CU Senior Honored as Social Work Student of the Year

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

Cedarville, Ohio-“We serve God by serving others,” says best-selling author Rick Warren, a sentiment that Cedarville University senior Melanie Beatty has taken seriously in her own life. And now other people are taking notice. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) ( recently selected Beatty as Student of the Year for their Dayton chapter, an honor that reflects her life’s dedication to serving those around her.

Beatty completed her junior internship for Project Woman in the Dayton area assisting victims of domestic abuse, working as a child advocate, and participating in clinical reviews. Also very involved in Adopt-a-Block in Springfield, Ohio, she assisted those who live in impoverished neighborhoods with painting, cleaning, and refuse removal - all while building positive relationships with those she helps. Dr. Nelson Henning, director of Cedarville’s social work program, said, “Melanie was able to interact on a personal level with the residents of the neighborhood, showing them the value and dignity of strong relationships.”

Beatty also serves as an officer in Phi Alpha (the social work honor society). She is leading Cedarville students in a project on North Korean refugees, which will culminate in a presentation at the Ohio Association of Social Work Educators Conference at Ashland University. A large part of her time is also currently spent at her senior internship with Graceworks Lutheran Services, where she assists with adoption placements. “I have my own caseload of home studies, where I visit the home, conduct interviews, and provide information, leading to a full report assessing the family,” she said. “This has been an exciting field that combines my passion for working with children and working on an international scene.”

The impact of Beatty’s service has not been limited to southwest Ohio. She has participated in several other domestic causes such as helping at Chicago’s Cabrini Green housing development, and serving meals in a New York City homeless shelter. An excursion to Calcutta, India gave Melanie the chance to work with orphans in some of the poorest areas of the city, as well as interact with an organization that helps free women from the bondage of prostitution.

While Beatty does not yet know exactly what her future holds, she does hope to continue working with children and families, eventually going overseas to serve. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work in the near future. Her reaction to receiving the honor of Student of the Year is one of gratitude to others. “I have grown so much professionally and personally through the passion, encouragement, and example of my professors and fellow students,” she said. “I was truly humbled and touched that they would choose to recognize me this way and pray that God will use this to bring further honor to Himself through my profession.”

To learn more about Cedarville University’s social work program, visit