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The University of Alabama

UA Social Work Professor Tabbed for Autherine Lucy Foster Award

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Cassandra “Cassie” Simon has been named the 2013 winner of the Autherine Lucy Foster Award, given annually by The University of Alabama Black Student Union and the Black Faculty and Staff Association.

Dr. Cassandra Simon is the 2013 winner of the Autherine Lucy Foster Award.

Dr. Cassandra Simon is the 2013 winner of the Autherine Lucy Foster Award.

Simon, who began teaching in the UA School of Social Work in 2000, has been lauded for her extensive work with student groups. She recently was awarded the Last Lecture, a student-nominated, campus-wide award.

The Foster award is given annually to one student or faculty member “who has made a significant contribution to The University of Alabama through their leadership and service to the minority community.” Foster was the first black student admitted to The University of Alabama in 1956.

Simon is a breast cancer survivor and overcame growing up in a rough neighborhood to become one of the School of Social Work’s most beloved professors. She said overcoming cancer sparked her motivation to inspire students to do more than what’s expected of them.

Her time at the Capstone has been highlighted by work with campus student groups that champion inclusion and racial equality.

“Students have the power to make it that way,” Simon said, “to make it their own.”

Last year’s Autherine Lucy Foster winner, Adrienne McCollum, said it was an honor every time she heard someone compare her to Simon.

“She’s passionate about her work and has done a lot of great things,” McCollum said of Simon.

Simon’s areas of expertise are social work in health care; cultural diversity issues; and psychoeducation and the family.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.