Honoring 100 for the 100th: Audry Haldaman Stewart

Audry Haldaman Photo

Audry Stewart worked 43 years in social work prior to her retirement in August of 2015, and has since returned to her hometown in Woodward, Oklahoma where she continues to volunteer in the helping profession. Mrs. Stewart is a licensed clinical social worker who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare/Psychology (1971) from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work (1980) from the University of Oklahoma. Throughout her career, she specialized in providing treatment and prevention services for adults and children who experienced trauma, child abuse, and neglect.

She began her work with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services from 1972-1979 in Woods County, in which she was the Child Welfare Supervisor for five counties in Northwest Oklahoma. Mrs. Stewart was hired with the Cooperative Education Project in 1979 and served the special education needs of preschoolers in Northwest Oklahoma, both as a school social worker and director, until her retirement from to Department of Education in 2000. Mrs. Stewart maintained a private practice in social work in Alva and Woodward from 1980 to 2008. In 2008, she joined Choctaw Management and was employed with the New Parent Support Program, and also worked for the US Army in Ansbach, Germany until 2010. Her work in child abuse prevention included pre-natal and infant education during home visits with Army personnel and their families. She concluded her social work career at Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center working in mental health intensive case management from 2010- 2015.

Her work as a rural social worker has not gone unnoticed by others. She received the NASW Oklahoma Social Worker of the Year award in 1988, the American Business Club’s Therapist of the Year honor in 1997, and was inducted into the Social Work Hall of Fame at the University of Oklahoma for clinical practice in 1999. She also received the Chief’s Recognition award for her commitment and work in both Germany and Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center. In 2013 she was recognized and honored with the NASW Lifetime Achievement Award in Social Work. She has served on the University of Oklahoma’s School of Social Work’s Board of Visitors and multiple task forces.

Mrs. Stewart is now honored to be included as one of the 100 for the 100th anniversary celebration of the University of Oklahoma’s School of Social Work, and enjoys staying connected to social work and to the needs of others.

Throughout her life, Mrs. Stewart has been actively involved in her community. She served two terms on the Alva City Council, organized and collected Christmas items for those in need, worked years with the Guild of the Christ Child providing layettes and quilts to newborns. She participates in the Quilt of Valor Program both making and presenting quilts to combat veterans and has organized a Stitch and Chat group in her home town to provide pillow cases and pillows for adult citizens with special needs. She is involved in making quilts for children through Project Hope, a prison ministry, and is actively involved in Saint John’s Episcopal Church community outreach. Mrs. Stewart is an avid quilter and presented the school with their 90th anniversary quilt that hangs in the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work. She is working to complete the 100th Anniversary quilt to be presented September of 2017. Mrs. Stewart, although retired, has excellent advice to offer social workers who are just beginning their career. She says, “Use the best skills you have to do the very best job you can, use evidence-based treatment and continue to enhance your skills through training. Be kind: It is through our kindness that others begin to trust us and it is in the process of helping others that we find our reward.”

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