CURRENT POSITION: Lecturer in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, and I’ve started Daring Dialogues Consulting, which provides trainings on LGBTQ, cultural humility and responsiveness, and social justice frameworks. THREE THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Students, because they keep me vital and current. Community, broadly defined. And nature. If I can’t get outside, I feel weary. A MEMORY FROM FIELD: I did my field placement at Out Youth. I went to Out Youth’s prom — so many queer kids can’t go to their high school prom with their date — in a tux and a bow tie, and I also brought a sequined gown and hose and a curly long wig, and sang “I Feel Pretty” for the students. It was great to do serious work but also be playful and serve as a role model for them of what it could be like to grow up and thrive. MOST USED PRACTICE SKILL: Professional use of self. I’m a storyteller. When I teach I try to bring my full humanity into the room, which is risky and important. AN EXPERIENCE AT UT AUSTIN: I always tell students, “If there’s something you feel is missing, build it.” When I got here, there was not a LGBTQ student group, and so I started one. I enjoyed being active in many different communities. One of my favorite memories is when, during my second year, my cohort got together for happy hour and afterwards four of us auditioned for The Vagina Monologues. Kathy Armenta, myself and one other member of my cohort were cast in the production.
Nora Druepple, MSSW ’86, BSW ’82, recently celebrated 30 years as a clinical social worker specializing in crisis, trauma and grief. She worked in community mental health before joining the Austin Police Department Victim Services and the Emergency Room at Brackenridge Hospital. As a critical incident responder and crisis counselor, she has assisted in numerous disasters, including, the Columbia Shuttle disaster, the events of September 11, 2001, Oklahoma City bombing and various hurricanes crises. From her private practice she provides clinical supervision, training, consulting, and crisis response to workplace traumas. She was recently appointed to the NASW Texas Ethics Committee. She also works with families of fallen law enforcement through Concerns of Police Survivors.
Barri Rosenbluth, MSSW ’90, was featured on the August 2017 issue of the Austin Woman magazine as the senior director of Expect Respect at the Safe Alliance. Expect Respect is a comprehensive program for kids aimed at preventing dating abuse and violence. The program offers support for anyone who experienced violence from a dating partner, provides school-based counseling and support groups, educates teachers, nurses, coaches, parents and clergy on the warning signs of abuse, and teaches kids how to create healthy relationships.
Rebecca McIntyre, MSSW ’92, lives in London and is the missing children’s coordinator for both Westminster and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Children’s Services.
Karen Confer, MSSW ‘98, has served as the coordinator of the Teen Parent Program in the Round Rock Independent School District since 2001. She also runs her own private practice providing therapy for children and adolescents in foster care and enjoys her role as a field instructor for the UT Austin School of Social Work.
Jennifer Carter Dochler, BSW ’00, is the public policy director at the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She was named the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Member at the University of Missouri’s School of Social Work. She is married and lives on 20 acres with pets and a fishing pond.
Becky Morales, MSSW ‘03, has started a new job as manager of collaborative care at the UT Austin Dell Medical School. In her role, she is responsible for building and implementing the collaborative care model of mental health services into the integrated practice units in order to support the global wellness of patients.
Michelle Zadrozny, MSSW ’03, recently returned to clinical practice after several years in nonprofit program development. Zadrozny is the founder of Creating Transformational Workplaces, which specializes in facilitating clinical processing groups for field staff employed by social services agencies to improve employee retention, self care, and organizational effectiveness. She is also the founder of Plumeria Counseling, which provides individual counseling and coaching on launching effective career transitions and aligning work and life goals
Jillian Yasmin Bissar, MSSW ’05, BSW ’03, has been a social work supervisor at UT Health Houston Pediatric AIDS program since 2011. She lives in East downtown Houston and has rescued a dog mom of two fur babies.
Katie Milosovich Bryant, MSSW ’07, has just celebrated her 10-year anniversary as a social worker at Westlake High School in Eanes, Texas. She loves that the school supports the social and emotional well-being of students and has allowed her to try many different things during her time there. Katie is a member of several coalitions throughout the community and has worked with University High School in Austin. This summer Katie celebrated eight years of marriage with her husband Jason. Their life is busy with three amazing children: Elliot (6), Dylan (4), and MJ (19 months).
Cara Edmond, MSSW ’07, is the director of institutional effectiveness and community relationships, a student services associate, and an adjunct faculty member at AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in Austin.
Krissy Richard, BSW ’07, is a human resources coordinator at Samsung Austin, and a passionate volunteer for CASA of Travis County.
Ari Rosen, MSSW ‘07, is the donor stewardship manager at Zeno, a nonprofit in Seattle that makes math more accessible to and engaging for children. Rosen and their partner welcomed a new child last February.
Heather Van Diest, MSSW ’07, is a social worker in the Child Abuse Resource and Education (CARE) program at Dell Children’s Medical Center. She is finishing her MPH degree at the UT Austin School of Public Health, with the goal of moving out of clinical practice to focus on macro and prevention work and research. She feels fortunate to be currently involved in research with the Steve Hicks School of Social Work’s Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing, where she is working in two projects related to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). In her spare time, she enjoys weight training and spending time with her 5-year-old daughter at the local water parks.
Leah Davies, MSSW ’08, received the 2017 Social Worker of the Year award by the NASW-TX Capital Area Branch. Davies is the associate director of the Texas Office for Prevention of Developmental Disabilities, where she facilitates state-wide collaboration, develops and implements programs, provides education, and engages stakeholders to address the causes and reduce the impact of developmental disabilities. Davies has 10 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector in Austin and is an active volunteer with The Trail of Lights Foundation and CASA of Travis County.
Meagan Dorsch, MSSW ’08, recently celebrated five years with Veterans Affairs in Salisbury, North Carolina. She enjoys volunteering with her local Texas Exes chapter as the community service chair.
Elizabeth Wilson Eaton, MSSW ’08, relocated to College Station, Texas, with her husband and twin toddlers last fall. She is providing counseling services to students in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University.
Kristina Perez, MSSW ’08, is the director of operations at Action Point Consulting, an analytics agency in Austin.
Megan Pollack (McAlister), MSSW ‘08, BSW ’06, gave birth to Niels Kenneth Pollack on May 16, 2017.
Natalie Beck, MSSW ’09, received her doctorate in social work (DSW) last May from the University of Tennessee. She is excited about teaching the introductory course for the new Public Safety Certificate program at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, starting next spring semester. When she wrote, she was about to have her first baby.
Annie Terry Carroll, MSSW ’09, recently received her clinical license. She gave birth to a daughter this past January.
Melissa Kong, BSW ’09, recently earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California. She is now a doctoral candidate in leadership studies at Dallas Baptist University.
Olubunmi Oyewuwo-Gassikia, MSSW ’09, BSW ’07 recently earned a PhD from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and will join the faculty in the Social Work Department at Binghamton University as an assistant professor this fall.
Lisa Pokorny, MSSW ’09, recently relocated to Georgia and accepted a new position as the employee assistance coordinator for Fort Stewart.
Stephanie Gonzales, MSSW ’10, is a victim services counselor with the Austin Police Department. She has worked for the department for five years, and spent the last two in the child abuse unit. Gonzales recently purchased her first home and is a proud “mom” to her sweet dog Juniper.
Valeria Hernandez, MSSW ’10, is the manager of phone services for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Pamela A. Malone, PhD ’10, recently received her Fellow in Thanatology (FT). Her book Counseling Adolescents Through Loss, Grief, and Trauma was published by Routledge in 2016. Malone maintains a clinical social work practice in Austin and provides supervision to LMSWs seeking to become LCSWs.
Kamini Verma, MSSW ’10, is a licensed clinical social worker. She has become a certified educator in Trust Based Relational Intervention to help abused and neglected children and their families cope with the aftermath of trauma. She is also pursuing becoming a Registered Play Therapist.
Jessica Boston, MSSW ’11, worked with State Rep. Elliott Naishtat for three legislative sessions. She is now a policy analyst at the Texas Medical Association, where she focuses on behavioral health, population health, child and adolescent health, and cancer. She also serves as a field instructor for the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, is an executive member of the Children’s Protective Services Board for Travis County, and the chair of the Ad Hoc Committee at Austin Child Guidance Center.
Brigid Counts, MSSW ’11, is a school-based mental health provider with Jervey & Associates. She is mother to a 2-year-old daughter, and received her clinical license in 2015.
Cheryl Jones, MSSW ’11, was recently promoted to the position of corporate and foundation relations manager at the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) in Dallas. She also works at Medical City Dallas Hospital on weekends to continue to be connected to medical social work, which she loves.
Sarah Lonsdale Bledsoe, MSSW ’12, transitioned from medical case management to providing therapy full time at the Montrose Center in Houston, where she works with the LGBTQIA community and individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. She married in September 2016 and is excited to be close to celebrate their first anniversary.
Jodi Berger Cardoso, PhD ’12, received the 2017 Distinguished Service to Women Award in the Pre-Tenure Faculty category from the University of Houston, where she is an assistant professor. The award recognizes research and mentorship that promotes success in women.
Patrick Lloyd, MSSW ’12, is the community resources coordinator at the Georgetown Public Library. He is proud to be part of a small but growing group of library social workers.
Viana Vallejo, MSSW ’12, recently celebrated five years as a program manager for Communities in Schools. Vallejo received her clinical license in 2015 and joined Austin DBT Associates as a psychotherapist last September.
April Young, MSSW ’12, has accepted a position at the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, working on behalf of state aging and disability programs. When she wrote, she was looking forward to moving to Washington, D.C., during the summer.
Becca Kosho, MSSW ’13, got a unique opportunity to work on memory care after graduating. She also bought a house and started a family. She loves memory care, but she has now returned to work with Hospice Austin.
Kendal Tolle, MSSW ’13, is the assistant director of evaluation at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. She is engaged to be married this October.
Emily Osan, BSW ’14, headed to Guatemala shortly after graduating to teach English in a school that was part of a local women’s cooperative. She later returned to Texas and worked in a college access program. Last year she moved to Telluride, Colorado, where she works as a prevention educator for a domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center.
Grecia Ramos, MSSW ’14, is a PhD student in social work at the University of Southern California’s Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. She is interested in researching the incarceration experiences and mental health of Mexican-American male adolescents.
Jillian York, MSSW ’14, celebrated three years as a therapist with Hope Alliance in Round Rock, Texas. She recently married, earned her clinical license, and bought her first house.
Paige Johnson, MSSW ’15, is a family advocate at the Center for Child Protection.
Kathryn Lewin and Travis Singley, MSSW ’15, are engaged to be married in April 2018.
Cindy Eschliman Mood, MSSW ’15, is the social services director at Walnut Hills Nursing and Rehab center in Austin. She enjoys working with residents and families and looks forward to hosting her second UT Austin social work student intern this fall. A year ago, she created a group for social workers in the nursing, hospital, home health, and hospice world called Facility-Involved Social Workers. They meet once a month for happy hour or lunch to provide fellowship and networking to one another.
Emily Shryock, MSSW ’15, shared that her service dog Morey (also a proud UT Austin graduate) passed away on May 13, 2017, after a short battle with cancer. She knows that Morey was loved by many of his social work classmates and professors and will be missed by all.
Stacy Sauceda, BSW ’16, currently works as a resettlement case manager at Refugee Services of Texas in Austin.
Terry Selvera, MSSW ’16, joined Bluebonnet Trails Community Services in April of this year as a supported employment and education specialist for the ClearPath team. The team offers coordinated specialty care for the early treatment of psychosis.
Debra Rene Wiley, BSW ’83March 27, 2017
Alan Silverman, MSSW ’80April 15, 2017
George K. Herbert, professor emeritus, March 18, 2017 (Memorial contributions can be made to the George K. Herbert Endowed Scholarship)
Norton Armour, lecturer, September 5, 2017