A shiny new plaque on Rich Landward’s office wall serves as recognition for his hard work. But the CSD Student Support Specialist insists that the honor isn’t just for him. Landward says he shares the honor — the Clinical Faculty of the Year Award from the University of Utah’s College of Social Work — with those around him in CSD who are dedicated to building up Care Coordination, an evidence-based initiative that links students and parents in Title I communities to mental health and other community services.
Landward, who this year supervised master-level social work interns at Copperview, East Midvale, Midvale and Sandy elementary schools as part of the Care Coordination program, was surprised with the award at a recognitions ceremony at the University of Utah. While he knew he had been nominated for the award, he says he “had no idea” he’d won.
Landward says at-school mental health services have the potential to boost student achievement. If students have immediate access to services that can help them cope with, for example, mood disorders, trauma, depression, anger, or family disruptions, then it may positively affect how they perform in the classroom. It also has been shown to reduce behavioral issues.
Karen Sterling, Director of the Office of Student Advocacy and Access, lauded Landward for his efforts. “We are very excited for Rich and proud to have him on the Student Advocacy Team,” she said.