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Monday, October 3

NASW Illinois Statewide Awards 2011

Nina Nguyen, NASW Illinois Chapter Manager of Communications

After a much deliberation over a deep pool of nominated district award winners, the NASW Illinois Chapter has selected its 2011 Statewide Award winners. Congratulations to this year’s winners who work every day to make a difference in the social work field as well as with the clients they serve. A special thanks also to the NASW Illinois Chapter Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identity (CCNLI) for making the difficult decision of choosing this year’s winners!

Social Worker of the Year
Mary Garrison, MSW, LSCW, ACSW, is currently assistant professor of social work at Millikin University and adjunct faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mary has had extensive practice experience in the social work field, with over fifteen years of practice in mental health services. She is also a part-time private practitioner at Decatur Psychological Associates. Throughout her career, Mary has served as a therapist, clinical supervisor, manager, consultant, child development specialist, and victim/witness advocate. Mary has been active in providing continuing education opportunities for colleagues through professional workshops, presentations, and trainings domestically and internationally.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Richard L. Jones, PhD, currently serves as president emeritus for Metropolitan Family Services. Previously, Richard served as president of the Center for Families and Children in Cleveland, Ohio and executive director of Boston Children’s Services in Boston, Massachusetts. Richard completed his master’s and PhD in social work administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western Reserve University. Previous leadership responsibilities have included serving on the board of directors of Leadership Cleveland and the Cleveland United Way; co-chairing the International Year of the Family; and serving as chair of the Commission on Chemical Dependency and Child Welfare for the Child Welfare League of America. Metropolitan Family Services was recipient of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Award in 2006 and was presented the Alford-Axelson Nonprofit Managerial Excellence Award in 2007 by North Park University.

Public Citizen of the Year
Benjamin S. Wolf, JD, is an attorney who has served as director and chief legal counsel of the ACLU of Illinois' Institutionalized Persons Project since 1984. The Illinois Institutionalized Persons Project provides legal representation to Illinois residents of prisons, jails, mental health centers, and developmental centers and institutions for children such as group homes and foster homes. He supervises the project's legal and educational work and provides legal backup on such issues for the ACLU's lobbyist in Springfield. A native of Evanston, Wolf received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Ben served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge James B. Moran in the Northern District of Illinois from 1979 through 1980. Prior to joining the ACLU legal staff, Wolf was a litigation associate at the law firm of Jenner & Block in Chicago from 1980 to 1984.

Legislative Award
Illinois Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Illinois State Representative Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood) are honored for their efforts in repealing Public Act 96-1543, a landmark legislation repealing the death penalty in Illinois. As key sponsors of the bill, Senator Raoul and State Representative Yarbrough championed (and ultimately saw passed) a bill that NASW Illinois supported yet seen fail numerous times previous.

These individuals, as well as the 2011 Emerging Leaders, will be honored at an awards reception at this year’s 2011 NASW Illinois Chapter Statewide Conference on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Oak Brook, IL, from 4:00 to 6:00pm.

To attend this year’s statewide conference for an opportunity to earn up to 18 continuing education units (CEUs), register online here.

For a look at the 2010 Statewide Awardees, click here.

Posted on 10/03/11 at 10:16 AM


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