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Top 10 Social Workers of 2011

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The editors of Best Social Work Programs decided to research the topic of

Top 10 Social Workers of 2011

It takes a special kind of person to go into social work professionally. Rarely recognized for their selfless calling, social workers struggle daily to effect a positive change on their communities and the world in general. See what makes these social workers superstars in their fields and heroes in the eyes of those they help.

Marshall Wong, MSW

- Hate crime coordinator for the Los Angeles County Commission
- Established the Hate Crime Victim Assistance and Community Advocacy Initiative
- Co-Chairman of API Equality, L.A.
- Received Social Worker of the Year Award
- In his own words: 'The field of social work is about furthering the democratization of society'

Peter Vaughan, PhD, ACSW

- Dean of the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University
- Member of:
- The Strategic Planning Committee of NYC Chapter NASW
- The Social Work Education Consortium
- The Latino Social Work Task Force
- The New York State Deans Association
- Awards:
- Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service in a combat zone
- Leadership and Service Award
- Detroit-Wayne County AAA

Peter Delany, PhD, LCSW-C

- Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
- Has served 20 years in the Department of Health and Human Services
- Responsible for a staff of 131 and annual budget of $1.8 billion
- Promotes the use of data in improving the quality of behavioral health services
- Awards:
- Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement Award
- Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medal and Special Assignment Award
- PHS Unit Citation
- Outstanding Health Services Professional of the Year

Cordelia Steele, MSW, LCSW, BCD

- Assistant professor in the Human Services Technology program at Richmond Community College
- Known for her role in providing mental health services to the survivors of the 1991 Imperial Foods Product fire
- Over 30 years of social work experience
- Award: NASW North Carolina Social Worker of the Year

Mary Garrison, MSW, LSCW, ACSW

- Assistant professor of social work at Millikin University, Adjunct faculty at the University of Illinois
- President of Mental Health America/McLean County
- More than 15 years of social fieldwork experience
- Focused on social work ethics, cultural diversity, and community mental health
- Award: NASW Illinois Social Worker of the Year

Kimele Carter, MSW

- Coordinator for Disability Services at Southwestern University
- Member of the University multidisciplinary student review team
- Quickly coordinates appropriate mental health and medical referrals in the community
- Award: NASW Texas Social Worker of the Year
- As her peers put it: 'Kimele Carter changes futures!'

Chatman Neely, LCSW, ACSW

- Senior Lecturer and Wheeling Site Coordinator at WVU
- 17 years: Amount of time Neely has been teaching social work
- Has volunteered for the NASW's spring conference planning committee for more than 20 years
- Award: NASW West Virginia Social Worker of the Year
- In his own words: 'It's in my blood to give back and care about others'

Marilyn Flynn, PhD, MSW

- Dean of the USC School of Social Work
- Established USC's School of Social Work's military social work program
- Received the first ever Congressionally directed appropriations to establish the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families
- Created the first online Master of Social Work program
- Award: International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award
- Given in recognition of her work in advancing the public image of social work as a profession

Barbara J. Menard, MSW, LCSW

- Director and Trustee of the Menard Family Foundation
- Volunteers as an advisor to the Ignatian Volunteer Corps
- Chair of the program committee for the Friends of Jung group
- Member of the Scripps Mercy Hospital Foundation Board
- Award: National Association of Perinatal Social Work Award for Excellence
- Known by colleagues for her humble dedication to her work, volunteering, and management of the Menard Family Foundation

Kimberly Clark, MSW, LCSW

- Bereavement counselor at Community Hospices
- 18 years of hospice experience
- Known for her gifts in bringing closure and healing for clients
- Award: NASW Ohio Social Worker of the Year
- Said one colleague: 'It takes a special person [to be a social worker], and Kimberly Clark is that special person'