Columbia University School of Social Work assistant professor Michelle Ballan was selected by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) as the 2011 recipient of the Early Career Award. The award recognizes significant achievements and scholarly contributions to the field of developmental disabilities.  

 
AAIDD, (formerly American Association of Mental Retardation) is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals and citizens concerned about intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since 1876, AAIDD has been providing worldwide leadership in the field of mental retardation.
 
Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia University, Dr. Ballan worked as a Clinical Social Worker for Safeplace in Austin, Texas and served in this capacity as a curriculum development specialist, group facilitator and sexuality educator for children and adults with developmental disabilities. While employed as a Social Worker for North Princeton Developmental Center, she provided counseling and case management services to clients with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. Dr. Ballan also served as a clinician for the non-profit agency, Women Helping Women and was a family support specialist for the New Jersey Brain Injury Association. She was recently awarded the 2010 Columbia University Presidential Teaching Award for integrating the study of disabilities into the School of Social Work curriculum and the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Recognition Award for her efforts to benefit campus programs for students with disabilities.

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