A Hauppauge woman is receiving national recognition for her dedication to helping others as a social worker, for work done while completing her master's degree.
Lisa Ganz, a recent graduate of Long Island University Post's Master of Social Work Program, has been named the 2012 National Association of Social Workers - New York State Chapter, Nassau Division Social Work Student of the Year.
Ganz, 23, recently graduated from LIU Post on May 7 with a Masters' in Social Work with a Specialization in alcohol and substance abuse. She recently finished up an internship with Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling, and previously worked for Huntington Youth Bureau with Project Excel.
The honoree was not always interested in social work, but began her college career studying advertising and marketing.
"I started my career path with advertising and marketing which is a clearly different field from social work," Ganz said in a statement. "But what fascinated me most about marketing was how it has such an influence on people and society, especially from a behavioral and sociological perspective. So I switched gears and began to focus on human development and psychology, which led me to pursue social work. I'm really interested in how people interact with each other, the world and society."
She graduated as a member of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society and is an active member of the Master of Social Work Graduate Student Association. Ganz has helped lead community projects such as collecting bags of candy at Halloween, volunteering at soup kitchens and raising more than $2,000 at the annual Walk for Lupus event.
“It is a pleasure to work with a student like Lisa, who clearly demonstrates a genuine belief in community service and a strong commitment to her education. She is extremely deserving of this very prestigious award," said Elissa Giffords, a LIU Post professor in the Department of Social Work.