Earlie Washington, Ph.D. ‘90

1998 Recipient of the Elizabeth Butler Award

Past Award Winners

Earlie Washington

Washington joined the School of Social Work faculty in 2000 as Professor and Director of Social Work. Currently, she is the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services which consists of the departments of Blindness and Low Vision Studies, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Speech Pathology and Audiology, and the Schools of Nursing and Social Work. Prior to coming to WMU, Washington served from 1994 to 2000 as the Director and Associate Professor of Social Work in the University of Southern Mississippi, School of Social Work.

Washington has provided years of leadership to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) where she has held both appointed and elected positions. She has served as co-chair of the CSWE Commission on Accreditation and as the Region 6 representative to the National Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification with the National NASW Board of Directors and currently serves on the NASW Michigan Chapter, Legislative Policy Committee.

Washington has served as the Principal Investigator for numerous grants funded projects in the areas of gerontology, substance abuse, and social work education. When available, she teaches courses in social work practice, research, and geriatric social work.

In nominating her for the award, SSA professor Elsie Pinkston said “Earlie Washington is totally committed to helping. That was true before she came to SSA, while she was at SSA, and since she left SSA. Earlie Washington simply enjoys and thrives on fostering achievement in others. That is a bond she shares with Elizabeth Butler.”

Earlie Washington’s career includes an array of activities from community service to academic research and emphasizes the generalist and leadership skills that are the cornerstone of an SSA education. She has served as assistant professor at Tougaloo College and Illinois State University as well as having served as adjunct faculty at SSA. Among her many accomplishments, Washington was recognized as the 1996 Outstanding Community Leader by the City of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The SSA Alumni Association proudly recognizes Earlie Washington for her leadership and inspiration to others in the field of social work education and practice.

Zehua Cui

"I had no awareness of the existence of social work in schools in China, so I am thankful for my first year internship experience with children at Namaste Charter school, which totally opened up a new world for me. The experience broadened my horizon in terms of the various ways in which we can help children," says Zehua Cui.