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New scholarship supports students studying domestic violence prevention

Graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work who demonstrate a commitment to increase their education to serve the community by working to end domestic violence can apply for the Verizon Scholarships for Safe Lives.

In total $58,600 will be available in the Verizon scholarship program with grants from the company's philanthropic arm, the Verizon Foundation ($33,600) and the company's exclusive HopeLine® phone recycling and reuse program ($25,000). Scholarships will be awarded once yearly in the fall semester starting in 2012, and recipients will take specific coursework related to domestic violence prevention and intervention and will use the information gained through this coursework in internships.

"Verizon's support for our next generation of leaders working to end violence in families is critical at a time of increasing costs for students and decreasing public budgets for social services," said Jeffrey Edleson, professor and research director in the School of Social Work and a leading researcher on domestic violence. "These scholarships show how public-private partnerships can contribute to the common good."

One in four women and one in six men are impacted by domestic violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which also estimates that 30 percent of injured women seeking emergency care are victims of domestic violence.

Jennifer Witt, who teaches in the Family Violence Prevention undergraduate minor, said, "The scholarships help provide learning opportunities for students and support a more highly trained and knowledgeable community of leaders in the community working to end domestic violence."

"Verizon is a company focused not only on our business, but also our community," said Seamus Hyland, president-Great Plains Region, Verizon Wireless. "We are proud to support students who are planning to work on the awareness, prevention and direct services to end domestic violence."

This coming academic year $8,400 will be awarded to two graduate students with scholarships at $3,000 each and two to Family Violence Prevention minor students with scholarships at $1,200 each.

Undergraduate scholarship recipients will complete three courses in the minor and will complete 100 hours of service learning in a domestic violence agency. Graduate scholarship recipients will obtain their master's degree. They will take a minimum of one graduate-level course related to domestic violence and complete one graduate field placement (480 hours) in an agency that focuses on domestic violence intervention or prevention.

2large group Verizon.jpgPictured (left to right): Jim Reinardy, director, School of Social Work (SSW); Lyle Williamson, director, State Government Relations, Verizon; Carol Arthur, executive director, the Domestic Abuse Project; Jean Quam, dean, College of Education and Human Development; Karen Smith, public relations manager, Verizon Wireless; Garrett Sawyer, major account manager, Verizon Wirelesss; Jeffrey Edleson, professor, SSW; Susan Neis, executive director, Cornerstone; Jennifer Witt, teaching specialist, SSW; and Katie Eichele, interim director, the Aurora Center.

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