Campus: CSU, Los Angeles -- January 15, 2002


Cal State L.A. Social Work Faculty Reach Out to New York

In the wake of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, the faculty members of the Cal State L.A. School of Social Work decided to reach out and extend a supportive gesture to a sister institution in New York. Gathering personal donations from faculty and staff members, Professor Thanh Tran, the newly appointed director of the School, collected more than $700. The donation was subsequently sent to the Ehrenkranz School of Social Work at New York University to be used for any student or faculty needs related to the tragedy.

"Many of us had made individual donations to organizations like the American Red Cross," commented Tran, "but we wanted to make a collective statement of support to our fellow social workers in New York."

The Cal State L.A. faculty recognized that they could not support each of the many schools of social work in the New York area. "While we are pleased to be able to make this small contribution to the Ehrenkranz School of Social Work, we recognize that it is only a drop in the bucket compared to the need," remarked Alfredo González, acting dean of the Cal State L.A. College of Health and Human Services. "We hope that all the other faculties of social work programs will also respond in similar ways."

Tran, who was born and raised in Vietnam, went on to state, "We had to do something. It is our responsibility not as social workers, but as human beings. There is an old Vietnamese proverb that states the healthy leaf of a tree takes care of the broken leaf."

NYU Social Work faculty, students and alumni have collectively so far devoted more than 3,000 hours in volunteer disaster response efforts. They have provided counseling and response training for the Medical Examiner's Office, Police and Fire Departments and other city agencies, as well as hospitals, shelters and schools within the New York University community.

In a letter addressed to Mitchell Maki, associate dean of Cal State L.A.'s College of Health and Human Services, Dean Suzanne E. England of the NYU Ehrenkranz School of Social Work affirmed: "Many of our students were financially impacted by the disaster. . . . There is nothing 'token' about your contribution. Besides providing immediate assistance to our students, you have given our spirits a tremendous boost. It has meant so much to us to be in the thoughts of our colleagues who are so far away, and yet,…so close."

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