Learn more about our 2023 Field Instructor of the Year: Heather Eller-Gilman! Heather is a Readjustment Counselor at the Lincoln Vet Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, and has worked with Veterans for more than a decade, in positions that advocate, engage in case management, and provide evidence-based therapies.
Learn more about our Task Supervisor of the Year: Sarah Pedrotti!
What is the spirit of social work? By our definition, it is Anais Tello, the 2022 Alicia Martinez BSW Spirit of Social Work Award recipient.
Anais, who recently graduated from the Garland School of Social Work with her BSW, is someone you would call a true advocate for others who has used her own story to develop a passion for social work and a deep desire to see prison reforms and improve recidivism. As a child, Anais was introduced to social work through her school social worker who would pray daily for Anais’ safety…it was in this space she developed her calling to help others just as this social worker had helped her.
Why did you choose social work? Would you say social work is your “calling”? If so, why?
After adopting my sister in 2017, I gained a love for counseling and an admiration for what social workers did for families and clients. I knew that I wanted to do for others what was done for me: comfort, aid, acknowledgment, and so much more. Every day through my classes here at the GSSW I felt affirmed in my choice of major. Not only was the content exciting but has encouraged me to find social work in all aspects of my life. The professors and peers that I have come alongside these four years have also added to my love of Social Work and my experience in growing through education. All have shown what social work is in every facet of living, whether it be through advocation, support of each other, new ideas or perspectives, and so much more. Social work has been such a blessing and constant within my time here at Baylor and I am excited for what is to come through obtaining my MSW.
Briana Fowler is a first-generation college student from Austin, Texas, who, in her words, is a work in progress just trying to be a better version of herself every day…so much so that she has a tattoo that says it. And she is the 2022 Alicia Martinez MSW Spirit of Social Work Award winner.
The Spirit of Social Work award is intended for students who embody the spirit of social work through engagement in and beyond the classroom, and who demonstrate a commitment to the values of the profession, and last year it was renamed to honor MSW student Alicia Martinez who lost her battle with COVID-19. Alicia was such a shining example of the spirit of social work both in and out of the classroom, and it only seemed fitting to honor her legacy in the profession through this award and judging by the words of one of Briana Fowler’s recommenders, Briana could not have been a better choice for of this award.
Meet Geneece Goertzen, the 2022 MSW Community Practice Intern of the Year. Geneece is a May 2022 graduate who hopes to work with domestic violence survivors, to work with clergy and congregations around the topic of domestic abuse, and to one day go back to school and get her PhD. Her internship sites included Calvary Baptist Church and the GSSW's Center for Church and Community Impact. #sicem, Geneece!
Pope Francis once said, “Go and show love to everyone, because your life is a precious mission: it is not a burden to be borne, but a gift to offer.” And when you meet our 2022 MSW Outstanding Student Trinity Martinez, you know no other mantra could better describe her.
Trinity is an advanced standing student from San Antonio, Texas, but has lived all over the US and has traveled the world through mission work and study abroad programs, including countries such as Lithuania, Jamaica, Italy and Ireland. All of these experiences contributed to her ability to adapt well to change and exposed her to many cultures and diversity at a formative age. Today, she is a natural leader, committed to speaking up for others and standing up for what she believes.
From a family of educators arises Micaela Jones—emerging social worker. This graduating senior originally thought she would continue the “Jones legacy” as a teacher until she began student teaching and realized that many times, the “home prevented students from being able to thrive in the classroom.” Couple that with a heart for justice, and it became clear that social work was the correct path for Micaela to pursue so that she could impact change at a larger systemic level. It was this passion that earned Micaela the title of BSW Outstanding Student of the year!
From the Dean
Welcome to Community Connection online!
JON E. SINGLETARY | DEAN, GARLAND SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
I am excited to welcome you to Community Connection online magazine. This digital publication highlights everything that makes this vibrant, creative community so special: our students, our alumni, our faculty and staff, our research, our partners and the communities we serve.
Here you will find stories showcasing the work, events, activities and accomplishments of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. These stories are a snapshot of who we are, the heartbeat of our beloved school. They celebrate the accomplishments of our staff, the diligence of our faculty, the contributions of our students, and the generosity of our donors. If you find our stories valuable, inspiring or informative, please share them!
I am grateful for all the time, energy and resources you pour into our school. The work we do here and in partnership with people and organizations from all over the world is about making a real difference, a true impact. This is the heart of our mission, and I pray you will continue to partner with us on this journey. You enrich our lives in so many ways, and we love to share our stories with you!
We look forward to staying connected with you, and as always, we encourage to stop by and say hello if you are ever in town.