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April 13, 2016

Asbury University alumna Charlotte Hiler ’12 Easley receiving an award
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (left) and Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton (right) present the KASAP Innovative Program Award to Charlotte Hiler ’12 Easley

WILMORE, Ky. — Charlotte Hiler ’12 Easley, an alumna of Asbury University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program, recently received the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programming’s (KASAP) Innovative Program Award for her work with equine assisted therapy.

Presented by Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton and Attorney General Andy Beshear, the award was part of Governor Matt Bevin’s proclamation ceremony designating April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Kentucky.

The award honors Easley’s work with EASTT (Equine Assisted Survivors of Trauma Therapy), a program she developed while she was a student at Asbury. Joined by a team of credentialed therapists, Easley created a therapy model that has provided services for survivors of rape and sexual violence for the last six years.

“It uses the powerful partnership with horses and humans to address issues such as relationships, boundaries, self-worth and problem-solving skills in a real-time setting,” Easley said. “One thing that is so strong about EASTT is that it it is based on collaboration within the community, involving Asbury’s MSW Program, Bluegrass Rape Crisis (BRCC) and Central Kentucky Riding For Hope (CKRH). Asbury’s gift to me was allowing me the opportunity to marry  two things I felt passionate about to facilitate something unique that has been a blessing.”

Now a practicing private therapist in Lexington, Ky., Easley credits Asbury’s MSW program with giving her the resources and support she needed to make a difference through social work. 

“The biggest piece for me was being able to incorporate faith and clinical knowledge to facilitate the healing process,” Easley said. “Spirituality can be such an important component of healing for survivors, but a very hard piece to address at points.”

A non-traditional student, Easley began her master’s program at Asbury after her youngest son went to college. A “non-negotiable” for the next phase of her life was a strong integration of faith and work — and she found what she was looking for at Asbury. 

“When I looked at Asbury’s program, the foundation of spirituality as the lens through which you do your work was huge,” Easley said. “Social work is not an easy field. It takes a strong sense of why you are doing the work, and for me, the ‘why’ was a desire to somehow help women who were struggling in their stories, who had lost their sense of who they were created to be. Asbury’s program really encourages you to think about your worldview and your spiritual foundation — not just what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it. To be able to express and explore that at Asbury was huge.”

Did you know? Outstanding Social Work students at Asbury have the opportunity to be inducted into the Phi Alpha National Honor Society, an organization providing a closer bond among students of social work and promoting humanitarian goals and ideals. On April 4, 10 undergraduate students and 21 MSW students were inducted into Asbury’s Phi Chi chapter of the Phi Alpha National Honors Society.

 

To learn more about Asbury’s MSW program, visit: asbury.edu/msw