Stories and Comments about Mac Social Work from our incredible alumni!
Debbie Trueblood (Class of 1999) went on from Mac's BSW program to attain her MSW at the University of Illinois at Chicago and now serves as the Executive Director of the Illinois Park and Recreation Association serving park districts across Illinois. She says the Mac BSW program provided her with the "foundation for becoming a well-rounded professional with the ability to succeed." Today she also serves on the Board of Trustees for MacMurray. She says, "Social Work has given me so many opportunities to make a difference and help people all over the world."
Teresa McNamee, LICSW (Class of 2002) received her MSW from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis (2005) with a focus on Social & Economic Development. “My MacMurray education gave me a holistic view of generalist practice. The SW curriculum along with the general education sequence provided me with a foundation that prepared me to work within diverse communities and in a variety of social work settings.” Teresa also has her MS in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato (2012) and has work experience in advocacy organizations, community-based youth programs, colleges, and hospitals. Teresa is currently working as the Program Director of the Student Conservation Association's New Hampshire Corps, a national service program focused on environmental education and conservation work in partnership with AmeriCorps.
Jodi A. Williams (BSW Class of 2009) graduated from MacMurray College, then obtained her MSW with a Clinical Specialization with Children and Families from Saint Louis University in 2011. She currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of Field Education at MacMurray College in the BSW Social Work Program in Jacksonville, IL. Jodi says, “MacMurray College instilled the values of a liberal arts college into my professional abilities as well as, a comprehensive foundation of knowledge that led to my direct success in graduate school and subsequent professional career. My educational and work experiences have led me to reach career aspirations in social work education back at Mac; my alma mater!”
Michelle Trupiano (Class of 1998) currently works as the Director of the Missouri Medicaid Coalition where she works with various groups across the state to convince the legislature to support Medicaid Expansion. She received her MSW at St. Louis University (2002). Michelle says, “Mac gave me a solid foundation in both micro and macro social work and really taught me how to connect with other people in a meaningful way. Without Mac I never would have pursued of career in community organizing.”
Amber Wiemelt (Class of 2008) works for Lutheran Senior Services as a Household Coordinator. She received her MSW from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 2010. She says, “MacMurray is what guided me in always challenging myself in the field and striving to achieve more in my profession. Without Mac I doubt that I would have made it as far as I have or have the desire to continue on.”
Brian Gazdziak (Class of 2007) received his MSW from Dominican University in 2008. He is an LSW and LCSW. He is currently employed as an In-Home Counselor at Camelot Care Centers (Springfield), a foster care agency that provides in-home services to youth. Brain says,“Getting a degree at Mac challenged me to be a more well-rounded thinker and consider views outside of my own box; I carry this into my job every day to help my clients create new solutions for themselves.”
Patricia (Trish) Fontana (Secoy) (Class of 1999) obtained her MSW from St. Louis University in 2004 and is an LCSW (2009). She is a Therapist at CenterPointe Psychiatric Hospital (St. Charles, MO) serving patient four years old-geriatric for psychiatric, detox, chemical dependency and self-injury services. She says, “Mac's SW program taught me that being a social worker was not going to be easy...and it's not. But, I could not imagine doing anything else.”
Kelly J. Ambrose (Class of 2013) received her BSW from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL.
Before graduating, she was offered a position as the Social Services Caseworker for The Salvation Army in Jacksonville, IL. She gladly excepted the position because she was familiar with the job through the practicum she conducted there and felt it would be a great opportunity to gain valuable experience, assist the community she grew up in, as well as boost her resume. She says, "MacMurray instilled in me a heuristic attitude that has equipped me with critical thinking skills, and the ability to conduct in depth research so that when in the field I have the tools to master the profession. My future plans are to attend SLU to obtain my MSW with a concentration in family."
Shelly Hannant (Class of 2013) is currently working as a Legal Child's Advocate for The Crisis Foundation in Jacksonville, Illinois. Shelly says, "MacMurray's BSW program laid the foundation in my career as a social worker and taught me; that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy in yourself to meet those goals to help others." (see the attached article about Shelly from The Source newspaper, Jacksonville, IL, Nov 14-20, 2013 edition)
The map below shows the communities where all our MacMurray Social Work Alumni are serving others in the promotion of social justice and human needs!