Ackerman Institute for the Family honors CUSSW / SIG Senior Research Staff Assistant

Congratulations to Deidre Ashton (MSW ’01). She has been named the 2004 Carl Kempner Award recipient by the Ackerman Institute for the Family. Ashton, a senior research staff assistant with CUSSW’s Social Intervention Group (SIG), is being recognized for her work as an extern at The Ackerman Institute. The award is given to an extern who has demonstrated “clinical knowledge in the collaboration of family systems ideas and health issues.”

The Ackerman Institute for Family is a training institute and clinic that looks at impactive health issues on families. The Carl Kempner Award is nominated and selected by faculty at the Institute and is reserved for a first year extern who is training as a family therapist. CUSSW, in conjunction with three other universities, is conducting a clinical study to test the efficacy of couples-based HIV/STD risk education for heterosexual couples, with special emphasis on African-Americans. The Ackerman Institute has been involved with the clinical study throughout, offering advice and insight such as the recommendation to begin a multi-family discussion group that targets couples where one partner is HIV positive. It is Ashton’s leadership role in these multi-family discussion groups for which she is being honored. Ashton not only conducts the multi-family groups but trains and supervises others to lead them as well.

The Carl Kempner Award is an academic and professional honor that awards the recipient $500. Ashton will lead a talk on June 3rd at the Ackerman Institute in New York where she will discuss her experiences working with these families.

Said Ashton, “I was just doing what’s important to me. This is positive reinforcement that I’m doing something meaningful. And the award is good for our cause. HIV rates in African American communities continue to skyrocket and heterosexual transmission of HIV – particularly among African American women – is the #1 transmission rate. As an African-American woman, I feel really committed to effecting change in our community.”

Lisa Ferri
April 5, 2004

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