My office is filled with a variety of items such as awards, pictures, memorabilia, my Social Work License and diplomas, including a “BSW” diploma from Nazareth College, which represents one of the most significant achievements of my career. It has been hung with pride in every office I have occupied in the past 30 years. Graduation was such a proud day as I felt confident and well prepared to begin a career in professional Social Work.
As a young girl, my parents instilled strong values that began to shape an early desire to give to others, eventually leading to a goal of working in a field where I could impact people’s lives in a positive way. I entered Nazareth’s BSW program because of its reputation for developing strong Social Workers and who were successful in finding Social Work positions in the community. I also heard the program was “fun” in that there were field trips and internships. No other program compared. The program was a perfect fit and helped form the foundation of my practice.
Since leaving Nazareth, I obtained a Masters Degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. I returned to Rochester NY providing direct clinical services as a professional Social Worker at DePaul Mental Health Services, Rochester Psychiatric Center and for the past 22 years at Unity Health System, Department of Behavioral Health. I started out in a Coordinator role and was later promoted to management positions in several different mental health and addiction programs. Currently I am the Director for Acute Psychiatric Services and Case Management programs, reporting directly to the Vice President for Behavioral Health. I truly believe that the core values and ethics learned at Nazareth were instrumental in allowing me to achieve current level of leadership that I hold at Unity Health System. Volunteering on a variety of community boards at NAMI, Lakeview Mental Health and Spiritus Christi further enriched my experiences and knowledge. I have had the pleasure of returning to Nazareth as a guest lecturer on occasion and have served as faculty liaison and adjunct professor with the GRC MSW program.
I learned a lot about people, social work and life from the wonderful faculty and rich program at Nazareth. Fond memories and lessons learned have helped me through successes and challenges in my career and life, and I will always be grateful.
Whenever asked what “do you do?” My response is always: “I am a Social Worker”! And I am a NAZ grad!