Featured Articles

Wednesday, March 1

2017 NASW-Illinois Chapter Statewide Awards

Nina Nguyen, NASW-Illinois Chapter Manager, Membership and Communication

Congratulations to this year's 2017 NASW-Illinois Chapter Statewide Award winners! 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 to honor this year's statewide award winners.

Congratulations to this year's winners!


Gerda J. Schell (AM, The University of Chicago; LCSW) began her remarkable multifaceted sixty-three year career in the Chicago area. As therapist Gerda worked with individuals and families in private practice and a variety of institutional affiliations. She also served in a broad range of administrative appointments at state and private hospitals for children and adolescents. As consultant to fellow professionals and agencies and through her volunteer work with agencies empowering the most vulnerable populations, Gerda’s contribution to the field speaks to her humanity and commitment to the welfare of others. As child specialist, she has also held appointments to the Office of the Governor of Illinois and the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was also founding board member of the National Registry of Health Care Providers and has served on various NASW projects. Gerda continues to provide clinical and administrative consultation to multiple community social service agencies since resignation from the public sector in 1993.


Mary Abbott (MSW, Aurora University; LCSW) started her career in social work twenty-five years ago as a juvenile probation officer. For the past twenty years she has worked as a school social worker with the last five years as department lead. Additionally she is adjunct professor at Aurora University in the Graduate School of Social Work. She also provides supervision to social workers seeking their clinical hours for LCSW certification. Lastly she has a small private practice in which she provides psychotherapy to individuals, families, and couples. Mary has a passion for trauma-informed care and building relationships with her clients. She believes in connection, genuineness, and caring in order to empower change.


Sarah Buino (MSW, Loyola University Chicago; LCSW; CADC; CDWF) is founder of Head/Heart Therapy, Inc. She is a licensed clinical social worker, certified addictions counselor, Certified Daring Way facilitator, and adjunct faculty member at Loyola University. She specializes in shame and substance abuse and utilizes her musical skills in therapy interventions at various drug and alcohol treatment centers in the city. Sarah's latest endeavor in clinical social work leadership is a project she has been collaborating on with Robert Hilliker, LCSW, of Houston, TX. Together they will be opening a new location of The Lovett Center in Chicago. The Lovett Center is a community hub for continued learning, collaboration, and innovation for helping professionals. The Lovett Center provides practitioners with the autonomy of private practice, while creating a work environment that feels like a community. By hosting a broad base of helping professionals they will create opportunities to connect clients with highly specialized, integrative support, and higher levels of care they would likely not receive in other treatment settings.

Posted on 03/01/17 at 08:00 AM


Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.
  • 11-27-18

    East Central District Networking Event: November 2018 (Champaign)

  • 11-30-18

    LSW/LCSW Review Course 11.30.18 (DePaul Center)

  • 11-30-18

    Southern District Networking Event: November 2018 (Whittington)

  • 12-07-18

    West Central District CEU Event: Non-Traditional Social Work Roles - A Panel Discussion (Canton)

  • 01-18-19

    LSW/LCSW Review Course 01.18.19 (DePaul Center)

Calendar »

Become a member of NASW today!


Visit the CEU Opportunities page to find free CEU events for NASW Illinois members!

Continuing Edcuation

Consider joining one of our social networking groups.