June 21, 2017

For the first time, the University of Washington won a prestigious international Grand Gold Award for its multi-media story, “Seeds of Hope,” profiling School of Social Work alumnus Christopher Brown (MSW ’16) and the organization he founded, Growing Veterans, while still a student.

The Circle of Excellence competition, sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Council for Advancement and Support of Education, reviewed entries submitted by member educational institutions around the world. Of the more than 3,360 entries that CASE received for the 2017 competition, only 16 Grand Golds were awarded. 

“We’re thrilled that this international award recognizes the amazing work of a distinguished alum,” said School of Social Work Dean Eddie Uehara. “All of us at the School feel privileged to be able to tell the stories of our graduates who are doing such extraordinary work and creating change on a very real level.”  

“Seeds of Hope” describes the positive impact Brown’s nonprofit, Growing Veterans, has on the lives of returning veterans. Brown, a former Marine who served three tours of duty, discovered that his battalion had a suicide rate four times greater than that of all young male veterans. As part of his own healing process, he began to explore ways to transform the lives of veterans suffering from mild traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder through sustainable farming and community involvement.

Join with more than 24,000 viewers and watch the video of MSW graduate Christopher Brown. 

“When I first spoke with Chris about his work,” says Bruce Betz, School communications director, “I realized the impact he was having on so many fronts: mental health, suicide prevention, veterans care and community farming. He is a true social innovator. The UW communications team loved the idea of highlighting Chris and developed a stunning online portrayal of his passion for service, using video, text and graphics.” 

The Grand Gold Award for “Seeds of Hope” is the second recognition from CASE this year for a School-related communication. The School also received a Silver Award for Best Practices in Communications and Marketing for its annual report, Igniting Social Change. This is a regional award from CASE’s District VIII with 152 member colleges, universities and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.