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Monday, April 2

2018 NASW-Illinois Chapter Elections


The 2018 NASW-Illinois Chapter Elections will take place from April 130, 2018. Keep an eye on your e-mail on April 5th for a link to the electronic ballot. Be sure to have your selections prepared before opening the electronic ballot.




PRESIDENT-ELECT (One-year term followed by two-year term as president

Grisel Rodriguez-Morales (MSW, Loyola University Chicago; LCSW) works at Rush University Medical Center – Department of Social Work and Community Health as manager of health promotion programs, overseeing Rush Generations, a wellness membership program for adults and caregivers that provides access to a wealth of information and resources geared toward aging and improved health and function. With experience in aging and mental health, Grisel has worked in interprofessional health care teams and with individuals and families of diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, economic, and other diverse backgrounds. She has offered cultural competency training to health care and social services providers. As faculty of the NASW Supervisory Leaders in Aging (SLA) Program, Grisel engaged trainees in learning ways to promote culturally competent gerontological practice. Grisel also holds an academic appointment as instructor to the adjunct faculty in the Rush University (RU) College of Nursing – Department of Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing. As part of the faculty involved in Interprofessional Education (IPE) at Rush University, Grisel manages the Health Mentor Program, a volunteer program of adults with multiple chronic conditions that help RU graduate students better understand the psychosocial factors involved in health self-management. Coaching, teaching, and fostering collaborations are some of the areas of great interest to Grisel. She also loves pausing to spend quality time with her husband and their children. Grisel is past chair of the NASW-Illinois Chicago District.


SECRETARY (Two-year term)

Hilary Edgerly (MSW, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; LCSW) has spent her career serving veterans and their families. She began her career at VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Illinois, shortly after graduate school. She has experience in many program areas including care management and long-term care, with special emphasis on dementia care, acute medicine, home care, primary care, and returning combat veterans programs. In 2011 Hilary began supervising social workers in those areas as well as those in the Visual Impairment Service Team, Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Program, Caregiver Support Program, and Palliative Care Program. In November 2016 Hilary was detailed to the role of acting chief of the Social Work Service and continues in that role today. As acting chief she has administrative and clinical oversight and responsibility for over 50 social workers, nurses, and support staff who provide care to veterans in outpatient, inpatient, and community settings. Hilary has extensive experience in policy/program development and management, advocacy, accreditation and survey readiness, system redesign and process improvement, clinical supervision (including development of social work Simulation Lab for MSW students), and continuing education workshop development and presentation. She has worked on numerous local, state, and national workgroups and task forces to decrease psychosocial barriers to care for veterans and their caregivers.


MEMBER AT-LARGE (Two-year term)

Alison Leipsiger (MSW, Washington University; LSW) is executive director of Reimagine Illinois, a new policy and advocacy organization affiliated with the State Innovation Exchange. Alison comes from state government where she served as legislative director for Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss. Alison studied human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned an MSW at Washington University in St. Louis, focusing on economic and urban development. Prior to graduate school she served one year in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. Alison previously worked for the Heartland Alliance and Forefront, is on the Turning Point Behavioral Health Center Advisory Council, and serves on the University of Illinois’ College of ACES Alumni Board of Directors. Alison was the recipient of the 2016 NASW-Illinois Chapter Emerging Leader Award and currently serves on NASW-Illinois Chapter’s PAC Endorsement Board.

Christine Escobar-Sawicki (AM, The University of Chicago) has worked in direct practice in child welfare settings for 15 years. This combined with her work as a social work educator has provided Christine with the knowledge and experience and willingness to make a contribution to the very important work of NASW. In her role as faculty liaison Christine interacts with agencies around the state, giving her an opportunity to learn about the needs of social workers and the day-to-day challenges they face, particularly with the state’s budget issues and drastic funding cuts. Through her work, Christine strongly believes it is imperative the social work profession be led by an organization which is responsive and vocal about the concerning efforts to disempower the most vulnerable of our society. Likewise, it is vital NASW be the strong voice needed at the forefront of identifying strategies to help social workers enhance their personal resilience and advance the profession. Finally, as a mother of a child with special needs, Christine has had the privilege of benefiting from the dedication and support of wonderful social workers who have truly made a difference in many ways. As member at-large, Christine would bring her knowledge, skills, passion, and dedication to the role to support the efforts of all social workers and future social workers throughout the state and work diligently to give back to those who are constantly giving to others.



Tasheika Nash (MSW Student, Aurora University) she has been volunteering for the past two and a half years as a Will County CASA advocate, acting in the best interest of the children. In May 2017, she became the EAP Representative at Navistar where she has worked for the last 20 years. In December 2017, she successfully completed her foundation internship at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, working in the inpatient psychiatric unit. During her internship, Tasheika was able to attain many skills that may be utilized throughout her social work career. She was able to understand the importance of human rights and the need for healthcare for everyone. Tasheika is currently the NASW-Illinois Chapter Liaison for Aurora University. Tasheika is also continuously seeking to gain more skills and broaden her education. She is a Labor Assistance Professional (LAP) member, and she gains expertise in the field of EAP by attending their monthly training sessions. Tasheika is a member of NIEAPA, an organization that is dedicated to the advocacy for and the promotion of employee assistance and other workplace-based behavioral health, substance abuse, and organizational consultation services.

Stephen Hale (MSW Student, Governors State University) is currently pursuing an MSW with a concentration in holistic alternatives. While at Governors State University, Stephen has accelerated academically, earning him membership into the Phi Alpha Honors Social Work Society. Stephen currently serves as the NASW-Illinois Chapter student liaison to Governors State University. In this role, Stephen works with NASW-IL and GSU to coordinate efforts to make Advocacy Day on the hill success, with as much student participation as possible. Stephen earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2013. Since that time Stephen has worked in residential facilities as a case manager for juvenile sex offenders and in skilled nursing facilities as a psychosocial rehabilitation counselor conducting group and grief counseling. Stephen currently interns at the Will County Health Department where he performs therapy and symptom management for adolescents with severe mental illness. Stephen is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He volunteers with the Young Women’s Christian Association as a medical advocate for survivors of sexual assault and with People of Extraordinary Talent (P.O.E.T.) as a youth mentor and community outreach member.



Julia Swanson (BSW Student, Olivet Nazarene University) was not always so certain of her life calling. Originally a nonprofit business major, Julia always desired to make the world a better place and knew that helping others was her primary goal. As she became more aware of multi-systemic social issues, Julia began searching for a profession that could have direct impact on the well-being of the lives of individuals. With the Gallup's Strengths of restorative, belief, consistency, harmony, and discipline, Julia felt at home once discovering the option of social work. While pursuing social work, Julia enjoys studying areas of special interest such as mental health, poverty alleviation, and community development. Julia firmly believes that social work has always been her professional calling and is passionate about uncovering the social work field to new students on her college campus, Olivet Nazarene University (ONU). While serving as the networker and NASW Student Representative on the Diakonia Social Work Council at ONU, Julia has enjoyed the ability to connect students with resources and opportunities in the profession. As teaching assistant for the Department of Social Work and Criminal Justice at ONU, Julia has continued developing her professional life in social work  while appreciating further opportunities to engage with both students and faculty.



Latesha Newson (MSW, Governors State University; LCSW) is a therapeutic consultant and therapist. She is a fierce advocate for children and families in the child welfare system and works diligently to protect and empower the clients she serves. Latesha also serves as a renal social worker providing support and resources to patients impacted by chronic or end-stage renal disease. She is committed to advocacy, social justice, and humanitarian efforts. Latesha has been instrumental in the following service projects: bringing community awareness to domestic violence and “The Ban the Box” initiative for returning citizens impacted by mass incarceration. Latesha embodies servant leadership as a Graduate Leadership Scholar and was voted Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year (2015). She has served in many leadership positions at the academic level: Governors State University Liaison for the NASW-Illinois Chapter, MSW President of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, and Public Relations Officer of the Governors State Social Work Student Organization. Latesha strongly believes in leading with integrity, compassion, and hard work. If elected, Latesha will utilize her knowledge, skills, and experience to empower and enhance other social workers in the field as well as work to influence societal change within the state of Illinois.

Krista Woods (MSW, University of Illinois at Chicago; LCSW) has worked in the field of social work/social service for over 20 years. She has worked in senior leadership and direct service in her various positions. Her dedication and high level of professionalism and ethics spans services in child welfare, inpatient and community mental health, and managed care. She is currently founder and president of Integrity Clinical Consulting and Training in Homewood, IL, which provides training and clinical therapy services; many of her clients receive Medicaid benefits and are of color and/or are members of the LGBTQ community. She is licensed as a continuing education provider and conducts trainings in Illinois and across the United States on ethics, cultural competence, and other topics. Many of her trainings focus on professional and firsthand experiences being a person of color, and working in and with marginalized and oppressed individuals, families, and communities. Her passion in training and education is to help social workers better understand impacts of various forms of racism and oppression, and how to use our privilege as social workers to help others and to work toward greater institutional changes in society. She was instrumental in developing and leading integrated care teams in the state’s Medicaid expansion program and created a statewide mobile mental health crisis protocol for Medicaid managed care plans in partnership with community mental health centers. She wishes to continue to provide leadership by serving as the Calumet District Chair and working with NASW members to navigate social work education and practice in challenging social/political times using various modern mediums.



Natalie Bui (MSW, New York University; LCSW) is a licensed clinical social worker with nearly a decade of clinical and administrative social work experience in a variety of community, school, healthcare, and government settings. She currently serves as grant and per diem liaison in the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans program at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. She is responsible for the oversight, transitional housing, supportive services, and care coordination provided to veterans who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless in the Grant and Per Diem Transition in Place program. Natalie has extensive experience providing a full range of mental health services and treatment to diverse populations, as well as experience developing, managing, and evaluating programs. She has a strong history and interest in developing and maintaining effective partnerships with nongovernmental organizations, community providers, local, state, and federal agencies, and other stakeholders to address, facilitate, and solve pressing social issues that impact the community. Natalie earned her master’s of social work from New York University Silver School of Social Work with concentrations in mental health and international development. She also received her bachelor of arts in social work and minor in women’s studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and holds a certificate in gender and development studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India.

Rosanelly Garcia (MSW, Loyola University Chicago; LCSW) has been committed to providing support, guidance, and direct service to survivors of trauma within the community. As an advocate and proponent for the rights of at-risk youth and adults, Rosanelly collaborates with community partners and organizations to create opportunities as well as facilitate access to resources that support the fulfillment of client goals. Working on the front line with vulnerable populations has allowed Rosanelly to have unique insight into the difficulties faced by the individuals she has served. Rosanelly has over 8 years of experience working in a variety of settings and diverse clients. She holds a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in children and families from Loyola University Chicago. Her professional background and passion to serve the community has granted her the ability to work closely with individuals impacted by immigration, recidivism, homelessness, domestic violence, and trafficking, to name a few.



Patricia Schofield (MSW, Aurora University; LCSW; CADC) started her career as a hairdresser where she learned the importance of listening and guiding others to positive outcomes. Her success gave her the confidence to return to school to gain a social work degree. Even though she was referred to as a nontraditional student, she graduated magna cum laude and went on to earn her MSW, LCSW, and CADC. Patricia started her career in 1992 as a mental health and substance abuse therapist but went on to gain a school social work endorsement. She first worked in Carpentersville District #300. A family move brought her to BlackHawk Area Special Education District, followed by a move to Bureau Marshall Putnam Special Education District. She ended her school career by retiring from Princeton District #115. She has served on the local area land committee (LAN) and was a district board member for the school social workers organization (IASSW). In 2000 she opened a state-licensed mental health and substance treatment facility in Princeton. She was owner and clinical director of this successful agency until she sold it in June 2014. Since that time she has enjoyed retirement.



No candidates were submitted by the election slate deadline. 

Posted on 04/02/18 at 09:00 AM


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