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Wednesday, May 13

2015 NASW Illinois Chapter Statewide Awards

Nina Nguyen, NASW Illinois Chapter Manager, Membership and Communication

Congratulations to this year's 2015 NASW Illinois Chapter Statewide Award winners! This year's awardees were selected from the pool of nominees received for the chapter district awards (View district award winners here) The individuals below were selected by the NASW Illinios Chapter Statewide Awards Committee as people whose work in their professional and personal lives has upheld basic tenets of the social work profession—giving voice to those who are without voices. An awards ceremony will be held later this fall at the 2015 NASW Illinois Chapter Statewide Conference to honor this year's statewide award winners.

Congratulations to this year's winners!

Lifetime Achievement Award: Barry Ackerson (East Central District) 

Barry J. Ackerson (PhD, University of Alabama; LCSW) began his career in 1975 as psychiatric social worker. Prior to his academic career he was clinician and administrator in Alabama for twenty-three years, becoming involved in mental health system reform for the state. His practice background is reflected in his research on mental health services. He serves on the boards for the NASW Illinois Chapter and Community Elements. He presents at national conferences and publishes in a variety of social work and mental health journals. He has been at UIUC since 1998, associate dean since 2002, and has directed the MSW and PhD programs during that time.

Social Worker of the Year: Jeff Zacharias (Chicago District) 

Jeff Zacharias (MSW, Loyola University Chicago; LCSW; CSAT; CAADC) is clinical director of New Hope Recovery Center Chicago and maintains a private practice. His areas of interest include working within the LGBTQI community, all forms of addiction both individually and with partners, severe and persistent mental health, personality disorders, and trauma and its impact on recovery. He is a member of NASW, serves on the board of directors for NALGAP, NAADAC, and Alexian Brothers/Bonaventure House—a home for people living with HIV/AIDS. He's had numerous articles published as well as spoken extensively as conferences including NCAD, NAADAC, NASW Illinois, NASW Nations, NAMI National, and IITAP, focusing on issues within the LGBTQI community.

Emerging Leader: Edna Flowers (Chicago District) 

Edna Flowers (MSW, Loyola University Chicago) has over five years of experience working with diverse populations in nonprofit and education settings. She is career specialist at Inspiration Corporation and assists participants in reaching self-sufficiency through employment training and support. She currently serves as a member of the NASW Illinois Chapter Diversity and Cultural Competence Committee.


Public Citizen of the Year: Elizabeth A. Robb (East Central District) 

Honorable Elizabeth A. Robb (JD, Loyola University Chicago) has served for twenty-two years as judge in McLean County, Illinois, retiring in December 2014. In 2005 she was elected as the first woman chief judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit and served in that capacity for ten years. She was elected vice chair of the statewide Conference of Chief Judges in 2008 and elected as chair of the conference in 2014. As Chief Judge she worked collaboratively with criminal justice and community organizations to establish the McLean County Drug Court and Recovery Court (mental health), a Pro Se Small Claims Mediation program, the McLean County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation program, and numerous juvenile justice/child welfare programs.

Posted on 05/13/15 at 10:38 AM


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