The North American Task Force for Field Education presented its 2011 “Heart of Social Work” award to George Baboila, a faculty member of the St. Catherine University and University of St. Thomas School of Social Work and co-director of St. Thomas’ Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services.

The award was presented at the Council on Social Work Education’s annual program meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

Baboila has been teaching, supporting and guiding social work students for 22 of the 24 years he has been in the social work practice. In his work with the Interprofessional Center, he works with nearly 20 undergraduate and graduate students annually.

George Baboila with Lisa Richardson, director of School of Social Work field education, left, and Dr. Barbara Shank, School of Social Work dean.

The award, presented annually since 1995, recognizes excellence in social work field education, including skill in teaching, service to the university and innovation in field instruction.

Baboila is “a model of teaching, service and mentorship and continues to make a significant impact on all those he works with and on the profession,” according to an article in Social Work Perspectives, published by the School of Social Work.

“George shares with students his broad range of social work knowledge and experience,” the article said. “He is grounded in both generalist practice and clinical social work and brings this to his field instruction in a variety of learning opportunities that span the micro, mezzo and macro aspects of social work practice.”