This year, the the National Association of Social Workers, Illinois Chapter (NASW-IL) is honoring the work of some exceptional Illinois social workers and individuals whose work promotes social justice and social change with and on behalf of the people and clients they serve.
Congratulations to this year's 2019 NASW-Illinois Chapter Statewide Award winners! They will be honored later this fall at an awards event at the statewide conference taking place November 5–7, 2019, at The Westin North Shore in Wheeling, IL.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Stanley McCracken (PhD, The University of Chicago; LCSW) is retired from The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. He has forty years’ experience as clinician, educator, and consultant. He has written about psychiatric rehabilitation, addiction, behavioral pharmacology, behavioral medicine, aging, motivational interviewing, and staff training. His current practice interest is supporting healers who work with refugees and immigrants; veterans; older adults; and individuals in behavioral health and medical settings. He consults with staff at Asian Human Services, Hanul Family Alliance, and Rush University. He is on the board of directors of Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation and the professional advisory group for Advocate Condell Hospital Clinical Pastoral Education.
SOCIAL WORKER OF THE YEAR: Marta Lundy (PhD; LCSW) is professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work. She began her academic career at the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams School of Social Work in 1987 as instructor and continued as assistant professor until 1994 when she moved to Loyola University. At Loyola, she teaches clinical social work practice across diverse populations and problems, specifically individual and family therapy, family violence, and practice with immigrants and refugees. Her research interests parallel her teaching, focusing primarily on domestic violence and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. More recently, she has conducted research and written on the circumstances of Mexican immigrants, with a focus on family interaction and violence.
EMERGING SOCIAL WORK LEADER: Nina O’Brien (MSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; LCSW) is local recovery coordinator for VA Illiana Health Care System where she works to promote whole health and recovery-oriented care within the VA system. As a mental health clinician, Nina has experience working with children, families, and veterans of all eras, including survivors of combat trauma and military sexual assault. She is a registered yoga teacher and launched a trauma-sensitive yoga program at VA Illiana in 2015. Nina believes in the healing power of connection and enjoys incorporating interventions for the mind, body, and spirit into her daily social work practice.
PUBLIC CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: James McIntyre became a ward of the state of Illinois after suffering over seven years of abuse at home. Unfortunately, like so many others in state care, foster care wasn’t a better placement for James either, and he suffered continued trauma from sexual assaults while in care. While around 80% of aged-out foster youth in Illinois end up in corrections within five years, James chose a different path—he became an advocate for aged-out foster youth in Illinois. James helped to create Illinois’ first chapter of the Foster Care Alumni of America where he served as chapter president for five years. He also served as the organization’s unpaid legislative advocate where he pushed for (and ultimately passed) legislation that made foster youth documentation affordable to get, and other legislation affecting Illinois foster youth. He also testified on his own trauma in the foster system and helped NASW-Illinois Chapter lobby and pass the landmark 2018 foster youth tuition waiver bill which now provides aged-out youth a pass to a college degree. He did all of this while supporting himself working full-time for a local PetSmart. James now speaks to nonprofit agencies, serves on numerous taskforces and commissions around child welfare, and has become a go to resource on child welfare in Illinois.
The NASW-Illinois Chapter is proud of the work of Stanley, Marta, Nina, and James for their contributions both to the social work profession as well as their communities. To learn more about the awardees, click through the links below to their press releases.
Social Worker of the Year Marta Lundy