School of Social Work graduates change makers - King's Herald spring 2010

School of Social Work graduates change makers - King's Herald spring 2010

The following is an excerpt from the spring 2010 edition of the King's Herald.

Across disciplines, across Canada and around the world, King’s alumni are making a difference, in the communities they serve and in academe. Among our most dynamic change makers are graduates from the King’s School of Social Work.

The School of Social Work was established more than 40 years ago with the mission to provide a learning environment characterized by teaching excellence and the development of principled and competent professional practitioners who recognize the interrelatedness of human needs, social structures and oppressive conditions in their work with diverse populations and who want to help people live better lives.

Each March, the School hosts Social Work Week, sponsored by the Association of Social Work Field Practice Educators and the Ontario Association of Social Workers (Western Branch). This year’s theme was Poverty: Voices Across the Lifespan with keynote speaker Marvyn Novick, Professor Emeritus of Social Work at Ryerson University. Dr. Novick addressed the prevailing understandings and approaches to poverty, including the Ontario strategy, and outlined basic policies essential to poverty eradication. A panel was also held in which two of our alumni participated: Trevor Johnson ’06, City of London, and Heather Barclay ’95, Family Service Thames Valley.

Several of our Social Work alumni have returned to King’s to share their professional experience with the next generation of social workers, faculty members like Professor Judith Belle Brown ’74, Assistant Professor Laura Lewis ’87, Instructors Carole Echlin ’88, Rhonda Hallberg ’79, Andrew Mantulak ’91, Amanda Topham ’89, Rebecca Vann ’86 and Nancy Wardrop ’81. The Coordinator of Field Instruction, Suzanne Book, BSW ’83, MSW ’07, is featured in this issue of the King’s Herald.

An even greater number of King’s graduates are distinguishing themselves through their professional efforts to eliminate injustices in the world. Let me share with you but a few examples: Chris Morris ’96 is involved with the John Howard Society, an organization committed to understanding and responding to issues of crime and the criminal justice system; Leonard Kushnier ’79 and Chantel Cassidy ’03 are part of a long-line of graduates working with the London Children’s Aid Society, protecting and caring for children at risk and promoting the healthy development of children, families and communities.

In this issue, you will also read about Karen McLennan ’81 who has worked for many years by the adage that we need to give people “wings, not chains,” to empower them to live lives of fulfillment. Finally, I hope you enjoy reading about Dr. Richard Vedan ’68, who teaches at the University of British Columbia on cross-cultural issues, literacy, and the unique needs of First Nations individuals and communities in health and social development, child protection, corrections and in post-secondary education.

At King’s, we are very proud of our School of Social Work and the transformative work of our graduates here in our immediate community and across the country.

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