People in the News

Written by ryan. Posted in Community News


Published on April 13, 2011 with No Comments

Local achievers honored during Social Work Month

Social worker Richard Hayes of the Gary Community School Corporation was honored on March 25 at Prompt in Merrillville during a Social Work Celebration. In celebration of National Professional Social Work Month, he was recognized and awarded for being an outstanding leader and social worker in his services to children and their families in Porter and surrounding counties.

Hayes’ impact over the years is immeasurable as he has worked tirelessly serving children in different capacities. He has served as coach for Little League, Biddy Basket and bowling along with other community volunteer activities. He is a true advocate for children having been a school social worker for over 20 years in the Gary school system. He deserves this tribute for his leadership and advocacy with children as he has come from the foster care system.

Community Partner Sandy Appleby, director of Accreditation and Certification at Geminus Corporation was also honored at the celebration for being an outstanding leader in services to the community and social workers in Porter and surrounding counties.

Appleby has had a great impact over the years as she has worked fervently to educate communities and social workers. She serves as a leader for the Northwest Indiana Suicide Prevention Council and is a member of the Lake County Domestic Violence Coalition. She also serves as a member of the Disaster Awareness Team for Lake County.

This year’s National Professional Social Work Month theme, “Social Workers Change Futures,” celebrates the many ways professional social workers make a difference for people every day.

Social Workers’ contributions strengthen communities, expand options, and foster changes that improve life for everyone. Social Workers are needed in the fields of addictions, aging, and health care services. Currently, there are more than 7,000 professionally licensed social workers in Indiana.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for social workers will increase by 16 percent through 2018, making it one of the nations more in-demand professions.

“Social workers improve the fabric of society by often caring for those who have been left behind or those who have lost their voice,” Elizabeth Clark, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, said. “They help people from all walks of life find renewed hope for the future.”

Marian High School senior receives Top Young Scientist award

While Indiana’s Butler Bulldogs prepared to compete in the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett demonstrated his commitment to elevate Indiana’s academic superstars to the level of our esteemed athletes. Bennett presented Indiana’s 2011 Top Young Scientist with a $10,000 cash award, believed to be the largest award of its kind nationwide.

Tim Trippel of Marian High School in Mishawaka was named this year’s Top Young Scientist at the 23rd Annual Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair in Bloomington. Trippel received a trophy and check for being judged the highest-placing senior among the state’s top science and engineering competitors. The cash award was sponsored by various businesses.

“Tim and students who competed are the real heroes among their peers. They will be the future leaders and thinkers of our nation,” Bennett said. “Just like his parents, teachers and community, I’m incredibly proud of Tim’s work, and I know today’s achievement is just one of many milestones in what is sure to be an outstanding college and professional career.”

Gov. Mitch Daniels established the award in 2009 as a part of a commitment to improve Indiana education and to highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Nearly 22,000 students in grades 1-12 participated in a local science fair this academic year. More than 3,700 of those students participated in regional science fairs, and the top 100 students in grades 9-12 earned a chance to compete at the Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair hosted by the Science Education Foundation of Indiana.

Trippel’s project was titled Development of a Low-Cost Electroporator for High School and Developing World Applications. He has also been selected as to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, Calif. in May. His teacher is Ken Andrzejewski. Trippel plans to attend Purdue University.

For more information on SEFI or Celebrating Science Indiana, visit

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