Margo Awards

Blue Ribbon

Margo Schutz Gordon Awards for Excellence in Field Education

The Margo Awards are named for Margaret Schutz Gordon, Professor Emeritus who served with distinction as Professor and Director of Field Education at KU SSW from 1970 to 1983.

2020-2021 Award Winners

BSW Student 

Gabriela Claudel Sandino

Gabriela Claudel Sandino - KVC-Olathe

Nominated by Caroline Soper, field instructor at KVC Health Systems

Gabriela has been a phenomenal addition to the KVC adoption team. Gabriela has such a strong heart for our most vulnerable populations, and provides such a loving and caring atmosphere to our clients. In one instance, we had a teen client who had been going through multiple situations at school and with peer relationships, and was having a really hard time managing all of this, as well as her relationship within the foster home. Gabriela helped this child get to a place where she felt seen and heard, as well as in a better place with her foster parents. Gabriela was able to speak with the child one-on-one and created such a safe and nurturing space, that the child was able to really share how she felt. In another instance, Gabriela was able to use her experiences to help a foster family really understand why our child was behaving in a way that was defiant and aggressive. Gabriela was able to explain to the foster parents that due to the child's previous and current medical needs, along with the trauma that he had been experiencing, that he was really trying to figure out how to feel safe in his own space. There was a time when I was unable to see a child due to another situation going on. Gabriela went to a school without hesitation, met with a child she has never met, and again was able to quickly build rapport with that child so they could hold a medication appointment together.

Gabriela has brought such a light to this sometimes dark world of child welfare. I have personally spoken with our clients who have said that Gabriela has done an amazing job. Other coworkers have remarked on how if we could hire her, we would.

It is wonderful to see that such an amazing, kind and intelligent person is going to be coming into the social work world with an impressive amount of skills.

MSW Foundation

Latrese Kabuya

Latrese Kabuya - Kansas City Girls Academy

Nominated by Cristina Marquez, field instructor at Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy

On top of learning how to be a social work intern (virtually) during a pandemic, Latrese has learned how to pave the way for future students, as she is the first social work student intern at KCGPA. We have learned to work very well together, and that process was a very easy and fast one. Latrese brings a unique skillset, lived experiences and parent voice to the students/families that we serve at the school. She has shown great progress and I can't wait to see her grow into a clinician that will continue to serve so many in our community!

MSW Macro

Stephen A. Papy Jr

Stephen A. Papy Jr - Saint Francis Ministries - Salina

Nominated by Cheryl Rathbun, field instructor with Saint Francis Ministries

Stephen has demonstrated outstanding achievement in several manners:

  1. Stephen easily integrates with existing professional groups/meetings. Many of the existing groups gave feedback - or I observed- that it was easy to forget he is a student. He listened, asked relevant questions and then over time gave professional feedback based either on what he heard or what he researched. He asked questions as he needed to clarify for his contributions. In one professional group (Clinical Council) Stephen prepared the agenda, facilitated the meeting and produced the minutes on two occasions. Stephen has an uncanny ability to be well versed on topics, easily assimilates all data/information and provides an administrative view of recommended process change or adaptation.
  2. Stephen's work on the safety project for the PRTF, creating the Gemba board, identifying gaps in reporting, coaching administrative staff on the need of consistency - accurate data- and needed staff support for changes, was amazing for a practicum student. The work he did was high level even for a seasoned staff. HIs commitment to the success of the project was incredible. His commitment to advocating for staff and the clients simultaneously was evident. The CQI team thoroughly loved their work with Stephen to the point that they hired him after his practicum when an opening came up!
  3. Stephen successfully completed the clinical shift huddle practice procedure that he presented to leadership for approval and implementation.
  4. The most important demonstration of excellence is Stephen's management of a highly conflictual situation in the sensory room project. I would not want to share the entire details of this conflict in the award application, however, would believe it is safe to say it is something i would not have expected a student to handle so expertly as Stephen did. The conflict had nothing to do with his behaviors, likely more to do with the administrator over the project's own "threatened" feelings of adequacy. Stephen processed this with me weekly, planned his approach to the barriers with diplomacy, tried several different ways to work through the barriers all to no avail. Again, he did much better than most seasoned administrative people could do. The decision was for Stephen to be actively removed from the project, however, to complete the tasks as if he was still involved and to present the final project as part of his practicum. He learned and demonstrated many skills in the managing of the conflict/barriers, likely more than if he simply did not have the experience.

MSW Clinical

Desire Dawn Michelle Seitz

Desire Dawn Michelle Seitz - Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas

Nominated by Pamela Anderson, field instructor at Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas

Desire provided high quality care to each of her assigned patients. One situation impressed me significantly. She was assigned a 40 year old Hispanic woman whom had been very inconsistent in treatment with me. She was able to quickly engage the patient in treatment. The patient attended weekly sessions working actively to process her family being torn apart due to intra-familial sexual abuse. While it took a few sessions, the patient eventually disclosed her own very extensive history of childhood physical and sexual abuse as well as domestic partner violence. This patient is significantly closer to accepting her daughter's truth and healing her family directly because of her therapeutic relationship with Desire. One other quick client story. Desire also covered for an ATS staff member in seeing a 49 year old, mentally-ill, polysubstance dependent patient. He was known to be good at manipulation and at crossing professional boundaries. He often presented to the clinic in an unstable state and Desire provided effective support, guidance and intervention. She appropriately re-enforced her boundaries when needed. She discussed concerns with the Director of Behavioral Health about the wisdom of allowing other clinicians to be "lax" with boundaries in their treatment with him.

I asked for several Behavioral Health Staff from a variety of disciplines and roles to complete statements in support of her receiving this award. Each was provided with great enthusiasm and a great desire for Desire to be honored in this way. Desire functioned as an intern in a manner not typically expected of a more seasoned clinician. She is a strong, intelligent, resourceful, resilient individual and an enormous asset to the Social Work Profession.

OH AND BY THE WAY, Desire completed excellent work with her clients, worked part-time and completed her studies while undergoing major surgery and chemotherapy, without any form of accommodation!!!! Desire is a ROCK STAR!


Roberta Bateman

Roberta Bateman - Veterans Administration Leavenworth

Nominated by Nate Eikmeier, field placement site - Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center, Leavenworth VA

BSW Field Instruction

Kendra Powers

Kendra Powers - Brewster Place

Nominated by Emily DeHoyos, field placement site - Brewster Place Health Center

This award is designed to honor excellence in field instruction. With that in mind, please tell us about the field instruction provided by your field instructor/preceptor.

Kendra, my field instructor, has continuously shown me what it is like to be a great social worker throughout the year. Kendra goes above and beyond for her residents and employees and is always the one to find a solution to any problem we come across. She has taken time and has shown continuous effort and commitment to expanding my knowledge as a social worker. Working along side her, she has allowed me to observe and provided me with hands on opportunities. She is apart of the Quality of Life Team and one of the many things she handles are resident rehabilitation discharges. I have spent this year learning the in's and out's of family goal meetings, social history assessments, PHQ-9's, medicaid, and so much more.

While working with your field instructor/preceptor this year, what about their work has most informed how you will practice as a social worker?

Kendra has impacted my understanding of social work values, skills, and ethics. Kendra shows great commitment and compassion as her role as a social worker. Her dedication within her role does not go unnoticed and she has shown me the true importance of what it means to care for others even outside of our long-term care setting. Kendra values social work ethics and always applies them to each and every decision she makes which has greatly informed my practice as a social worker. Kendra interacts with families, residents, and employees with respect and compassion while always applying her social work skills.

Aside from what you've already provided, please share any additional details about how you've been inspired by your field instructor/preceptor:

Kendra has shown commitment and excitement as a field instructor since the very first day. She truly embodies what it means to be a great social worker. Kendra has not only provided me with knowledge within a long-term care setting but has also been a role model in all aspects of life. Kendra has a lot on her plate as the only social worker in the building and she has still managed to give me what I see as the best field instruction I could have received. Her skills and confidence have shown me what I want to be as a social worker myself. When I am at practicum, I spend almost all day with Kendra. I appreciate her willingness to teach me and have me present even when she is in stressful situations. Going through practicum at a nursing home during a pandemic was difficult for all parties involved but Kendra never let it get in the way of her dedication to her work and to teaching me. Kendra is one of the easiest people to talk to because of who she is. I could not imagine my practicum being any better than what it has been and I owe that to Kendra to giving me the best experience possible.

Foundation Field Instruction

Norella Munoz

Norella Munoz - Topeka Public Schools 

Nominated by Isabelle Bauguess, field practicum site - Topeka High School

This award is designed to honor excellence in field instruction. With that in mind, please tell us about the field instruction provided by your field instructor/preceptor.

The field instruction Norella has provided has been paramount to my positive practicum experience and has greatly contributed to my personal and professional growth this year. Norella's approach to field instruction is strength-based, person-centered, reflective, and constructive. Her style is responsive and adaptable, encouraging, empathetic, supportive, and reassuring. At the same time, she has provided me with ample opportunities for growth and has continually challenged me to learn more, question more, and do more.

Coming into this year in the midst of a pandemic and with no background in social work, I had no clue what to expect from my practicum experience. I felt unprepared, unsure of myself and my abilities, and uncertain of my role—both in my practicum setting and as a social worker in general. Norella met me where I was, recognized my strengths, and created a safe environment for me to practice, ask questions, process, and make critical discoveries. From the beginning, she has trusted me and had enormous confidence in my abilities. Norella has taken my preferences and opinions into account, allowing me to direct our supervision and instruction as well as my overall practicum experience while acting as a stable and constant support and resource. She has done a fantastic job at providing me with requisite information and ensuring my understanding and comfort then giving me the freedom to do things on my own, build my skills, and apply what I've been learning. She always remains available for questions, reassurance, and insight and is sure to create a space for me to process, reflect, and learn. I feel that this has crucial to helping me develop my social work skills, concretely understand what I'm learning in my MSW courses, build my confidence, and shape my professional and personal identity as a social worker. Additionally, the high level of freedom, flexibility, support, and trust have kept me engaged in my practicum and pushed me to complete a multitude of activities I wouldn't have previously felt comfortable or capable enough to do.

Norella has also left space in our supervision and instruction to discuss and process outside issues/phenomena that would otherwise have weighed on me. She is also adept at tying these discussions back to social work values, ethics, and skills. This creates a personally beneficial but also professionally enriching experience. Norella has also helped me to understand the importance of self-care, find what works for me, and has encouraged me to utilize these practices in and out of the practicum setting. Additionally, she has highlighted and complimented by strengths and talents, encouraging me to utilize them within and outside of the practicum setting. This has helped to increase my self-confidence and self-awareness, ultimately making me a better social worker.

Overall, the instruction provided by Norella has been exactly what I needed. She has contributed to my knowledge and my professional abilities. She has helped me improve my ability to apply theoretical concepts and frameworks to real life situations. Her support, recognition, and affirmation have bolstered my confidence and trust in myself. Her guidance, modeling, and instruction have shaped my professional identity. Her instruction has helped me utilize my knowledge and abilities to the fullest to solve professional and personal problems.

While working with your field instructor/preceptor this year, what about their work has most informed how you will practice as a social worker?

I was a bit disappointed when I first found I was going to be working in a school for my first year practicum placement. I have never been interested in working with kids and I knew that school social work wasn't for me. I was skeptical about whether this experience would have any benefit for me—professionally or personally. For the first month or so, despite liking and respecting Norella, I still had doubts about whether this experience was going to make me a better social worker. As I settled in, began to observe and do more, and developed a stronger relationship with Norella, my feelings began to change. Working with her has strongly influenced my understanding of social work as a profession and what it means to be a social worker. Through supervision, field instruction and modeling, Norella has helped me to begin forming my professional identity and has shaped my current practice as a social worker.

Seeing how Norella performs as a social worker has been inspiring, informative, and influential. She embodies the core social work values in her interactions with staff, parents, students, and community members and organizations. She is committed to improving the students' quality of life, access to resources, academic performance, home-life, social-emotional health, well-being, and more. She advocates for students, families, staff, her school, and the community as a whole. She is passionate about her work and her service outside of the organization. She takes on projects and volunteer opportunities that benefit her clients and the community. She is committed to learning and keeping herself educated, improving her skills, and adapting to better serve her clients and community. All of these things have informed how I plan to (and already do) practice as a social worker. Her work has reinforced the importance I place on service to clients and community, advocacy and social justice, continuing education, and creatively and collaboratively meeting the needs of those I work with and for. Additionally, observing Norella do 'mundane' school social work tasks (e.g., calling parents, collaborate with staff, doing IEP meetings, participating in division meetings, advocate for students) has helped me understand what social workers do and how they do it. This has shaped my view of social work professionalism. It has also helped me to get a practical understanding of how the skills, theories, and frameworks I learn about in class are applied to the actual practice of social work. Our supervisions and the instruction she provides have allowed me to pinpoint and hone the approaches and skills that I find work best for me and my clients and use them in my practice. It has also allowed me to develop and test my own personal style as a social worker in a safe, supported, and constructive setting.

Aside from what you've already provided, please share any additional details about how you've been inspired by your field instructor/preceptor:

Norella's passion, commitment to social justice, and desire to be a lifelong learner have truly inspired me. Norella is the legislative co-chair for the Kansas School Social Work Association (KSSWA). She told me she pursued this position because policy is not her strong suit (and I can certainly say the same) and she wanted to challenge herself to learn more about it while serving her community and improving the profession at the same time. Her passion and drive pushed me to pay closer attention in my policy class and to become more involved in local legislature. Eventually, we also worked together on a legislative advocacy project for KSSWA—something I never would have done previously. Her involvement in community education and resource connection has also been inspiring for me. She takes on a lot of projects (in and outside of the school) that are geared at educating people about mental/emotional/physical/social health and well-being, financial literacy, and community resources. Observing her and witnessing the difference she makes—as well as participating first-hand—has really inspired me to stay involved in this type of work throughout my practice as a social worker and to give back as much as I can.

Clinical Field Instruction

Cassy Kelly

Cassy Kelly - Research Psychiatric Center

Nominated by Gabriella Barnum, field practicum site - Research Psychiatric Center 

This award is designed to honor excellence in field instruction. With that in mind, please tell us about the field instruction provided by your field instructor/preceptor.

Cassy has always offered us support, answered questions, worked through ethical dilemmas, and provided examples from her past experience to help us learn. I greatly appreciate the way she provides feedback and guidance. She also does supervision with all of us as a group, which has been the most beneficial part of my practicum in my opinion. It's great to have the opportunity to learn from other students. I'm here with another KU student but also a UMK student. They are both about to graduate and have had lots of great questions and insight to offer, and working through problems with them and Cassy altogether has been fantastic.

While working with your field instructor/preceptor this year, what about their work has most informed how you will practice as a social worker?

I think the biggest thing I've learned are some of the characteristics I want to have. Cassy has really good self-awareness in what her strengths AND weaknesses are, and she is actively working on her weaknesses to be better. She is also very trusting of her staff and available should they need her support. I want to be a supportive, trusting social worker, and I want to continually work on myself to improve my skills. Cassy has been an awesome role model for what I think a social worker should be like.

Nominated by Donesha Evans, field practicum site - Research Psychiatric Center 

This award is designed to honor excellence in field instruction. With that in mind, please tell us about the field instruction provided by your field instructor/preceptor.

Cassy has been a field instructor at RPC for 10 plus years and has never been nominated. However I want to take the time to brag about her. Her insight is amazing when it comes to working in both a clinical and therapeutic setting. She gives great advice but most of all she is a great encourager. Cassy is very forthcoming and honest about her expectations and ability to be flexible. Cassy has been in my seat as a working parent and MSW student so she sees things in me that others have questioned. I know for a fact, without Cassy I wouldn't have been able to survive this school year. Cassy has given me the opportunity to do so many things and experience a lot more than I can say any of my peers have at their practicum sites. She loves what she does and it shows through her work ethic and ability to teach, guide, supervise and lead. Cassy loves students and wants to see their success. I believe that I owe a great deal of my success and clinical experience to Cassy's ability to pair me with an individual who has similar strengths as myself and her ability to encourage me to try something new. Cassy hasn't just been a great instructor but she has also been my confidant and pushed me to keep going when I really wanted to quit.

While working with your field instructor/preceptor this year, what about their work has most informed how you will practice as a social worker?

Cassy gives thorough feedback and weekly asks whats going well and what could be better. She uses mistakes and things that I fret over as learning/teaching moments and she has allowed me to be exposed to as many different areas of the psychiatric center as I am comfortable and willing to challenge myself too. I have experiences in acute inpatient care, intensive day program and outpatient therapy services. I know how to complete psychosocial assessments and how to identify several mental health disorders just from conversations with patients and/or looking at their charts. I have learned how to best advocate for my patients as well as how to identify secondary trauma and my need for self care.

Aside from what you've already provided, please share any additional details about how you've been inspired by your field instructor/preceptor:

Cassy has inspired me as a woman because of her tenacity and resilience to get where she is and sit in the seat she holds. I am inspired by the dedication she has to teaching and her continued support of her students post graduation. Most of her employees were her students first. Mostly, I am inspired by Cassy's patience and ability to wear so many hats and still be very supportive of me as a student.

Macro Field Instruction

Marqueia Watson

Marqueia Watson - Homeless Services Coalition of Greater Kansas City

Nominated by Haley White, field practicum site - The Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness

This award is designed to honor excellence in field instruction. With that in mind, please tell us about the field instruction provided by your field instructor/preceptor.

Marqueia is a field instructor that cares deeply about the professional development of her students. From day one, Marqueia encouraged me to think about what I wanted out of my time at the Coalition, and further, what I wanted out of my career. She treated me like part of the team from the very beginning, and I feel incredibly grateful to have had a chance to go after opportunities that I saw would benefit me the most. She put me in positions to try new things and to experience different aspects of the organization. With the support of Marqueia, I was able to do research for the health department, create a landlord engagement initiative, and be a part of committees within the agency that were of interest to me. She asked me my input on bigger decisions for the organization, and instilled the confidence in me that I could lead the charge on certain efforts. In my years of practice and time in school, I have never felt more encouraged to think bigger about what I wanted for myself and my career. I owe that to her.

While working with your field instructor/preceptor this year, what about their work has most informed how you will practice as a social worker?

Marqueia is extremely driven, and she does not shy away from things just because they are new or uncomfortable. She has big ideas, and she has the expertise and ability to see them through. She is also very transparent. She kept our staff in the loop as changes were happening within the organization and the Continuum of Care. She creates a space to explore and question, and that is the biggest thing I will take with me.

2019-2020 Award Winners

BSW Student 

BSW Margo Award Winner - Nathan Eikmeier

Nathan Eikmeier- St. Michael’s Veteran Center

Nate's field placement was at St. Michael's Veterans Center - a permanent supportive housing program for formerly homeless and/or disabled veterans. Nate was drawn to this placement b/c he too is a Veteran. Nate's responsibilities were many and despite his hefty list of tasks, he was constantly saying, "Hold on, don't do that - let me go do that." To say I appreciated his help is an understatement. St. Michael's has 125 residents and I am the only social worker. We administer weekly programs and in addition to that I do individual case work. Nate took the responsibility of the food pantry off of me. Additionally, he quickly learned mainstream benefits and assisted residents in making applications for Veteran Pension and Compensation benefits, as well as, file Medicaid, food stamps and QMB applications. He was committed in his efforts to assist several "untidy" residents keep their apartments organized in order to prevent additional lease violations and possible eviction. Several of these apartments were down right unsanitary and he found a way to be respectful, kind and effective in his goal. Additionally, concerned about many of our residents who are overweight with co-occurring health conditions, Nate and his fellow KU intern, Lauren, started an age & ability appropriate exercise class. They were faithful to it, even when no resident attended. Over time, through their patience, perseverance and continual personal invitations, they developed a core group of resident participants. Nate was constantly busy attending to tasks and even when he completed them all, instead of sitting and resting at his desk for a moment - he would jump up and say, "I am going to walk around and check on people." Nate never tired of interacting with our residents, and despite the many tasks that do need to be completed, the most significant social problem we experience here at St. Michael's is self-isolating, loss of purpose and depression. Nate knew that a friendly smile and interested ear were of greatest benefit to our residents and was consistently generous is offering his.

Nate has been the consummate student to supervise in field. He is consistently professional in the way he presents himself and the way he represents our profession. He is the tireless case worker that never lost track of any task assigned (or suggested) and followed through meticulously until every task was completed. He sought out consultation at every opportunity, whether it was to improve his skills in order to elicit motivation in an otherwise ambivalent resident vis-à-vis impending eviction or when he was dissecting his own values and beliefs to ensure they were not influencing his interactions with a client. Nate’s focused attention on research, theory and best-practices, combined with his genuine desire to be of assistance ensured that his interactions were professionally rooted and skillfully delivered. Many social workers genuinely want to help people and this is true for Nate too. However, what distinguishers Nate is his fine-tuned understanding that the profession of social work transcends being of assistance to others. He understands that the profession of social work is to critically analyze systems to address injustice, to be of assistance in a clinically effective, efficient and fiscally responsible manner and to respect all individuals in the process. His enthusiasm for his profession and his drive for excellence has been energizing to me over these past 2 semesters. I am sad that our semester was cut short. I have missed his presence in the office. Before I conclude, I want to acknowledge a special appreciation for the person Nate is. Late in the day, one Friday afternoon, Nate and I had the distressing experience of finding a resident deceased in his apartment. Despite having a scheduled personal appointment after his work day, Nate remained at practicum until 9pm that evening when the police, medical examiner and relatives of the deceased finally left. While it is true there were tasks to attend to in the aftermath of the death and Nate did assist me with these, I know that is not the reason he stayed. I know Nate did not want to leave me alone in all of that. I was and am grateful he accompanied me in that experience. Nate is exceptional. I look forward to seeing his career develop.

MSW Foundation

MSW Foundation Margo Award Winner - Rayna Marshall

Rayna Marshall - Wyandotte County Courthouse Protective Order Office

The mission of the Victims Services Unit is to empower crime victims by providing them the tools they need to overcome the trauma of victimization. We inform victims of their rights and advocate for their rights to be upheld. We respect and encourage each person's rights to make their own informed decisions as they navigate the criminal justice system. The Victims Services Unit is proactive in reaching out to victims in the community through education and awareness activities. We provide support to the emergency first responders of Wyandotte County to enhance services to victims. This placement is in the Kansas City Kansas Police Departments Victim Services Unit. Specifically, students in this practicum experience work in the Wyandotte County Order of Protection Office. The student has extensive direct contact with clients seeking protection orders and has the ability to safety plan, conduct lethality assessments, and connect survivors with services. There are ex parte dockets every day of the week and one docket on Wednesday afternoons for hearing the Temporary Orders. The students attends these court hearings, notifies survivors of the hearing, informs survivors about the court process, and is present in the hearings to help navigate and support survivors at court. This student works to bridge the fields of survivor advocacy, law enforcement and/or civil/criminal court systems.

Rayna is always the first to jump in to meet the needs of the office and the survivors we work with. She is self-motivated, creative, and resourceful. She learned our process quick and began juggling multiple clients and has been a consistent advocate to everyone she works with. Throughout my time working with Rayna, she has shown a great interest in supporting survivors, creating a space for survivors to be educated on how to represent themselves. There is often no perfect solution for survivors navigating the justice system. The process is slow and confusing. Rayna will put in the work, do the research, and communicate each option clearly and empathetically. Rayna is organized. If Rayna is working with a family, she will follow through on each step, she never misses an email, and when she says she will find an answer she does. Being skilled and modeling the social work values are detrimental to this field. Additionally, Rayna is a pleasure to work with and learn from. Rayna enjoys having difficult conversations about the real systematic barriers our clients face. She has a passion to learn and be a life-long learner. Rayna has a contagious positive energy and is an excellent team member. She uses all her prior knowledge and expertise to guide her practice. Each day Rayna was in the office, her presence was known and will be treasured as she continues on in her profession.

MSW Macro

MSW Macro Margo Award Winner - Kelsey Rose

Kelsey Rose - Office of Victim Services

In her macro placement, Kelsey has engaged in a variety of activities to support the KDOC Office of Victim Services. She has written and managed a our Violence Against Women Act grant, which was fully funded! She also has been tracking legislative activities, including the activities of the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission and has participated actively in the Kansas Organization for Victim Assistance (KOVA) legislative subcommittee efforts. Kelsey has worked with our restorative justice program to review and update existing policies. She has participated in several activities related to the Prison Rape Elimination Act Multidisciplinary Team (PREA MDT), a statewide group working to improve response to incarcerated survivors. Kelsey has worked with our batterer intervention program (BIP) team to create a BIP evaluation for participants who have completed our program.

Kelsey works closely with our batterer intervention program (BIP) team and this statement from the BIP Coordinator is a clear testament to Kelsey's impact on our team: "Kelsey has been such a pleasure to have on our team. She is very willing to jump in head first and learn about this incredibly difficult work. She is open to feedback, provides excellent contribution to case staffing meetings and is an amazing team player. She has been more than willing to help when needed. She is such a quick learner and has provided tangible tools that we can use in the future. Her work in establishing a client evaluation of the Batterer Intervention Program (BIP) is instrumental for BIP staff to gather much needed feedback from clients in order to improve the services provided and for clients to offer their thoughts and opinions on the program they invested much time and energy into. This evaluation tool will be something that is used often in the future." Kelsey has a unique balance of head and heart skills that creates a powerful force for macro work. She understands the complicated dynamics of our work and masterfully distills nebulous programming into concrete policies, evaluations, grants, etc. She has been a joy to work with and has balanced many unique issues throughout her practicum with enviable grace. Kelsey's response to the impact of COVID-19 has been most impressive. When the notice came out that practicum would end at 550 hours, Kelsey was at 560. In meeting with Kelsey to wrap up, she stated that she intends to complete the projects she had started, working in volunteer status, so she doesn't leave open loops. She is aware of the impact that her abrupt departure would have on staff and has worked with program staff to prioritize what projects can be left as is and what would be helpful to have her work to complete before officially leaving. We are working with our Human Resources team in this unprecedented time to find Kelsey a part-time position with our office, if she is interested in such. We know her skills and perspective will set her up for a bright future and we are grateful to be a stop along her path. The KDOC Office of Vitim Services enthusiastically nominates Kelsey Rose for the 2019-2020 Margo Award for Outstanding Student Achievement in Field Practicum.

MSW Clinical

MSW Clinical Margo Award Winner - Jennifer McConico

Jennifer McConico - North Kansas City Hospital

Jennifer is on the Maternal Child Health Unit, which encompasses labor and delivery, postpartum care and the NICU. Jennifer's role includes completing psychosocial assessments for which there are consults for mothers with identified risk factors, triaging patients as appropriate from nurse referrals, completing follow up assessments with NICU families for patients who have longer stay. Jennifer's role includes promoting patients' rights and maximum benefits from health care services, proactively completing nonclinical chart review to assess for psychosocial, discharge planning and resource needs. Jennifer is also expected to act as a liaison between patients, family, physicians and other hospital staff, utilizing an interdisciplinary approach.

Jennifer has brought incredible assets to the Maternal Child Health Unit. Jennifer consistently displays kindness and empathy when she is working with patients and their families. Jennifer has helped implement a postpartum depression support group, to include meeting with community partners and hospital administration to propose and develop the plan for implementation. Jennifer has incredible insight and active listening skills, in the beginning of practicum when she was shadowing me and becoming familiar with the role of a social worker on this unit she would observe, hear and comment on things that I would miss - and she has only sharpened those skills as she has worked through practicum. Jennifer is constantly positive and asking where she can be helpful, not only to myself but to other staff on this unit. Jennifer always shows willingness and ability to compromise and be flexible when working with an interdisciplinary team to provide the safest discharge plan for a patient. She is also respectful, yet provides education to others on the team if a patients needs are requiring a different viewpoint. Jennifer is very proactive. If there are a small number of assessments, Jennifer will preform a chart review on patients to ensure that there was not a need that was missed during their intake. Jennifer is great at being able to anticipate discharge needs and communicating those needs to others on the team. Jennifer has worked with outside agencies, including adoption agencies and Children's Division, to coordinate a safe and appropriate discharge plan for all parties involved. Jennifer is always willing to go beyond the formal job description. In other down time she researches best practices for working with women who are at risk for perinatal mood disorders and updates resources and info appropriately. During our supervision meetings Jennifer talks about the difficult situations. She works through the situations where she identifies her bias and easily identifies alternate strategies to approach more complex situations that can occur on this unit. There has never been a time when I have tasked Jennifer with something that she wasn't willing to complete and complete well. Her knowledge, expertise, passion, empathy, laughter, kindness, advocacy, self awareness, active listening and trustworthiness will be greatly missed.


Preceptor Margo Award Winner - Melinda Reyes

Melinda Reyes - VNA Lawrence

The field instruction provided by my preceptor, Melinda Reyes, is a combination of hands on and teaching by observation type, which is how I learn best. In the previous semester(Fall), we specialized in hospice care that mainly concerns providing comfort care (not treatment) and psycho-social support to patients at the end of life, not forgetting to offer psycho-social care to patients' care givers and families. This semester(Spring), we are still doing hospice in addition to home health care which is an exciting experience all together. Home health deals with helping patients regain their ability to continue living life to their fullest and so patients may be offered different therapies and treatments as long as they can tolerate it.Home health is about identifying the resources each patient needs and making them available. Some times patients transition to hospice from here. We do home and facility visits and this is how we connect directly with our patients. Towards the middle of last semester, I started doing visits on my own and then got supervision from my preceptor and my offsite supervisor and I feel comfortable doing that at this point. I am doing more of those this semester including practice on admissions which is going well.

Overall, my preceptor is very professional and has a very good ability to keep her boundaries and also respects others'. Her organization and responsibility are areas that have really impressed and motivated me. She is very respectful to and patient with all staff, patients and their families and understands her role really well and does what she is supposed to do. She applies her social work skills, theories and practice skills extremely well. My preceptor's mastery and appropriate application of the National Social Workers Association Code of Ethics is an amazing aspect to take with me as a social worker. She is always culturally confidence and sensitive, a very social work aspect. Her positivity towards her role is indeed contagious and cannot go unnoticed. Her knowledge and awareness of the resources in the community and helping patients access them is a motivating factor for me. Her nonjudgemental attitude and her wisdom in handling issues is admirable. I can write a whole book about this but I hope this creates a clear picture of who she is. I would say she is one my best role models and mentors I have had in my practicum. I really appreciate her and highly recommend her as a future supervisor or preceptor.

Field Instructor

Field Instructor Margo Award Winner - Jasmine Turner

Jasmine Turner - DCF Child and Family Protective Services

Jasmine has made working at DCF, an incredibly hard practicum, enjoyable. Going into practicum, I was incredibly anxious about working in such a hard agency that deals with horrible things every day. Jasmine has always prioritized self care and checks in on me constantly to ensure that I am learning the most possible in my short time at DCF.

Learning about institutionalized oppression and poverty in an educational setting versus seeing how it impacts clients directly are two very different things. I was worried that my coworkers at DCF would be almost hardened, or blind to the institutional factors at play that effect our clients. However, it is quite the opposite. Everyone has nothing but great things to say about Jasmine at DCF, and she cares deeply about her coworkers. Her door is always open when people are having a hard day, which people frequently utilize. I hope that I am half the social worker Jasmine is, and that I can take many of the things she has taught me with me in the future when I have clients of my own.

Outstanding Offsite Field Instruction

Outstanding Offsite Field Instruction Margo Award Winner - Diane Bigler

Diane Bigler - KU

As a first-year MSW student, I have had no previous practicum experience or experience with a field instructor. Diane Bigler was an offsite field instructor as we had no one at the MSW level at our agency. From the beginning, Diane took guided me through well structured yet open conversation that allowed me to both process events in practicum and apply them in a broader context while not dwelling on them longer than necessary. Diane would come to supervision each week with extracurricular material that would get us thinking about various topics such as self-care/avoiding burnout, filling in gaps in advocacy, and the like. Furthermore, Diane identified pertinent areas of struggle and framed these difficult areas in a manageable way. With Diane's field instruction I felt more confident and cared for as a student and practitioner.

In a word, Diane's mindfulness. Her ability to assess a situation in the moment and act with thought has stood out to me. She has demonstrated her wealth of knowledge and experience in conjunction with her knowing the right time to employ them. Through Diane's example, I've learned to allow my experiences through practicum, and later on in practice, to fully cultivate into tools I use in practice and in interacting with other professionals for the best care of our clients. When Diane interacted with us practicum students, she identified where each of us were at in our learning process and met us there while still encouraging us to push our boundaries in a healthy and productive way. Diane showed me, and was evidence of the fact, that I can achieve my goals in this field and that nothing is beyond me as a practitioner.

Outstanding Field Liaison

Outstanding Field Liaison Margo Award Winner - Jennifer Dawdy

Jennifer Dawdy - KU

Jennifer is instrumental in assisting Jennie Marsh and Field Education staff in developing the BSW seminar. She and Jennie piloted seminar this year and due to their hard work, we will fully implement BSW and MSW foundation seminar in 2021-22. Additionally, as she did in 2015, Jennifer once again stepped up to assist the Field Office during a staffing and leadership transition. This year, Jennifer's field education roles have included: liaison, instructor, and practicum coordinator. Laurie and I are particularly grateful for her assistance managing practicum disruptions and planning during COVID19. This has been a crazy year in field and Jennifer did not shy away from the challenges. Thank you, Jennifer; you're a fine social worker, student advocate, and coworker. 

Field Education Office