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Two Holyoke women honored by Elms College

HOLYOKE Shirley Campbell S.S.J. and Eleanor Spring S.S.J., directors of Weston Center for Women in Holyoke, have been named the fourth annual recipients of the Mary Killeen Bennett Human Service Worker Award from Elms College.

This award is given to human service workers who have demonstrated a commitment to social change and justice through work and community involvement, and who have participated in the education and training of human service workers of diverse cultures.

Sister Campbell and Sister Spring founded a rehabilitation employment program called Weston Rehabilitation Center for Women in 1992 as a direct response to the needs of women with a history of incarceration, inpatient psychiatric treatment, or inpatient substance abuse treatment.

"For the past 14 years, Sister Shirley and Sister Eleanor have touched the lives of hundreds of women released from prison and substance abuse treatment," wrote Bill Toller of the Hampden County Sheriff's Department, who nominated Sisters Campbell and Spring. "Their efforts on behalf of the vocational rehabilitation of this group - one of the hardest populations to serve - demonstrates the commitment to social justice shown by the Sisters of Saint Joseph."

The Mary Killeen Bennett Human Service Worker Award was established by the social work advisory board at Elms College in 2003. It was named for

Mary Killeen Bennett, a 1964 graduate of the college, who founded the human service department at Springfield Technical Community College and chaired it for more than 20 years. Ms. Bennett died in May of 2000.

The award will be presented at a reception at Elms College on April 6 by Doreen Fadus, last year's recipient of the award. Dora Robinson, executive director of the Martin Luther King Center in Springfield, will be the keynote speaker.