Millikin University social work professor Mary Garrison was recently named Social Worker of the Year for the east central district of Illinois by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
In order to be recognized as a Social Worker of the Year, one must be an NASW member who promotes the profession to the public and advocates for the populations social work serves, take risks and enlists public support for improved human services, represents the highest ethical standards of social work as defined in the NASW code of ethics, and reflects the values espoused in the Illinois Chapter Mission Statement.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” remarked Garrison. “I am often asked what my title is or what I do, and I first and foremost identify as a social worker. I am so fortunate to be allowed to work with individuals who have impacted my life significantly. My work with vulnerable and oppressed populations is both a partnership and a passion.”
Garrison is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has been employed at Millikin since August 2005. Effective July 1, 2011, she will receive tenure and be promoted to the position of associate professor of social work. She currently teaches courses in diverse populations, social work ethics, human behavior and the social environment, and community mental health. Garrison is involved in research focusing on consumers as providers within the mental health field as well as mental health consumer service outcomes as well as the outcomes of sexual harassment in public housing.
In addition to her teaching position at Millikin, Garrison also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and works part-time as a private practitioner at Decatur Psychological Associates. Garrison also assists with the writing of mental health and social service policy for the social work profession. She has served as a therapist, clinical supervisor, manager, consultant, child development specialist and victim/wellness advocate. She is active in providing continuing education opportunities for colleagues through professional workshops, presentations, and trainings domestically and internationally.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 145,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.