KUWomenofDistinction

2012/2013

Taylor Anne Haun (Far Right)

Taylor Anne Haun (Far Right)

Honors, achievements, and special recognition:

  • Undergraduate Professional GPA/KU GPA: 4.0
  • School of Social Welfare Honor Roll (top 20%) – Fall 2010-Spring 2011
  • Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Alpha Iota Gamma Chapter, Johnson County Community College
  • Certification in Mandt: Basic & Intermediate – October 2011
  • Certified completion of Human Subjects Training, Office of Research & Graduate Studies, University of Kansas Human Subjects Committee – Certified August 2010-August 2013
  • Co-Vice President of Bachelor of Social Welfare Student Group – 2011-2012
  • Social Coordinating Officer of Bachelor of Social Welfare Student Group – 2010-2011
  • Dean’s Advisory Council, University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare – 2011-2012
  • Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Tribal Member Academic Scholarship – 2009-2012

Professional Memberships & Affiliations:

  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Society for Social Work and Research
  • The Gerontological Society of America
  • Kansas Equality Coalition
  • Human Rights Campaign

Research Experience:

Invisible Victims of Parental Incarceration: Using Concept Mapping Technology to Include the Voices of Youth in Program Planning, Toni K. Johnson, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Kansas School of Social Welfare; Co-authors: Taylor Haun, BSW Student, and Brian Sultana, BSW Student

Collaborated with Douglas County Healthy Families in designing and creating a Research Study to be implemented by the agency [Research designed to explore outcomes of at-risk first or second-time parents of children one year older who utilize Healthy Families services in Douglas County, KS] – SW 541: Research Seminar Student Group Project

Professional Conferences & National Presentations:

Invisible Victims of Parental Incarceration: Using Concept Mapping Technology to Include the Voices of Youth in Program Planning, Society for Social Work and Research Conference. Washington, DC. January 15, 2012.

Paying It Forward: Giving Back in Appreciation, Women’s Philanthropists for KU and the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center, Winter Event. Lawrence, KS. January 28, 2012.

Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Rates of Geriatric Depression: A Critical Approach, University of Kansas, Bachelor of Social Welfare Student Group Undergraduate Research Panel. Lawrence, KS. March 12, 2012.

Maximizing Your Educational Experiences in the Field Practicum, University of Kansas, Fundamentals of Social Work Practice. Lawrence, KS. March 27, 2012.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Rates of Geriatric Depression: A Critical Approach, University of Kansas, Undergraduate Research Symposium. Lawrence, KS. April 28, 2012.

Wish Granter, September 2009 – Present
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Missouri

Undergraduate Research Assistant, Fall 2010 – Spring 2011
University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, Lawrence, Kansas
Leslie Hasche, PhD, Assistant Professor

How I became interested in my field of study:

My firm commitment to social equality is what drew me to social work. The fundamental ethical standards and values of social work are congruous with my own philosophical beliefs, which are essential and integral aspects of my identity. Moreover, my personal and professional experiences have provided me with enhanced awareness of the prevalence of social injustice and have highlighted the social and economic obstacles that often face certain groups and populations. I believe that every person, family, and community possesses inherent strengths that can be utilized in the effort to improve individual and social conditions. While considering undergraduate majors and career paths, I decided that becoming a social worker would enable me to best serve others and accomplish my life/career goals, as the profession encompasses so many areas of work focused on improving human and social conditions. Throughout my life/career, I aspire to do all I can to advance increasingly just, compassionate, and equal conditions and opportunities for all people. I am resolved to do my part in empowering oppressed and marginalized populations to utilize their strengths and wherewithal in overcoming adversity.

An honor, achievement or accomplishment that is most meaningful to me and why:

As an undergraduate, I co-authored and co-presented (with Dr. Toni Johnson, KU School of Social Welfare Associate Professor) research at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) 16th Annual Conference (2012) in Washington D.C. This was a huge honor for me, as it is extremely rare for undergraduates to present professional research at SSWR. Two other students and good friends of mine, Maggie Chui and Jesse Rowley, also co-presented the study with Dr. Johnson and me. The presentation was titled Invisible Victims of Parental Incarceration: Using Concept Mapping Technology to Include the Voices of Youth in Program Planning. The opportunity to attend the Conference, and work with Dr. Johnson, a highly respected and renowned professional in the field of social work, was an enormous achievement and honor. I will be forever grateful to have been provided with this unique opportunity.

In addition, my junior year I received an Undergraduate Research Award grant from the KU Honors Program to conduct independent research centered upon disparities in geriatric depression. Receiving this grant was a huge accomplishment for me, as I put considerable time and effort into applying for the grant, conducting the study, and analyzing the results. I could not have done it all without the help of my amazing mentor, Dr. Leslie Hasche, former KU School of Social Welfare Assistant Professor, for whom I also worked as a Research Assistant.

Someone who has been a role model for me and why:

Melinda Lewis, one of my former KU social welfare professors, is someone I consider a role model. Melinda is incredibly passionate, energetic, and knowledgeable about social work and social welfare, specifically in the realm of macro social work practice and advocacy. Melinda’s commitment to fighting for social justice is both inspiring and contagious. She is one of the strongest and most dynamic women I’ve ever met; she provides advocacy consulting services to a variety of social work organizations, and teaches social welfare courses at KU while also raising four young children. Her passion, energy, selflessness, and dedication to her clients, students, and the social work profession inspire me to aim for new heights and be the best person I can both personally and professionally.

Someone who has been influential or had a significant impact on my life:

Dr. Toni Johnson, an Associate Professor within the KU School of Social Welfare, has had a significant influence on my personal and professional development. She opened innumerable doors for me throughout my undergraduate career, and provided me with unique, growth-oriented opportunities, like the opportunity to work with her and present at the 16th Annual SSWR Conference last January. She was often the first person I turned to when confronted with a challenge; she was always open, and offered honest feedback and positive encouragement. Having been her student, I witnessed the genuine caring and concern that Dr. Johnson has for her students. She makes it a priority to do all she can to help each one excel and reach her or his academic and professional goals. Warm, friendly, funny, and intelligent, Dr. Johnson helped make my undergraduate experience a success. Knowing and working with her was indubitably one of the prime highlights of my undergraduate experience.

My favorite KU memory:

One of my favorite memories as a KU student was during the Spring 2012 semester, when the KU Men’s Basketball Team made it through the Final Four round of the NCAA tournament and into the National Championship game against Kentucky. Like many students and staff/faculty, I was caught up in the excitement of this somewhat unexpected victory. The excitement permeated the air; it was palpable and highly contagious. There seemed to be an aura of Jayhawk pride among the student body. The sense of unity and cohesiveness positively bolstered the school environment, and, although we did not win the National Championship, Jayhawk pride remained strong. Rock Chalk!!!

An important life lesson I have learned:

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one’s condition; experience is the greatest teacher of all. Out of some of the biggest “failures” come the greatest successes; thus, one should not be afraid of taking risks and making mistakes. In addition, never take life for granted. I have learned to practice daily gratitude, and take time out to appreciate everyone and everything in my life.

If I had a sister just entering college, I would want her to know…

You should do what makes you happy, follow your instincts, and forgive easily. You can do anything you set your mind to with hard work, determination, and perseverance. To be successful, you do not necessarily need to set strict and rigid goals for yourself; if you pursue your passion(s) and work hard, success will find you. Be yourself, maintain a positive attitude, and everything else will fall into place. You will experience much growth and change over the next few years of your life, and your values and beliefs may be challenged. Resultantly, your personality and interests may evolve to some extent. Seek new experiences and opportunities, and expose yourself to as much diversity as you can. Get to know people who possess beliefs different from your own; diversity is what makes life interesting and worthwhile. Challenge yourself; take yourself out of your “comfort zone.” Live simply and be happy with less. Keep an open mind and an open heart. The only thing that is constant in life is change; embrace it, and view it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Finally, take your time! Enjoy life and be mindful of every moment.

A favorite quote or saying that is meaningful to me and why:

Thomas Jefferson once said, “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” These words resonate deeply with me, as I believe that the ability and willingness to persevere, through even the most challenging times, is imperative to one’s happiness and to the development of one’s character. Adversity cultivates insight and strength, and one must be ready to tackle the challenges that life inevitably brings.