September 10, 2010

Columbia University School of Social Work Assistant Professor Michelle Ballan was honored with the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Recognition Award. The annual award is given to individuals and groups that “act directly or indirectly to benefit campus programs for students with disabilities.”

Founded in 1977, AHEAD is an international professional membership organization for individuals involved in the development of policy and in the provision of quality services to meet the needs of persons with disabilities involved in all areas of higher education.  Its annual award recognizes one leader each year in government, professionals, groups of professionals, an entire campus or research/business effort. This year, Dr. Ballan was the sole recipient.

“We are very proud of Assistant Professor Ballan and are pleased that her efforts have been recognized with this important award,” says Dean Jeanette Takamura.

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.

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