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May 6, 2011

ULM faculty member honored for lifetime achievement in social work

The Louisiana Chapter of National Association of Social Workers recently recognized a University of Louisiana at Monroe faculty member with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Associate Professor of Social Work Michael J. Cappel received the award on May 4.

The award is given for achievement over a lifetime in the social work profession, as well as having made contributions of lasting impact and consistent demonstrations of outstanding creativity.

Cappel has been involved with the NASW for over 30 years, beginning his career as a social worker with the U.S. Public Health Service.

He has worked with the Monroe City School District, Operation I Care, the Louisiana Department of Health, inpatient psychiatric facilities and in private practice with his wife, Paulette.

Cappel earned his BA in Sociology and Master's of Social Work from California State University.

Cappel's volunteerism is extensive, but one of the activities closest to his heart is his service as state coordinator for the Run For The Wall organization.

The group's mission statement says that its members seek to "promote healing among all veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action, to honor the memory of those Killed in Action and to support our military personnel all over the world."

"It's a great organization, that's kind of my passion, especially Vietnam veteran issues," said Cappel. "Servicemen and women today return as heroes, unlike the Vietnam veterans of 40-50 years ago and that's a big part of what the Run is all about – giving them a welcome home."

A former ULM faculty member, Pat Melton, also joined Cappel on Wednesday, earning the distinction of being given the 2011 Dorothy Schenthal Leadership Award.

The award is given each year to someone who has provided outstanding leadership to the state chapter of National Association of Social Workers.

Melton is the former department head of the ULM Department of Social Work and also formerly served as the department's coordinator of field education, overseeing student internships.

She continues to be a respected professional administrator, social worker, and community advocate.

Melton earned her Bachelor's in Business Education from then-Northeast Louisiana University and her Master's of Social Work from Louisiana State University.

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