Chapter Update

Tuesday, February 9

2010 Emerging Leaders, Chapter Board meeting, Membership Task Force and immigration advocacy

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, CAE
Executive Director

Chapter Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identity (CCNLI)

For those of us that are referred to as “seasoned” social workers, this past Thursday night’s Emerging Leaders Awards Dinner was extremely gratifying.   We initiated this recognition last year. Our four Awardees are all “early” career social workers who have demonstrated exemplary leadership, expertise, and dedication to the profession in the state of Illinois, whose contributions enhance practice knowledge and/or the capacity of the profession and the human service to obtain resources and influence.  They have all demonstrated excellence in a variety of areas, including public or nonprofit agency-based practice, policy/legislative advocacy, academia, resource development and administration. 

All four of the awardees not only are “emerging” but have emerged in many ways as the future of our profession in Illinois.  We look forward to the awardees pursuing additional leadership positions in the Illinois Chapter in the future. The following are short bios of our accomplished 2010 awardees.

Sara Johnson, MSW, PhD, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with over ten years of administrative and clinical experience. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Augustana College and her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings including a child welfare agency, a therapeutic day school, a substance abuse program, and outpatient counseling centers. In addition, she has been an adjunct professor in the social work program at Loyola University.

Sara has focused much of her work and published articles on how to best support youth impacted by the child welfare system. She also has extensive experience coordinating and evaluating services for children and families in the foster care system, as well as providing supportive services to individuals with special needs and disabilities. She is currently the Program Director for Respite and Mentoring Services at Jewish Child and Family Services.

Erin C. Vogt, MSW, MA, LCSW, ACSW, CCM, CSW-G,  holds a master’s degree in social work from Aurora University as well as a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University. Erin is an active member of numerous local aging coalitions and professional aging-related organizations. Her passion for the older adult population resulted in a specialty certification in geriatric social work from the National Association on Social Workers. Most recently she served as the manager of the Alexian Brothers Hospital Network’s Resource Center for Seniors and coordinated the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and People who have Low Vision Program. She is adjunct assistant professor at Lewis University in the Department of Criminal/Social Justice and Public Safety Studies and at Aurora University School of Social Work. Erin and her husband, Peter, have two children: five-year old Johnathan and two-year old, Hailey Rose.

Mackenzi Huyser (PhD, 2004, Andrews University; MSW, 2000, Grand Valley State University), serves as professor and chair of the social work department at Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, IL. After serving as a practitioner in the field of child welfare, she moved to Illinois to develop a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program at Trinity. The program was granted initial accreditation in 2005 and was reaffirmed in 2009 by the Council on Social Work Education. She currently teaches courses in policy and research. In addition to her teaching responsibilities Mackenzi is involved in scholarship and service. She recently published an article on the New Monastic Movement in Social Work and Christianity and contributed decision cases in Thinking like a practitioner: Decision cases for generalist practice. She serves as Director of Assessment for the college and is part of the leadership team preparing for a Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Visit.

Abby Kiddy, MSW, LCSW, received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Illinois State University and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois. Abby is an active member of NASW, and currently serves as Nominations Committee Representative in the East Central District. She is also Vice President of the EAPA Central Illinois Chapter. Abby has worked in several areas of mental health including as a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, a residential specialist, an on-call crisis intervention therapist, as well as an EAP case manager. She is currently the EAP Triage Coordinator at Chestnut Health Systems in Bloomington, IL.

On Friday, the Chapter Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting in Chicago.  In addition to approving the FY2009 Chapter audit, the Board also established a Membership Task Force.  A membership projection report was presented to the Board, the aim of which is to project changes in membership and income related to membership for the next 10 years, from FY2011 through FY2020.  Overall the data indicates a decline in membership. The task force will looking at this new reality of our membership situation and develop future steps to sustain and increase membership. Its report will be presented at the June Chapter Board of Directors meeting.

In the afternoon, Lawrence Benito, Deputy Director of the Illinois Coalition of Immigration and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and Monika Starczuk, Field Coordinator, New Americans Initiative at ICIRR gave a presentation to the Board. Lawrence discussed building support for workable comprehensive immigration reform.  ICIRR’s vision of reform is immigrants and native-born U.S. citizens working shoulder to shoulder to achieve an immigration system that benefits all in our economy. Lawrence also provided Chapter leadership some relevant statistics on Illinois immigrants by immigration status.  In the state of Illinois the total foreign-born population is 1,700,000 persons, of which 425,000 are undocumented, 500,000 are legal residents, 735,000 are naturalized citizens and 1,500,000 are US born children of immigrants. Monika discussed the importance of the New Americans in the 2010 Census.  The New Americans Initiative (NAI) is administered by the ICIRR in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services.  There are significant fiscal consequences to the State if an accurate count is not achieved.  She noted that mere 3% increase in some undercounted communities could mean a financial return to the state of over $23,394,000 per year ($234 million over the next ten years).   Each person counted means $1,114 to the state per year from the federal government.


Joel L. Rubin, MSW, CAE, has served as executive director of the 7,000 member Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) since October 1999. He has over twenty-five years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience including extensive work with boards of directors, committees and volunteers, and advocacy around a wide variety of social work, human service, and international political issues. Joel is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Fellowship Leadership Program and a current adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work as well as Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work.

Posted on 02/09/10 at 03:27 PM


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