University of Calgary

Two Faculty of Social Work graduate students to receive posthumous degrees

UToday HomeJune 10, 2013

Margo Husby, who was working on her Master of Social Work, passed away in February after contracting the H1N1 virus.Margo Husby, who was working on her Master of Social Work, passed away in February after contracting the H1N1 virus. Photo courtesy Husby family
Margo Wells, who had been studying in the Master of Social Work program as a distance studentSusan Wells, who had been studying in the Master of Social Work program as a distance student, passed away in December from breast cancer. Photo courtesy Wells family
For the families of two Faculty of Social Work students, this convocation is both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. Margo Husby and Susan Wells both passed away before completing their graduate work, but will be recognized for their studies with the presentation of a posthumous Master of Social Work Degree at convocation ceremonies on Monday, June 10.

Husby started her academic life late in her career and eventually completed an undergrad degree in Communications, a Master of Arts degree, and eventually a Doctor of Philosophy. She was working as a senior instructor with the Department of Communications and Culture when she decided to pursue her MSW Clinical Social Work specialization from the Faculty of Social Work in the fall of 2009.

The decision to continue her education did not surprise many who knew her, including her daughter, Andrea Scheelar. “Mom treasured teaching and saw it as much more than a job or a title. For her it was a way of life. And it was all about the students.”

Husby passed away in February after contracting the H1N1 virus. Andrea will be in attendance at convocation to accept the MSW degree on behalf of her mom.

Susan Wells was also in the MSW program as a distance student in the Leadership in Human Services specialization. On her application in 2009, she wrote, “I am a committed lifelong learner who has struggled with personal adversity while battling cancer and raising a family the past five years. My career goals have always incorporated a graduate degree in my field in order to achieve my career aspirations.”

Wells passed away in December from breast cancer. Her husband Mike recalls how she loved her classes and her classmates. “She never stopped talking about the trip she had two years ago out to the U of C for the week-long session in July.” Mike will accept the MSW degree on her behalf.

Jackie Sieppert, dean of the Faculty of Social Work, says he was proud to put forth their names to recognize their work. He reflects on both students by saying, “I knew both students well, and feel we have lost not just gifted students, but outstanding social workers. We were honoured to have both among us, even for a few years.”

 

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