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Field Education Office Professional Development Workshop

BSW Cording & MSW Hooding

Martin A 350x350Amanda Martin, ’03, embodies the ethos and spirit of life-changing social work. She received the College of Social Work’s Alumna of the Year Award in 2010 for her work in Guatemala and her service in the Peace Corps.

In 2012 she was the plenary speaker at the Rotary International Convention, where she addressed an audience of over 20,000 members in Bangkok. She passionately describes her work in a Burmese refugee camp, where she has established the first public health college for adult refugees on the Thai-Burma border. Over 138,000 refugees reside in nine camps in the area. Martin lives and works in the Umphiem Mai refugee camp.

The public health college teaches program management, disease prevention and eradication, environmental health, community needs assessment, and designing campaigns to promote improved quality of health for refugees. Under Martin’s direction, students delivered water and sanitation trainings to large audiences of refugees, including diarrhea prevention, hand-washing, and the importance of clean drinking water for disease prevention. Martin then arranged for the college’s graduates to participate in a one-year internship program with local community-based health organizations.

“The master’s program was my formal introduction to macro social work, policy reform and advocacy,” says Martin. “My current work on human rights for Burma is focused on policy reform, advocacy for internally displaced people in Burma, Burmese political prisoners and Burmese women who have been victimized by the Burmese military.”

Martin was awarded a competitive Rotary Peace fellowship to study in Thailand, which inspired her to work in the refugee camp. Martin works with the Global Health Access Program, a non-governmental organization based in Mae Sot, working with Community Partners International based in San Francisco, CA. She holds a master of public health and master of social work degree from the University of South Carolina (2003). She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from The Pennsylvania State University (1993). Martin is the former Director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission (2008-2011) in Washington, D.C.

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