Daemen Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement Center Administrators Honored at Social Work Dinner

CSCCE Leadership, Staff,  Recognized for Initiatives Bringing Positive Change to Western New Yorkers’ Lives



April 26, 2013



Information: Daemen Social Work Department



Contact: Mike Andrei

                Director-College Relations

                (716) 839-8472



The 2013 Daemen Social Work Department Humanitarian Award Dinner honored Daemen Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement Executive Director Cheryl Bird and CSCCE Neighborhood Coordinator Sharon Benz.


“Those engaged in the profession of social work set out to make a difference – to bring about positive social change and to better society. They have committed their careers to working not just with, but on behalf of, others,” said Daemen President Gary A. Olson.


“Those ideals are central to the Daemen College Social Work Program. The Daemen students and staff honored here represent these values at their best and we congratulate them on their achievements.” 


As Executive Director of the Daemen Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement since 2004, Cheryl Bird has led initiatives that have made a difference in many Western New Yorkers’ lives. Led by the CSCCE, Daemen College faculty, students, and staff have collaborated with City of Buffalo neighborhoods in Seneca Babcock, the West Side, and the Fruit Belt, for more than a decade to bring about positive change for residents in each community. Daemen volunteers have brought about improvements in education and health care; helped to create economic self-sufficiency; helped to increase literacy levels; and built environmental and civic awareness. 


As neighborhood coordinator for the CSCCE, Sharon Benz has led community projects and initiatives such as computer literacy training, planting neighborhood gardens, and providing after school tutoring, among other assistance, to Seneca Babcock community residents. 


Most recently, she once again led Daemen’s income tax assistance program. For the 2013 tax season, Daemen accounting students provided free tax preparation to 396 individuals, for a refund total of approximately $261,000. Financial information was also made available on educational programs, buying homes, dealing with credit issues, managing student loans, and more. The tax assistance was provided with a special focus on veterans and their families.


Led by Cheryl Bird and Sharon Benz, the CSCCE staff and Daemen students are also involved in many other community-wide initiatives which bring about positive change to Western New Yorkers’ lives.


Additional events for the evening also included Student Recognition, Zeta Zeta, Phi Alpha Honor Society Awards, and the Departmental Outstanding Senior Award. The dinner was held April 26, 2013, at the Holiday Inn Express, 620 Delaware Avenue. 


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Wow! Did you know service learning is important on Daemen’s campus?

The Western New York Service Learning Coalition, located on Daemen’s campus serves as a conduit for community organizations seeking service-learning students.

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