Three Social Work Students Named CWPEP Stipend Recipients

November 16, 2023

The 2023-2024 Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program recipients are (left to right): Kyra Hussey, Okeene junior; Mickenzie Turner, Enid junior; and Melanie Yager, Woodward senior.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Department of Social Work has named three students as stipend recipients of the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP) for the 2023-24 academic year.

The recipients are Kyra Hussey, junior at the Enid campus from Okeene; Mickenzie Turner, junior at the Enid campus from Enid; and Melanie Yager, senior at the Woodward campus from Woodward.

CWPEP provides funds for students who plan careers in child welfare services in Oklahoma. The stipends are awarded to full-time students majoring in social work and provide money toward educational expenses to participating students. Students who receive the stipends complete educational internships in child welfare agencies within the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS). Upon graduation, students are assured employment in the participating DHS programs. 

"I'm so thankful to be given this opportunity,” Hussey said. “This program will greatly benefit my education and my future as a professional social worker.”

“I am honored to be selected for CWPEP,” Turner said. “I chose the social work program to be able to help people and make a difference. I am ready to start this journey in the area of child welfare and advance my professional skills.”

"I feel so honored to be chosen to participate in CWPEP,” Yager said. “I am excited for this opportunity to serve the families and children within my community. I can't wait to start my practicum at DHS and be able to apply the skills I have acquired in the NWOSU social work program.” 

CWPEP is a Title IV-E partnership between the University of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Council, and Social Work Education (CSWE) in accredited social work programs in Oklahoma. 

The University of Oklahoma manages the child welfare consortium. Other partners along with Northwestern include East Central University and Oral Roberts University. Funding for the educational program is provided by Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, called the Child Welfare Training Program. 

“The social work program is proud to administer the CWPEP program and play an essential role in securing and retaining quality social workers in the public child welfare system,” Dr. Kylene Rehder, department of social work chair, CWPEP coordinator, and professor of social work, said. “CWPEP at Northwestern has graduated 22 students, resulting in $170,000 awarded in educational assistance.” 

For more information on Northwestern’s Department of Social Work, contact Rehder at (580) 327-8135 or


Sean J. Doherty, University Relations Specialist, 580-327-8480

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Phone: (580) 327-1700

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