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2008.02.05 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Social Work Director Joins Iowa West Board

Omaha - Theresa Barron-McKeagney, director of the School of Social Work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), will serve on the Iowa West organization board of directors. Barron-McKeagney is the first person of color to be elected to the Iowa West board.

As a Latina, Barron-McKeagney has played an active role in local human service agencies, including the Chicano Awareness Center, Goodwill Industries, the Omaha YWCA and the Council Bluffs Human Relations Commission.

The Council Bluffs native earned a master’s degree from UNO in 1987 and a doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1993. Her professional specialties include Latino populations, social work theory and diversity, social welfare policy, at-risk youth and mentoring. From a social work perspective, Barron-McKeagney focuses on child welfare, mental health, social policy, diversity and gerontology.

“I am deeply honored to be selected to serve on the Iowa West Board of Directors,” she said. “The opportunity to serve my home community of Council Bluffs and Southwest Iowa, as well as neighboring communities, is an outstanding privilege. I look forward to sharing my unique insights with the organization from my perspective as a woman, and a woman of color. Respecting diverse perspectives is the key to unlocking many doors, and I am grateful toward my community for this privilege to serve.”

The Iowa West Foundation and the Iowa West Racing Association (IWRA) are the two boards that make up the Iowa West organization.

A pool of nominees for the Iowa West boards comes from the City of Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, Council Bluffs Community School Board, and Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors. Nominees not selected remain in the pool.

The school board nominated Barron-McKeagney.  A recent community needs assessment revealed that educational attainment was one of the major needs in Pottawattamie County.

The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest charitable organizations in the Midwest. It is a private foundation that receives funding from investment income and from the IWRA, which collects fees from casino operators. Visit www.iowawestfoundation.org for more information on the Iowa West Foundation.

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