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CSW Alums Honored at Founders Day Event

The University of Utah Office of Alumni Relations annually presents its Founders Day Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Awards to alumni for their outstanding professional achievements, public service, and/or commitment to the U.  The Distinguished Alumni Awards are among the highest honors awarded by the University of Utah.   On Wednesday, March 30, three College of Social Work alums were honored at the 2022 Founders Day event: Michael Bird (MSW ’77) received a Distinguished Alum award and Marge (MSW’62 PhD’76) & Dan (MSW’65 DSW’76) Edwards were recognized as the Distinguished Service Awardees.

Distinguished Alum Award - Michael Bird

Michael Bird BA’76 MSW’77 is a national public health policy consultant, specializing in Native health issues. Michael has more than 30 years of public health experience with Native American populations in the areas of medical social work, substance abuse prevention, health promotion and disease prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, behavioral health, and healthcare administration. Michael was the first American Indian to serve on the National Policy Council of AARP and as president of the American Public Health Association in the organization’s history. He was also a former president of the New Mexico Public Health Association and was a fellow in the U.S.P.H.S. Primary Care Policy Fellowship Program. He has served on the boards of the Kewa Pueblo Health Corporation, American Indian Graduate Center, Bernalillo County Off Reservation Native American Commission, Health Action New Mexico, Seva Foundation,National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health Advisory Committee (Canada) and more. Michael has also served on the U’s College of Social and Behavioral Science Advancement Board since 2020, and was awarded the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award this year.


Distinguished Service Awardees - Marge & Dan Edwards

Margie Egbert Edwards MSW’62 PhD’76 and Daniel Edwards MSW’65 DSW’76 are both emeritus professors of social work and continuing members of the Crimson Club and the Volleyball "Block U" Club. Together, they helped establish the American Indian Social Work Career Training Program at the U in 1970. In December 2011, the couple established the E. Daniel and Margie Egbert Edwards Endowed Scholarship Fund in the College of Social Work in 2011 in an e ort to support American Indian students for many years to come. Margie Egbert Edwards was committed to a career in education from a very early age. Her professional career in social work began with the Jordan School District in Salt Lake City, after which she worked with the Gila River Pima Tribe in Sacaton, Arizona. Margie says she has found personal and professional satisfaction in helping students identify their interests, strengths, career choices and future goals, including doctoral degrees, and shares their joy in these education accomplishments. Daniel Edwards is an enrolled member of the Yurok Tribe in Northern California. He worked for over 40 years with the College of Social Work and Ethnic Studies.
Daniel also directed the American Indian Social Work Career Training Program and the American Indian Ethnic Studies program, and taught courses in both programs. Daniel says his experiences with higher education reinforced his desire to share evidence of the importance of education with American Indian tribal organizations and American Indian students at the U and throughout the nation.

Video content was produced by the Utah Alumni Association.

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Last Updated: 12/12/23