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ADA, OK (10/12/2017) Dr. Jim Burke, Dr. Carol Bridges, Karen Gaddis and Donna Spivey have made significant contributions to social work in Oklahoma and to the students at East Central University.

The foursome was recently honored for their efforts by the University of Oklahoma's Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary.

Throughout the past year, OU's Zarrow School of Social Work has recognized 100 outstanding leaders who have supported the school. These individuals have not only impacted the Zarrow School, but have made outstanding contributions to the profession of social work, demonstrated leadership and/or contributed to their community.

Because of their contributions, Burke, Bridges, Gaddis and Spivey were honored as part of the "100 for the 100th."


Burke, currently a professor of human resources and retired chair of ECU's Human Resources Department, has an outstanding career filled with social work. His love of teaching led to joining the ECU undergraduate social work faculty in 1978.

In his 39-year stay at ECU, his exemplary contributions led to the education of over 1,000 social work professionals, many of which obtained their master of social work at OU.

Burke was selected as the Col. Tom A. Thomas Endowed Chair in Human Resources in 2007 as well as chair of the Department of Human Resources at ECU. In 2015, he was appointed as interim assistant vice president for Academic Affairs.

His influence continued to be evident through promoting excellence and engaging in activities that have a positive impact on not only social workers but other helping professionals. One of his achievements was the promotion of teamwork within his department and across ECU to achieve important goals and further the improvement and enhancement of students' educational experience and, ultimately, their positive impact on the larger society.

Burke has actively participated in the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP) since its inception in 1995. Since then, he has provided leadership and helped shape this program in countless ways. Through his leadership in the ECU CWPEP program and his active and committed involvement in the OU-CWPEP State Advisory Board, he has made a direct positive impact on the emerging child welfare careers of many students.

He is looked to for advice and advisement by CWPEP state leadership and other university participants in the program. His wisdom and keen sense of emerging trends leads to invaluable input in CWPEP development and opportunities for students.

Burke was a clinical consultant for DHS-CW supervisors as a part of OU-CWPEP for 22 years. He continues to provide critical incident stress debriefing for child welfare workers across the state. He had previously served as a field instructor and adjunct instructor for OU's School of Social Work.

He began his career in social work in child welfare at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in Tulsa County in 1972 after graduating from the University of Tulsa that same year. He earned his master of social work from Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio, Texas in 1976.


Bridges' work in social work spanned over 45 years before her retirement in 2013, after serving on the Social Work Faculty at ECU for 35 years. Sixteen of those years, she was director of the undergraduate Social Work Program.

As director, Bridges led in its CSWE reaffirmation of accreditation in 2002 and 2019. She also served as co-director of the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program at ECU from 1994-2013. During this time, external funding of $1,716, 714 was awarded to ECU, in addition to countless ECU social work graduates entering the child welfare field of practice in Oklahoma.

While at ECU, Bridges was named an Adolph Linscheid Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2006 and received the ECU 2005-06 Teaching Excellence Award. In 2016, she was the recipient of the ECU Foundation's Distinguished Former Faculty Award.

Bridges began her social work career at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in Oklahoma County in 1969 after graduating with a bachelor of science degree in sociology from Central State College (now University of Central Oklahoma) in 1968. During her 10-year tenure with the Department of Human Services, Bridges served in various roles and grew in her commitment to public service and to a career in social work. As a scholarship recipient of the Department of Human Services, she was able to complete her master of social work degree.

She is a licensed social worker who holds a master's degree in social work (1975) from the University of Oklahoma. Bridges was named Social Worker of the Year in 1989 by the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and also received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. She was inducted into the Hall of Honor for Social Work Education at the University of Oklahoma in 1998 and received the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work Hall of Fame Special Recognition Award in 2013.

Bridges currently served on the Oklahoma School of Social Work Board of Visitors and the Continuing Education Advising Board.

She has served on numerous community boards and committees, addressing family and children's issues, including the Child Abuse Training and Coordination Council, CASA and PARB. Bridges has also served on the Post Adjudication Review Board as chair since 1990 and was appointed by the governor in 2013 to serve on the State Post Adjudication Review Board Advisory Board.


Gaddis is director of Violence Prevention Services for the Chickasaw Nation. She has been employed by the tribe for 12 years and oversees program services relating to domestic and sexual violence.

Under Gaddis' leadership, the Chickasaw Nation program has been recognized as a leader in the Native American community in regards to awareness, prevention and direct services for Native American families experiencing domestic and sexual violence.

She was instrumental in opening the Chickasaw Nation's first domestic violence shelter for women and children. In 2009, Gaddis was credited with the establishment of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) program at the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center.

In 2013, she launched a tribal batterer's intervention program and in 2015, made the Chickasaw Nation be the first tribe in Oklahoma to offer Domestic Violence Nurse Exams (DVNE).

Gaddis currently oversees four federal grants through the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women, Administration of Children and Families, Family Violence Prevention and Indian Health Services. Her current focus is the opening of the Violence Prevention Center this year. Through the generous support of the Chickasaw Nation, the new Violence Prevention Center will quadruple the current shelter space available for women and children needing emergency services.

She is a license clinical social worker who holds a bachelor's degree in social work (1999) from ECU and a master's degree in social work from OU (2003). Gaddis' background also includes experience as a medical social worker in a community hospital setting. She was recognized by the Zarrow School of Social Work Hall of Fame in 2012-2013 by being named the Rural Social Work Professional.

Gaddis has served as a practicum instructor and mentor for many social work students through both ECU and OU. She has also served on various committees and task forces to address issues related to family violence, mental health and substance abuse. Gaddis currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the ECU Social Work Program and is vice president and founding member of the Native Alliance Against Violence, Oklahoma's tribal domestic and sexual violence coalition.


Spivey is currently a social worker for the Palliative Medicine Team at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa. She is the original social worker of this groundbreaking team which was one of the first palliative services in the nation to achieve accreditation through The Joint Commission.

She earned her bachelor's degree in social work from ECU in 1984 and a master's of social work from OU in 2010. Spivey also completed study in bioethics through the Baylor College of Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Working in the field of hospice and palliative medicine since 1998, Spivey has provided intervention, advocacy and education in end of life care and the field of medical ethics. She had previously worked with at-risk children, developmentally disabled adults, an adoption agency and the homeless population outside the Navajo Reservation.

She sits on the ethics committee at Hillcrest Medical Center and was an active participant in revising current ethics policies for the institution. Spivey also serves as affiliate faculty for OU where she has provided instruction to medical residents and medical students on advance care planning.

Spivey has also spent the last 15 years as a field instructor for practicum students, first for undergraduate students through the Midwestern State University of Texas School of Social Work and in recent years for graduate social work students at OU.