School of Social Work debuts lecture series

Ethel Hall, vice president emerita of the Alabama State Board of Education and former doctorate student at the University of Alabama, spoke at the School of Social Work for the inaugural Women’s History Month Lecture on Monday.

This year was the first year the School of Social Work has held this event, and the number of attendants was larger than anticipated.

“We were delighted with the number of people who came,” said Lucinda Lee Roff, professor emerita and interim dean at the School of Social Work. “We were absolutely excited for her to come.”

Hall, the main speaker at the lecture, spoke about her experiences with getting an education and teaching.

Hall got her bachelor’s degree from Alabama A&M University, and she went on to get her master’s degrees at the University of Chicago and her doctorate degree at the University of Alabama.

“I took three minors so I could get a job,” said Hall. “I learned to really love English.”

Hall said before becoming a graduate student at Alabama for social work, she was turned down for the correspondence course at the University.

“I was told that the correspondence courses at the University were full, but it’s hard to believe that correspondence courses are full,” she said.

Hall was later asked to teach at the University of Montevallo, whose only black students were on the basketball team.

Students enrolled in a 300-level class taught by Cassandra Simon, “Social Injustice and Oppression,” attended the lecture.

“I felt that this was a great way to honor Dr. Hall, and I know my students enjoyed it,” Simon said.

Simon’s class deals with some of the issues Hall spoke about in her lecture.

After Hall’s speech the interim dean of the School of Social Work presented Hall with the Trailblazer Award for her many accomplishments as a teacher and member of the state Board of Education. The dean, after awarding Hall, presented her with a resolution stating that a day will be dedicated in her name during Women’s History Month, to commemorate the achievements of the black individuals.

“I was excited, surprised and speechless to receive this award; I felt honored,” Hall said. “This will impact students, and they will want to know why.”

 

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