What inspired Jean Avera and Bonnie Bain to create the Jane Addams Field Education Development Endowment
“Field education is transformational for social work students. Studying from a book and taking a test are necessary, but getting out into the community and working with people — those are the kinds of experiences that fundamentally change students as they go through the social work program. Bonnie and I decided to name our endowment after Jane Addams because she is considered the mother of social work in the United States and because she was an amazing woman. She worked in all areas: for peace, for women’s rights, for children, for education, against sex trafficking. At Hull House in Chicago she offered night classes for adults — the forerunner for the continuing education programs that every university offers now! She truly represents the broadness of the social work profession”— Jean
“Students’ self-awareness and confidence just explode during field. As field liaisons, Jean and I had the joy of watching students pulling everything together, integrating their experience and blossoming as social workers. Our school has one of the richest field programs in the country, and we wanted to support it. We also wanted to support social work and keep Jane Addams’ legacy alive. Social work trains professionals to work with people at the individual, group, and community level. But more important for us, and this was one of Jane Addams’ biggest contributions, social work is about social justice, about making this world a better place for everyone.” —Bonnie
About Jean and Bonnie: Jean Avera was a member of the clinical faculty of The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work for 15 years. She served as one of the early Peace Corps volunteers in Ecuador from 1965 to 1967. Her experience in applying the hands-on training she received in the Peace Corps deeply affected and inspired her interest in the field education aspect of the social work curriculum. Bonnie Bain earned her graduate degree from the School of Social Work in 1967. A proud fifth-generation Texan and mother of one son, Colin Bain McClelland, she has devoted her life to the guidance and support of students as they undertake the process of field study. She taught as well as supervised internships for graduate students for 31 years, beginning as a field teacher and then working in clinical study and as field faculty.
About their endowment: The Jane Addams Field Education Development Endowment supports the development of the field education program at the School of Social Work. Funds go toward activities such as the following, as determined each year by the dean in consultation with the director of field education: honoraria and expenses for nationally recognized speakers for field instructor workshops, cash grant to accompany a plaque and recognition of the Field Instructor of the Year, materials and books for agency field instructors to integrate classroom and field activities, development of field education materials, organization of a statewide conference or symposia for field instructors, travel for clinical faculty to attend conferences related to field education and the development of their professional interests and specializations, provision of a Field Education Student of the Year cash grant award.