S H I R L E Y S I M O N
My connection to social work began when I was about to complete my undergraduate studies in psychology from the University of Michigan. I did some soul-searching exploration as to what I would do next. Valuing my volunteer experiences with counseling, group work, advocacy and program development, I realized that a graduate degree in social work would allow me to continue to develop these interests with diverse populations in diverse settings. This decision was one of the best of my professional career. Being a professional social worker has allowed me to become a practitioner, group worker, consultant, educator, mentor, supervisor, therapist, researcher and author. This profession has provided me with meaningful interactions, challenges, and lifelong satisfactions. I am proud and grateful to call myself a social worker.
I chose this Small statue because …
… it was given to me by Elaine Finnegan, an active member of the International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG) and an adjunct faculty member of Loyal University, Chicago. She gave it to me as a gift when I was a new social work faculty member at Loyola. She shared with me that she thought it reflected the inter-connectivity of group work on a multi-generational level. In my eye, it also represents the family and our interdependence on one another and all of the systems that impact us. In any case, this statue has graced my office for over 20 years, and to me it symbolizes the multi-faceted connections that we have as social workers and the legacy passed on by one social worker to another.