Listee Features — Social Work


Gale Mitchell Hinson, MSW, began her career as a paraprofessional before studying social work at Farmingdale State College and earning a Bachelor of Social Work from Molloy College. She joined Nassau University Medical Center in 1973 and also spent time working at a local VA hospital, where she was inspired by her supervisor to earn her master’s degree and become a social worker. Matriculating at Adelphi University, she graduated with a Master of Social Work in 1986 and was certified as a social worker in New York in 1988. Ms. Hinson has also been certified as a criminal justice specialist as well. Remaining with the Nassau University Medical Center as a clinical social worker until 2002, Ms. Hinson held the

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Maya D. Hennessey is an independent consultant and behavioral health expert who has dedicated her career to policy and intervention work, serving women with substance use disorders and other complex behavioral needs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health, business and management, and theology from Northeastern Illinois University and began consulting in 1975. Between 1992 and 2004, Ms. Hennessey was a women’s addiction treatment specialist for the Illinois Department of Substance Abuse Services, where she focused on working with pregnant and parenting women who used drugs. Inter-agency outreach and collaboration were a significant component of her role with the Illinois Department of Substance Abuse Services, and she piloted a program in conjunction with the federal government and state departments

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Barbara Agnell


Barbara Virginia Agnell was inspired to a career in social work early on due to her experiences taking care of her disabled younger brother. Furthermore, her mother did considerable volunteer work with children at orphanages, and a young Ms. Agnell was horrified to learn about the situations that some of those children were coming from. Developing early experience as an instructional assistant in the San Juan Unified School District from 1977 to 1980, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in social welfare from California State University, Sacramento, in 1982 and joined the Eskaton-American River Manor as a counselor from 1982 to 1986. During this time, Ms. Agnell also served as a mental health worker for California Health Care Consultants from

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Sylvia Haydash


Initially considering a career as an English teacher, Sylvia Andersen Haydash ended up switching paths after she accompanied her husband on his first tour of duty in Thailand not long after the Vietnam War. Learning the local Thai and Lao languages, she decided to pursue coursework at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, where she achieved a certificate in Thai language proficiency in 1978. She then began her career as a refugee coordinator for the Thai-American Women’s Organization from 1978 to 1979. Returning to the United States in 1979, Ms. Haydash became the director of the refugee resettlement program for CARING, where she helped to resettle and acculturate over 700 individuals from the Indochina Peninsula. In 1983, Ms. Haydash

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Urania Glassman


First embarking on her studies at Hunter College, Urania Ernest Glassman earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1960 before joining the Teacher’s College, Columbia University, where she was drawn to pursue a degree in student personnel administration inspired by her years of being involved in student government. Graduating with a Master of Arts in 1962, she began her career at the Teacher’s College before receiving a grant offer from the City College of New York to serve as the assistant director of the House Plan Association the following year. In 1969, Dr. Glassman rose to become director of the House Plan Association and also spent time as a lecturer in the department of student personnel services until she

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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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