one-year term on the Board Directors for Wrap Up America. This non-profit organization partners with college students to collect blankets for homeless individuals.

During his undergraduate studies, Spencer was unanimously elected student body President and a Board of Trustee member at the University of Louisville to advocate for higher education issues on behalf of 22,000 students throughout Kentucky. He majored in political science, with minors in communications and French.