Linda Nielsen, professor of education and women’s studies at Wake Forest University, and Winston Irwin, a senior at Wake Forest, recently received awards for volunteering in the Forsyth County community.
Linda Nielsen received an award from Today’s Woman Health & Wellness Center for her volunteer efforts in helping to reduce infant mortality in Forsyth County.
Nielsen is a board member of the center and has volunteered there for seven years. She also directs an internship program at Wake Forest, which places women’s studies students with several agencies and organizations in Winston-Salem, including Today’s Woman Health & Wellness Center. Student interns at the center work with Forsyth County social workers and the medical staff at Forsyth Medical Center and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to provide services to low-income mothers and their children.
“This internship program is extremely important to the Forsyth County community, but it is just as important for our students to have a real opportunity to make a difference in our own backyard,” Nielsen said. “It is an honor to be recognized for such a worthwhile program.”
Nielsen created and implemented the women’s studies internship program at Wake Forest 10 years ago. Since that time, Wake Forest students have worked with more than 14 social programs and non-profit organizations in Forsyth County, including the Battered Women’s Shelter, Living Water Family Resource Center and Prenatal Care for Hispanic and black women, and the Child Guidance Clinic at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, a research center for preventing child abuse. Through the internship program, more than 600 Wake Forest students have received professional training and job experience in medicine, law, ministry, social services, marketing and juvenile justice.
Senior Winston Irwin, an English major and women’s studies minor from Charlotte, was recently named “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” by Independence High School, an alternative school in Winston-Salem. Irwin has mentored black female students and assisted teachers at the high school throughout this school year. Irwin is a member of the women’s studies steering committee and will graduate with honors in May.
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