Monday, April 2
2012 NASW Illinois Chapter Elections
The 2012 NASW Illinois Chapter Elections will take place from April 2–30, 2012. Keep an eye on your e-mail on April 2nd for a link to the electronic ballot.
Candi Gray (MSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; LCSW, OSW-C) is a licensed clinical social worker and member of NASW and AOSW (Association of Oncology Social Work). Candi has worked in a variety of healthcare settings, helping those impacted by various health-related problems and illnesses. Beginning her career at the City/County of San Francisco Health Department in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, Candi went on to work in the areas of geriatrics, substance abuse, medical case management, HIV/AIDS, and oncology. Currently, she works as an oncology social worker at the Community Cancer Center in Normal, IL, a comprehensive, community –based cancer care provider serving persons in Central Illinois. The Center focuses on outpatient cancer care and includes services such as medical and radiation oncology, CyberKnife service, comprehensive breast service, nutrition, community education, and offers a full complement of support services. As an oncology social worker, Candi is responsible for all clinic-wide psychosocial support services, program development and standards, evaluation, and continuous quality improvement and accreditation. Candi states, “As an oncology social worker, I have the privilege everyday to help those who are affected by cancer find the knowledge, support, and hope they will need to face the challenges and changes their diagnosis brings.” Additionally, she has been a field supervisor for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois State University’s social work programs and Illinois State University’s Child Life program.
Joseph Harper (MSW, Washington University in St. Louis; MBA; LCSW; DCSW; ACSW; CCHP; CADC) is unit director at Chester Mental Health Center, a maximum-security forensic psychiatric hospital in Chester, IL. Joe provides clinical oversight to a unit at the facility and serves on numerous committees there. He previously worked for several years as the program administrator for mental health services at Menard Correctional Center, the state’s largest maximum-security correctional facility. Joe served as a mental health consultant on the Menard Correctional Center Hostage Negotiation Team as Crisis Team Leader and chaired several other treatment committees. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and former first vice president of the NASW Illinois Chapter. He also served as chair of NASW IL Political Action Committee. He has previously served as chair of the Metro East St. Louis District and has represented the NASW Illinois Chapter at the most recent NASW Delegate Assembly. Joe has presented on the topic of services to offenders at several conferences including those held by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. Joe has also co-authored several publications in the field forensic social work practice.
Cheri Sinnott (MSW, Washington University in St. Louis; LCSW) is director of the Illinois Service Resource Center (ISRC), a statewide agency that provides behavioral support to students who are deaf and hard of hearing. She has been with ISRC since 1993. Additionally, she is an adjunct faculty member at the College of Lake County and maintains a private practice. From 2007 to 2011 she served as Northeastern District Chair for the NASW Illinois Chapter.
CHICAGO DISTRICT CHAIR
Alexander Brown (MBA, Lake Forest College; PhD, The Institute for Clinical Social Work; LCSW) is executive director and CEO of Parents Allied with Children and Teachers for Tomorrow (PACTT). The agency provides residential, educational, and vocational services to children and adults with autism in Chicago and the western suburbs. In the past, he has served as clinical director of a very large nonprofit that provides a wide range of social services in Cook and Dupage Counties; executive director of an agency that provides supportive housing to adults recovering from chronic mental illnesses; managed community-based programs that serve older adults; and hospital-based crisis intervention, outpatient therapy, and employee assistance programs. He has also served as a reviewer for the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and currently teaches graduate-level courses in human resources and nonprofit marketing at DePaul University’s School of Public Service. He has served on the board of directors of several nonprofit organizations including the Howard Brown Health Clinic, the John Howard Association (which promotes prison reform), and the NASW Illinois Chapter where he also serves as Chicago District Chair. He also serves on the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Disparities Research Task Force and as a reviewer for Cancer Control and Population Sciences grants. He presents frequently to both professional and lay audiences on a wide range of topics related to both clinical and administrative matters. He degree in social work from Simmons College and the Institute for Clinical Social Work and a masters’ degree in business from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
JANE ADDAMS DISTRICT CHAIR
Sheryl Frye (MSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; LCSW) is assistant director of counseling for Military Student Services at Northern Illinois University (NIU). She provides case management and academic support services for veterans and military students. Sheryl also serves as case manager for the student threat assessment team at NIU. She has fifteen years of social work practice experience. Her clinical experiences include individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, couples counseling, Dialectical Behavior therapy, play therapy, drama therapy, recreational therapy, and crisis intervention. She has practiced in university counseling centers, hospitals, residential treatment centers, and community agencies. Sheryl’s clinical areas of interest include PTSD, mind/body health, anxiety, and depression. Sheryl is currently pursuing her doctorate in adult and higher education at Northern Illinois University.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT CHAIR
THREE RIVERS DISTRICT CHAIR
Martha Neira (MA, University of Chicago; LCSW) has a professional life that spans over thirty years of dedicated and committed work to those whom, in many cases, cannot advocate for themselves. Martha's extensive experience includes working with multi-ethnic populations from varied socio-economic backgrounds, focusing on working with children and families involved in the child welfare system due to abuse and neglect. Martha's trajectory within DCFS took her from providing direct services to families involved with DCFS and the Juvenile Court System to becoming a unit supervisor, manager, and culminated with several years as a clinical facilitator attached to Juvenile Court to facilitate the resolution of complex cases. She retired from DCFS to continue her career as an individual psychotherapist. Presently she is an independent contractor at UCAN, providing individual therapy.
Monica Guilhot-Chartrand (MSW, University of Minnesota; LCSW) is a bilingual clinical social worker, originally from Uruguay, who has served the community as a licensed professional in the states of Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. She has practiced in the fields of behavioral health and social service with a specialization in clinical social work. She currently provides direct services through her work at Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Services, including interventions focused on interpersonal interactions, intrapsychic dynamics, and life-management issues. She also has training and experience in multicultural settings. She has practiced both in administrative and clinical capacities, ranging from program director to clinician, providing direct services to families and individuals. She has also been
community faculty for the Social Work Department at Metropolitan State University in Minnesota. Monica also enjoys working with older adults, particularly on themes related to unresolved grief and loss. Other areas of expertise include blended families and cross-cultural matters.
Kari Palishen (MSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; LCSW; ACM) is an inpatient oncology social worker at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) in Chicago, IL. Kari has worked in multiple
medical settings throughout the Peoria/Bloomington and Chicagoland areas. Kari was awarded the 2010
Northwestern Memorial Hospital Excellence in Social Work Practice Award, and participates in several committees at NMH, including past chair of the Quality Committee and active member of the Education Committee. Kari has also mentored MSW students from several accredited schools of social work and has provided LCSW supervision to MSW graduates new to the field.
Jennifer Tan currently studies at the University of Chicago where she is pursuing a dual MBA/MA from the Booth School of Business and the School of Social Service Administration. Prior to her move to Chicago, Jen worked as coordinator for the office of the Chief Development Officer of Facing History and Ourselves, an international civic education organization that develops and shares teaching strategies, curricula, and resources that encourage students to take responsibility for their world. Jen has also worked as the first International Recruiter for the William J. Clinton Foundation's HIV/AIDS and Climate Initiatives where she helped start and grow the organization's first recruitment efforts to serve and staff program teams across 70 countries. A Massachusetts native, Jen speaks Cantonese Chinese and Vietnamese. She graduated with a BA in American Civilization from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and has also studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, SAR.
Jody Blaylock is a first-year graduate student at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Jody is currently an intern at Access Living for Metropolitan Chicago where she works to move adults with disabilities out of nursing homes and into independent living. She is also administrative assistant at Community Organizing and Family Issues. In 2011, Jody graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in aging studies. Her undergraduate field placement was at Life Care Center of Orlando, a skilled nursing facility that focused on short-term rehabilitation for older adults. During her time as an undergraduate, she gained international experience through a year-long internship in South Africa and a study abroad trip to Costa Rica. Throughout college, she worked as a manager in the food service industry. Jody's current interests include poverty, inequality, and housing, particularly as these issues intersect with policy. She plans on pursuing these interests further in her second year of graduate school by studying social administration, with a focus on poverty and inequality.
Lydia Quinones is a current BSW student at Governors State University. She returned to college and majored in social work seeking a social justice program so that she could pursue her goal of advocating for better social policies co-mingled with mental health. As a non-traditional student she has finally found her vocation and passion in social work. In pursuing such a vocation she is fulfilled in knowing that the education she is receiving will be making her a more culturally competent worker in the field of social work. Her strengths as a social worker stem from being a third generation social worker. Her grandmother led the way as an emergency protective services worker for the Department of Children and Family Services in Chicago, IL. She is very proud of this legacy, and this adds to her personal strengths and perseverance in pursuing a career in social work. She also feels that the knowledge that she gained as a manager and railroad conductor prior to returning to school have assisted in her professional and personal growth. At present, she works part-time empowering individuals with physical and developmental disabilities, volunteers, is active in her hometown community government, and is a member of student government.
CHAIR, CHAPTER COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS AND LEADERSHIP IDENTITY (CCNLI)
2014 DELEGATE ASSEMBLY
Alexander Brown (MBA, Lake Forest College; PhD, The Institute for Clinical Social Work; LCSW) is executive director and CEO of Parents Allied with Children and Teachers for Tomorrow (PACTT). The agency provides residential, educational, and vocational services to children and adults with autism in Chicago and the western suburbs. In the past, he served as clinical director of a very large nonprofit that provides a wide range of social services in Cook and DuPage Counties; executive director of an agency that provides supportive housing to adults recovering from chronic mental illnesses; managed community-based programs that serve older adults; and hospital-based crisis intervention, outpatient therapy, and employee assistance programs. He has also served as a reviewer for the Council on Accreditation (COA) and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and currently teaches graduate-level courses in human resources and nonprofit marketing at DePaul University’s School of Public Service. He has served on the boards of directors of several nonprofit organizations including the Howard Brown Health Clinic, the John Howard Association (which promotes prison reform), and the NASW Illinois Chapter where he also serves as Chicago District Chair. He also serves on the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Disparities Research Task Force and as a reviewer for Cancer Control and Population Sciences grants. He presents frequently to both professional and lay audiences on a wide range of topics related to both clinical and administrative matters.
Mary Garrison (MSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; LCSW; ACSW) is associate professor of social work at Millikin University. Courses taught by Mary include human behavior and the social environment; practice with diverse populations; social work ethics; community mental health; introduction to the helping professions; and an international travel course (social policy in Ireland). Additionally, Mary is adjunct faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign teaching generalist practice and mental health policy courses. Mary has had extensive practice experience in the social work field, with over fifteen years of practice in mental health services. Mary is currently 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. Mary serves as advisor to several committees and participates on a number of boards including the National Alliance on Mental Illness Illinois State Board, Mental Health Association of Macon County, and the governing board of the Macon County Homeless Council. Mary is the current NASW Illinois chapter East Central District Chair and has previously acted as a Delegate Assembly Member and as the East Central District Nomination Committee Chair. Mary was the recipient of the Social Worker of the Year Award for the NASW East Central District as well as the state of Illinois in 2011, and was also awarded the Cesar Chavez Social Justice Award from Millikin University.
Don Phelps (PhD, University of Illinois; MSW, Aurora University) is a licensed clinical social worker and currently a tenured associate professor in the School of Social Work at Aurora University. During the last twenty-five years, Don has worked as a youth and family therapist, clinical director, chief operating officer, and executive director.
Chasity Wells-Armstrong (MSW, Governors State University; CADC) has several years of public/community service within community agencies and organizations. She is an advanced social work practitioner and has been active in her professional organization for several years. Currently she is serving her second term on the NASW Illinois Chapter Board of Directors as Calumet District Chair. Recently, Chasity was selected by the board to serve on the NASW Illinois Political Action Committee (NASW IL PAC), was one of four social workers awarded the 2011 Emerging Leader in Social Work, and was one of the 600 social workers in the nation selected to attend the 2010 Social Work Congress. She serves as an Advisory Board Member for both Governors State University and Trinity Christian College. Furthermore, Chasity serves in the Kankakee Branch of the NAACP. As a member of the executive committee for the Kankakee NAACP Branch, Chasity has worked to support several committees and was recently appointed as education chair. Moreover, Chasity serves as a member of the Zonta Club of Kankakee which is affiliated with Zonta International, an organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of women worldwide. She has served on the Legislative Awareness and Advocacy Committee, collaborating with the state of Illinois and coordinating the 2011 Rescue and Restore Event. In addition to community obligations, Chasity served six years on the school board for Bishop McNamara Catholic High School. She has worked in state government for both the Illinois Departments of Developmental Disabilities and Employment Security.