October 18, 2017  

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Social Worker for Children’s Center Honored as Woman of the Year by Chapter of National Organization

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Terri (Cookie) Smith

Terri (Cookie) Smith, DBH, MSW, social worker and service coordinator at The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi, was chosen recipient of the 2017 Woman of the Year award April 23 by the Jasper County chapter of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (NANBPWC). 

The Children’s Center for Communication and Development provides services to children, birth through five, who have complex communication needs and developmental disabilities.

Working under the guidelines of both the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and the Mississippi Department of Health (MDH), Smith’s role primarily falls under needs designated by MDH.

As a social worker and service coordinator, Smith’s position at the Center matches the unique needs of infants and toddlers under the age of three who attend the Center with early intervention services and resources within the community.

Smith’s selection as NANBPWC’s Woman of the Year is a direct correlation with Smith’s commitment to her role at the Center and to empowering other women in her field.

“The Center is instrumental in my motivation to educate and empower others, especially our families. They are special in terms of resilience, overcoming medical obstacles and learning how to effecetively advocate for their children,” said Smith. “I am one of the first people they meet in their journey, and it is very important to me to understand their concerns and how I can help them facilitate a positive change in their lives.”

According to NANBPWC, this award is presented to a professional woman who has contributed positive change in her community and in society.

“We are lucky to have such a motivated and passionately driven group of individuals who staff The Children’s Center. Cookie is no exception to that rule, and this award is a prime example of that,” said Sarah Case-Price, director.

The award was presented on April 23 by the club’s Jasper County Chapter. 

About The Children’s Center for Communication and Development
The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi provides communicative and developmental transdisciplinary services to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers while educating, training and supporting families, university students and professionals. For more information, visit www.usm.edu/childrenscenter.