A College of Social Work Legend: Betty Piccard
Elizabeth Koalska Piccard, better known as Betty, was a valued faculty member of the College of Social Work from 1965 until 1993, serving for many years as the Undergraduate Program Director. Recently, on August 29, 2013 she died peacefully in her sleep in Tallahassee, a place she called home since 1953.
Betty was born (January 10, 1925) and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota, and earned her MSW soon afterwards. During World War II, she served as part of the U.S. Navy's WAVES program (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Immediately following the war, she married Paul Piccard and in 1953 they moved to Tallahassee, Florida. As soon as the youngest of her five children entered school Betty began working for Leon County Mental Health Association and joined the FSU School of Social Work in 1965. She was a vital member of the faculty, positively impacting colleagues, students, and the community alike.
She was also an early member of the League of Women Voters and a lifelong dedicated feminist. Betty taught women's issues courses for many years, helping students to appreciate the complexity of women's developmental issues and the effects of sexism on women of all ages. She also wrote Introduction to Social Work: A Primer. She took special interest in teaching undergraduate social work students and even set up the Koalska Scholarship for undergraduate students whose parents did not attend college and demonstrated financial need.
"Betty Piccard was a model of excellence in social work practice and education," Dean Nick Mazza said about his long-standing friend and colleague. "Her lifelong commitment to advancing the rights of women and girls forms a legacy to what we hold paramount in our College and the profession."
Although Betty retired in 1993, she remained an active member of the College of Social Work and the FSU community up until her health prevented her participation.
To donate to the Koalska Scholarship or other social work student scholarships, contact Colette Podgorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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