Listee Features — Social Work


Inspired to a career in social work out of a desire to affect positive change, Peg Pittman Munke got her start in the civil rights movement prior to becoming a licensed social worker. First completing coursework at Hollins University, she obtained a master’s degree in library science from the University of Texas at Austin and master’s degrees in education and social work at Our Lady of the Lake University before returning to the University of Texas at Austin for a Doctor of Philosophy in social work. She also holds an advanced forensic social work certificate and a certificate from the National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy. Feeling very blessed for the opportunities she was given, Dr. Munke began her career as

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Sonjia Howard


Holding considerable expertise in clinical social work for military service members and their families, Sonjia A. Howard earned a bachelor’s degree at Hawaii Pacific University and served in the U.S. Army from 1991 to 1998 before obtaining her master’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 2001. During her time in graduate school, she was inspired by one of her professors, who told her that the goal of social work was to help people so effectively that you “work yourself out of a job,” as well as her own desire to make a change in the world however she could. A licensed clinical social worker and a board certified diplomate in clinical social work, Ms. Howard began her career

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Julie Taylor


First earning a bachelor’s degree in social science and Native American studies, Julie G. Taylor began her career as an intern with the National Indian Child Welfare Association. From there, she held positions in various local schools doing prevention and education and working with children with mental health issues and parents with behavioral challenges. These experiences furthered her desire to work more directly with her community and she obtained a Master of Social Work from Portland State University in 2011. Ms. Taylor subsequently joined the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, where she remained until 2014. In 2014, Ms. Taylor achieved the position of director of the Department of Children and Family Services with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla

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Kenya Mills


Kenya M. Mills is an accomplished and upcoming social worker and finance professional. Graduating from Pomona High School in California, she began her postsecondary education with an associate degree in liberal arts from Mount San Antonio College in 1998 and embarked on a career in a variety of retail management positions. From 2007 to 2008, she was an assistant manager for Lady Foot Locker in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area and held the same role with Citi Trends in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from 2009 to 2010. During this early portion of her career, Ms. Mills witnessed her children get overlooked by their school system and denied resources, services and advocacy because they were perceived as Black children with issues. Feeling

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Born in Vietnam, Anh Ha Thi Ho spent 16 years in France as a child, where she received her elementary and secondary education. She returned to Vietnam with her family so that her father could for president and remained in Vietnam following the Vietnam War despite her family’s best efforts to leave the country and escape the oppressive regime there. During this time, she earned certification in teaching French as a second language and in literature and arts from the College of Literature and Arts in Vietnam. In 1983, Ms. Ho and her husband were sponsored by her brother, a Canadian citizen, to move to Canada and become permanent residents. Ms. Ho stayed in Canada for the next two years

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Kathy Rider


Obtaining considerable expertise in mental health services for adults, couples, families, and adolescents, Kathy T. Rider, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA, became involved in her profession at the University of Texas. Serving as a dorm counselor during her undergraduate years, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1967 before going on to receive a Master of Science in social work in 1969. She is a licensed clinical social worker in Texas and is board certified in clinical social work nationally, a certified group psychotherapist, and a fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association. Ms. Rider began her career as a psychiatric social worker on the adult mental health staff at Integral Care from 1969 to 1977, and later held a position

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LeslieBeth Wish


First embarking on her studies with a Bachelor of Arts in history and English from Carnegie Mellon University in 1970 and a Master of Arts in English from Ohio University in 1971, LeslieBeth “LB” Wish, EdD, was driven to further her education in the field of social services out of a desire to help others. Joining Bryn Mawr College, she obtained a Master of Arts in social service and management in 1976 before completing three years of post-degree training in multigenerational family theory and therapy at Georgetown University. Dr. Wish began her career as the director of social work and families at the Linwood School in 1980, before joining the New England Institute of Family Relations from 1981 to 1994,

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Revolon Schmidt


Revolon M. Schmidt is renowned as a board-certified licensed clinical professional counselor operating out of a private practice, specializing in treating victims of trauma, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some of her clients are veterans. Her journey toward counseling began with her diverse educational background. A graduate of the District of Columbia Teachers College, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in early education. In the late 1980s, Ms. Schmidt pursued further professional development in business management, earning a Bachelor of Science in business from the University of Maryland in 1986 and a continuing education certificate in accounting at Prince George’s Community College in 1992. Subsequently, Ms. Schmidt was advised that her background presented her with unique opportunities to support patients

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With considerable expertise in public relations, mental health and social services, Beth E. Hurny excels as the executive director of the Onondaga Council on Alcoholism and Addictions Inc., which does business as the Prevention Network. Previously, she worked as the director of youth and parenting services for the Prevention Network between 2007 and 2014. Since the late 1940s, Prevention Network has implemented and supported strategies that prevent addictions and address related concerns in the Onondaga County area. Before affiliating with the Prevention Network, Ms. Hurny gained valuable expertise in the field as the director of the evaluation center at HelioHealth from 2005 until 2007, as the clinical supervisor for Family Counselor Services between 1999 and 2005, and as a temporary

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Valentine Villa


Knowledgeable on health disparities among aging minority populations, Dr. Valentine M. Villa currently serves as a professor in social work at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and an adjunct professor at the Fielding School of Public Health of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She is a senior researcher for UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research since 2000 and director of CSULA’s Applied Gerontology Institute since 2006. Throughout her career, she has chaired over 200 theses of master’s students in social work and public health. Dr. Villa has authored and co-authored 60 peer-reviewed publications including “Hispanic Baby Boomers: Health Inequities Likely to Persist in Old Age,” “Racial/Ethnic Variations in Veterans’ Ambulatory Care Use,” “Equitable Health Systems: Structural and

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