School of Social Work creates scholarship in memory of transgender student Friday, Oct 2 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

The University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work has created a scholarship in memory of Amirage Saling, a transgender woman who graduated from the Kent School in 2019. Saling passed away on Sept. 13, 2020, at the age of 52 years old.

Saling worked as a social worker for Volunteers of America and was known to be a strong advocate for HIV care. She was also the first transgender person to carry a school/college banner at a U of L graduation.

The scholarship in memory of her will be called the Trans* Champion scholarship and will go to a Kent School student who either is transgender, genderqueer, nonbinary or gender non conforming, or to a student who advocates for the rights of these groups.

“[The recipient] will exemplify the attributes necessary to be an advocate for LGBTQ rights within the field of Social Work with a particular emphasis on the rights of those who are transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, or gender nonconforming,” the announcement email said.

The details of the scholarship amount and how to apply have not been announced yet. However, those who wish to donate to the scholarship fund can do so by going to the Kent School Giving Form and select that they wish to give to the Trans Champion Endowed Award.

Photo Courtesy//The University of Louisville

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U of L researchers from various departments help combat COVID-19 Friday, Apr 3 2020 

–By Eli Hughes

The University of Louisville announced April 3 the actions its researchers are taking to respond to COVID-19, which includes actions from the school of medicine, the school of public health, the school of social work and J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

These U of L departments are manufacturing kits used in COVID-19 testing, manufacturing personal protective equipment, disinfecting N-95 masks and working on ways to contact trace the spread of the virus.

“There is an incredible amount of work and I am really proud of researchers we have here who have really responded incredibly well to this crisis and the need for all of these types of activities,” said Kevin Gardner, the executive vice president of research for U of L, in the April 3 U of L trustee’s meeting, which was held virtually.

The Speed School has partnered with the School of Medicine to create and distribute swab kits. The lack of these kits is a limiting factor to widespread COVID-19 testing, so U of L hopes that this contribution can make it possible to increase the amount of testing.

Researchers at the Speed School are also manufacturing face shields, which medical professionals can use to protect themselves when they are in contact with COVID-19 patients. These masks will be distributed not only to hospitals in Kentucky but across the country to places where the virus is spreading more rapidly such as New York.

U of L has also developed a process for sanitizing N-95 masks, which are the medical-grade masks that have been valuable resources since the beginning of this outbreak. Gardner has said their facilities will be able to sanitize 10,000 N-95 masks a day.

The Schools of Public Health and Social Work are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak by helping with contact tracing. This means they are helping identify who might have come into contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

This action can help prevent the spread of the virus by quickly isolating those who have been in contact with the virus.

More information on U of L’s research can be found on the U of L research website.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L holds first annual Human Trafficking Awareness Fair Tuesday, Jan 21 2020 

By Eli Hughes —

The University of Louisville held its first annual Human Trafficking Awareness Resource Fair  Jan 15. The event was held in the SAC ballroom and was organized by the program coordinator for the Women’s Center, Jamieca Jones.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, so Jones organized the event to help bring attention to the situation. “I wanted to have this event, to of course bring awareness, but also to educate our students,” Jones said. “That way students are better equipped and prepared to really recognize if it’s real situation of not, and what they can do if they are bystander.”

The resource fair included booths from numerous organizations including the Refuge for Women, a non-profit that works to rehabilitate trafficked and sexually exploited women. The Refuge for Women provides a nine-month program that includes housing, weekly counseling sessions and job prep at no cost to the resident. 

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also had a booth at the resource fair. Marsha Gilmer-Tullis, the executive director of the family advocacy division, ran the booth. She is a graduate from U of L’s Kent School of Social work and was brought in by the women’s center to educate students, parents and professionals on the signs of child human trafficking and the ways to help keep children safe. 

According to Gilmer-Tullis, it’s important to educate college students on these issues so they are more aware when navigating the world in the future. “I know it’s a cliché,” Gilmer-Tullis said. “But knowledge really is power. And this is good knowledge to have, to know how you can even do your part.”

Jones hopes that the event can be an important resource for students who have been or possibly could be affected by human trafficking in the future, or who have friends that are in these situations. “By being equipped with these resources, these tools, and this information, they might be able to do something about it,” Jones said. 

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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