CHHS alumna elected to the National Association of Social Workers
The College of Health and Human Services is celebrating Jaguars who were elected to positions on the Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Congratulations to all!
Latesha Newson, MSW (Governors State University), LCSW: President-Elect
Latesha serves in community mental health and is adjunct professor at Governors State University in the Department of Social Work. She is a strong advocate for social justice and works to influence policies that create equitable and transformative change in our society. She has been served on the NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors since 2019, currently serving as Calumet District Chair, chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC), and as member of the national NASW Delegate Assembly. In 2020, she served as co-chair of the NASW-Illinois Chapter Task Force on Racial Justice where the chapter’s final recommendations on police reform were reflected in the Criminal Justice Omnibus bill. In addition, she also serves on the community level as commissioner on the Human Relations Committee for the village of Park Forest. Latesha believes that it is our social responsibility to create, and effect change through advocacy, policy, and the advancement of social work.
Samantha Allen, MSW (Governors State University), LCSW: Calumet District Chair
Samantha has worked with children, youth, adolescents, and families in both inpatient and outpatient settings for more than 10 years. She believes in meeting clients where they are and giving them the tools necessary for their full recovery. She is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Her experience in working with diverse populations in the Chicago and the southern Illinois regions has given her a unique perspective in providing quality social work services to her clients. Samantha has a passion for helping on all levels, micro, mezzo, and macro. As a social worker in the community, Samantha is committed to advocacy, educating individuals on mental health issues, influencing mental health policies, and working to ensure that there is access to quality mental health services.
Sedona Smith, BSW (Governors State University)
Sedona will be enrolled in the MSW program at Governors State University in the fall with a specialization in school social work. Her professional history effectively demonstrates her passion for the field of social work as she has served in various positions that have benefitted youth in both educational and community-based settings. Sedona served as a summer programming coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Stephenson County. She was also hired by Freeport School District #145 to provide bilingual tutoring services for elementary students. Sedona currently interns at R.I.S.E. Alternative School where she provides emotional and behavioral therapy services for middle- and high-school students. Further, Sedona has volunteered time at CONTACT of Northwestern Illinois, a 24-hour crisis call line, and at the Crisis Center for South Suburbia. Sedona has been recognized for her academic achievement on several occasions; she was awarded the Top Liberal Arts Student Award by Highland Community College, and she was the recipient of the Lincoln Laureate Award at Governors State University. Sedona has had exposure to policy work as a student representative for the Student Senate at Highland Community College and Governors State University. She has a particular interest in policies regarding immigrant rights and bilingual programming in public schools, and she is excited about the potential opportunity to develop her knowledge about policy practice and advocacy.