2020 NASW Board Slate 

Member-at-Large

Cheryl Kupras

Cheryl-Kupras

Biography:  Cheryl Blankenship Kupras, MSW, LCSW, is a Health Care Program Manager II with Santa Clara County Behavioral Health, managing the assessors in Behavioral Health Treatment Court.  She earned her MSW at San Jose State University and her BA in Sociology at the University of California, Davis. Prior to her current position she worked in Quality Improvement and in Addiction Medicine for Santa Clara County.  Kupras is a longstanding NASW CA Chapter leader. She served as Chair of the San Jose Unit of NASW then went on to serve as Region B Financial Chair, Assistant Director then Regional Director before serving as Board Secretary and on the Financial, Bylaws and Birdwoman Scholarship Committees. In addition she has served on the Board of the National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery.

Kupras was the 2001 recipient of the SJSU GOLD {Graduate of the Last Decade} Award for the College of Social Work.

Platform Statement: I am honored to be considered for the position of Member at Large of the NASW Board of Directors. Given my longstanding leadership in the CA Chapter, a position on the NASW Board is the next logical step.  I have always been dedicated to growing the organization and serving the members in my unit, region and state. NASW is a vital part of my career path as a professional Social Worker. If elected, I promise to represent the membership to the best of my ability. I will outreach to members and interact with leadership collaboratively to grow the organization to serve members and clients through communication, legislation and advocacy. I will continue to be actively involved in the California Chapter so that I may stay current and responsive to the needs of members. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve you in this capacity.

Barbara Shank

Barbara Shank

Biography:  Barbara W. Shank, Dean and Professor Emerita, earned an MSW and PhD from the University of Minnesota. For more than forty years she has engaged in social work education. Under Shank’s leadership, the school grew from 50 to 600 students; from 4 to 34 full-time faculty, and programs increased from one to five offering five professional development institutes. In 2014, the School launched an online DSW program, ‘Education as Practice’. Shank consults on BSW and MSW program development and reaffirmation. She served as NASW MN Chapter President and Secretary; on the National Delegate Assembly Planning Committee; and Chaired the National PRN, holding membership since 1973.She served as BPD Conference Chair; CSWE Board Chair and Treasurer; NADD President and Treasurer; and ICSD President. She is an Accreditation Site Visitor and Secretary of IASSW. Shank was named NASW MN Social Worker of the Year (1993), Social Work Pioneer (2016) and received a NASW MN Lifetime Achievement Award (2019).

Platform Statement: It is a privilege to serve as a professional social worker. I value the opportunity to partner with colleagues to further the NASW mission. The mission speaks to what keeps me engaged and passionate about social work. I believe we must develop and promote excellence and engage in professional development. We must create and maintain professional standards and advance sound social policies to provide effective service. We must collaborate and partner if our profession and our professional organizations are to remain strong and vibrant. We cannot fulfill our mission or meet our goals alone. As social workers, we face many challenges and we need to practice inclusiveness, affirm our diversity, and respectfully challenge our detractors. I will bring to this position my willingness to listen; passion for social work; affirmation of difference; ability to find opportunities in problems, manage conflict and empower colleagues; and commitment to collaboration and social justice.

MSW Student Member

Samantha Williams

Samantha Williams

Biography:  Samantha Williams is a full-time foundation year student at the SUNY University at Buffalo’s MSW program. She’s interested in macro and mezzo social work, working with the aging population, people of color, immigrants, substance abuse users, and individuals with terminal illnesses. Currently, she’s employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant for skilled nursing facilities. She has been certified since March 2019 and has held a position in dietary since 2016. For the most part, she works on the sub-acute orthopedics unit, but has experience working in long-term care and hospice care. Williams graduated from SUNY Buffalo State College with a BA in History and African American Studies, focusing on public policy. She spent a semester as a legislative Intern for Rep. Brian Higgins. As an MSW student, she belongs to the UB’s Macro Social Work Club and is a student representative for UB’s curriculum committee.

Platform Statement:  It is with great privilege that I submit my candidacy for the NASW Board of Directors MSW Student Member position. If elected, I pledge to always act in the best interest of the Association and ensure that the governing board oversees its affairs with diligence and prudence. I am committed to serving the interest of the Association, promoting the Association’s mission and upholding its Bylaws, Code of Ethics and policies. I am also committed to bringing the voice of student members to our decision-making process. If elected, I hope that this opportunity will help me grow as a social work leader and improve my strengths as a policy advocate.

Mathew Goldberg

Mathew Goldberg

Biography:  Mathew Goldberg is an East-West Center Graduate Degree Fellow, pursuing his MSW from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) with a Behavioral Mental Health specialization. Goldberg graduated as an Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellow from Elon University in 2014 with a BA in Psychology. At UHM, Goldberg has demonstrated leadership qualities in his volunteer roles as board member of the Social Work Graduate Student Organization and vice president of the East-West Center Participation Association. Goldberg is a strong candidate for this position. He has more than a year’s experience working in residential and community services for youth with behavioral and mental health issues and is passionate about using his social work skills to promote youth development, leadership education, and community engagement. Goldberg was a Fulbright grantee teaching English in South Korea from 2014 – 2017 and has since founded an international nonprofit for Korean and Japanese high school students.

Platform Statement: I am incredibly humbled to be slated as a candidate for the MSW Student Member on the NASW Board of Directors. If elected, I will utilize the opportunity to uplift social work student voices, to increase student involvement and ensure our education meets the current needs of our field. To strengthen the Association, I will support efforts that embody social work’s core values such as, promoting greater client accessibility and cultural humility education, to help all individuals regardless of background receive the appropriate and ethical services. Moreover, as a member of the next generation of social workers, I am motivated to help unify and mobilize our Association to address social injustices through policy reforms that influence our micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice. Overall, I will uphold the ideals of the NASW and advocate for the underprivileged populations we serve.


Regional Board Member - Region I

Shavon Fulcher 

Shavon Fulcher

Biography: Shavon Fulcher has worked in child welfare for 17 years. She currently supervises the housing stabilization unit for the Department of Children and Families (DCF). The unit is tasked with servicing families facing housing insecurity combined with child welfare involvement. Fulcher is also an LGBTQ liaison with DCF. Fulcher obtained her undergraduate degree in Education Studies with a concentration in Social Justice at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She obtained her Master of Social Work from Salem State College. In addition to working in child welfare, Fulcher is an adjunct professor in the online social work programs at Bridgewater State University, Salem State University, and Simmons University. Additionally, Fulcher has a private clinical practice in the Boston area working primarily with adults.She serves on the MA Commission on LGBTQ Youth as an appointee of NASW and is completing her second term. She also serves as co-chair for the NASW Chapter Committee on Nominations, Leadership and Identification.

Platform Statement:  Social justice will continue to be the platform from which I stand. It is crucial to connect with others who want to be contributors and represent the social work profession to the highest standards. As a child welfare worker, social work educator, and mental health clinician, I understand the importance of connecting practice and policy. I stress this with my students and show it in my own actions. If elected, it would be my privilege to represent Region I on the NASW Board of Directors. It is my hope to always be a part of the process and energize future social workers to do the same.

Hope Straughan

Hope Straughan

Biography:  Hope Haslam Staughan is Clinical Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Dual Degree in SW and Theology at Boston University. She received a BA from Samford University, MSW from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and PhD from Barry University. Dr. Straughan has held membership in NASW in Kentucky, Florida, California and Massachusetts chapters, and was part of a Sacramento-based HIV/AIDS interest group. She enjoys membership in the Society for Spirituality and Social Work, North American Association of Christians in Social Work, and the Council on Social Work Education. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the ‘Social Justice Warrior’ from Wheelock College, ‘Parents of the Year’ from the Department of Children and Families, ‘Turner-Wheeler Award’ from Parents Helping Parents, Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International, and Fellow in the Leadership Academy for Deans and Directors, and COF Leadership Program. She serves on the Board of KEY, Inc., clerk of FAMILY, Inc., and as a volunteer foster care case reviewer for DCF.

Platform Statement:  I have been a social worker for 30 years, and if elected, will work to ensure that the connection between chapters, members and the national organization remains strong and centered on the core values of our profession. I am deeply committed to the ethical practice of social work, and to our central tenets of strengths, empowerment, equity, inclusion, and human rights and social/economic justice. Having worked with juvenile probation, elderly, HIV/AIDS and child welfare populations, my commitment is to advocate for and with those who are marginalized and oppressed. At this time in our country, we are in a strong position to advocate through our political system and grassroots efforts to work towards a more just society. I am honored to be slated as a candidate to represent Region I and, if elected, will share my passion for the social work profession and engage my strong organizational and collaborative skills.


Regional Board Member - Region II

Monica Harrison

Monica Harrison

Monica Williams Harrison, MSW, LCSW, has had 17 years of professional experience in social work, including therapy, teaching, non-profit development, leadership, and management. She earned her BS in Early Childhood from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and her MSW from the North Carolina A&T and UNC-Greensboro joint Master of Social Work program. Raised in a military family, Harrison developed the ability to connect quickly and easily with a variety of people, which has been essential in her social work career. Harrison works as a consultant for the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA). Through consulting with CFHA and other organizations independently, Harrison helps health care practices implement Behavioral Health Integration. She is active in NASW and PTA; having served in leadership and stakeholder roles on committees and boards such as NASW-NC PACE Board. Harrison was recognized for her leadership and service with the UNCG School of Health and Human Sciences Alumni Pace Setter Award.

Platform Statement: In order to be a true change agent, I believe we must work towards change in our communities; as well as within the agencies and partnerships that create change. NASW is one of the prominent advocates and change agents not just for social workers, but for all citizens to aide in the goal of thriving and not just surviving. Through my work in integrated care, I highlight the variety of expertise and knowledge social workers bring in all capacities and continuums of life that I’ve experienced in my non-clinical, clinical and non-profit administrative roles. I am motivated to lead with heutagogical practices while serving as the region II representative and will work diligently to be your voice as we collectively work to positively impact our local communities. Thank you for your service as world changers. I am honored to receive your support.

Kurt Fuchs

Kurt Fuchs

Biography: Kurt Fuchs, LCSW, joined NASW in 1989.He received his MSW from the Southern Connecticut State University and a BA in psychology from the University of Connecticut. He is adjunct faculty at the University of Saint Joseph. Fuchs served on the CT Chapter Board of Directors for 11 years (1998-2004, 2013–2018), twice as a regional representative, vice president and president. He has also served on the Children’s Committee, Committee on Inquiry, Finance committee, and twice as a delegate for delegate assembly (2002, 2018). He is the chapter’s representative to the Connecticut Against Gun Violence coalition which was formed in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy. Fuchs worked at a psychiatric hospital, two community mental health centers, and the CT State Department of Children and Families. His private practice focuses on adults suffering from PTSD. He is also a certified EMDR therapist and has clinically supervised students from multiple universities since receiving his MSW in 1993.

Platform Statement: “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington

I have been a proud member of NASW since 1989; the values, ethics, and ideals of social work and NASW are cornerstones of my professional identity. My 35-year career has allowed me to work with a numerous individuals, communities, and organizations. I have had countless opportunities to practice advocacy, develop new policies and programs, implement quality assurance procedures and either facilitate, or participate in multidisciplinary teams. I will strive to advance the mission and protect the fiscal health of the association. I believe the positive and/or negative outcomes of the Modernization process must be analyzed and then utilized to inform new initiatives that enhance and/or remediate those outcomes at every organizational level. It is also critical that we focus on increasing new and retaining existing members for the continued solvency of the entire association.



Regional Board Member - Region X

Dorothy "Dottie" Greene

Dorothy 'Dottie' Greene

Biography: Dorothy “Dottie” Greene is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work and the Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counseling at East Tennessee State University. She has been a social work and addiction educator for 14 years. Greene holds a PhD from the University of Utah and an MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Greene is the Chair of NASW’s ATOD Specialty Practice Section and has served this committee for nearly seven years. For over 20 years, Greene has practiced in the areas of addiction, mental health, trauma, and clinical supervision. In 2010, Dr. Greene was recognized as an ATOD Pioneer by the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work. She is a member of NASW and NAADAC and holds multiple credentials related to social work, addiction counseling, and clinical supervision.

Platform Statement:  It is my greatest honor be nominated as a candidate for Region X on the NASW Board of Directors. If elected, I will hold the position in the highest regard and seek solely to serve the greater good of our membership, society, and the families, individuals, groups, and communities we serve. I will strive to be a voice for those who have been silenced, to advocate for the needs of those most underserved, and always promote inclusivity. I value the richness that diversity and difference bring to all life experiences. Though my 30+ years of experience as a clinical social worker, supervisor, addiction specialist, and social work educator will help inform my role on the board, the voices of our membership will be the guiding force for all that I do. Thank you for considering me for this highly revered position, and I promise to serve the NASW in the spirit of service and gratitude.

Henry "Hank" Rainer

Hank Rainer

H. L. “Hank” Rainer, LCSW, is engaged in social work consultation and clinical practice. He has worked as a social worker for over forty years in both direct and administrative practices with an emphasis on the elderly. Rainer received an MSW and a BSc in Sociology from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he subsequently taught as a member of the adjunct faculty at the School of Social Work. He has been a member of NASW since 1979, serving on the Mississippi Chapter Board in various capacities, the most recent being president of the chapter. Rainer also served on the state’s social work licensure board, the State Chapter Board of Directors of National Alliance on Mental Illness. Currently, he serves on an advisory board working to develop the state’s strategic plan for alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses. He was awarded the NASW MS Chapter Social Worker of the Year Award in 2009.

Platform Statement:  Our world continues to face many challenges, including growing inequality, human right abuses and other social justice issues. Social workers must assume leadership roles to effectively deal with the challenges that face our profession, as well as our clients. Social workers’ strength is in our diversity, our collective knowledge, and our passion to improve the lives of our clients and the world in which we live. We must continue to have our collective voices heard, for the clients we serve and the professionals that serve them. If elected, I will work to raise and strengthen social work voices. I will support the mission and goals of the Association. We must seize the opportunity to strengthen the visibility and understanding of social work, its core values, its professionalism both within the profession and the greater society at large.

Regional Board Member - Region XIII

Edward Davila

Edward Davila

Biography: Edward Davila is a Complex Care Manager who performs telephonic medical case management with SCAN Health Plan, not-for-profit, Medicare Advantage Plan, based in Long Beach, California. He is also a veteran of the US Army and California Army National Guard. Davila obtained his MSW at the University of California, Los Angeles; and a BA in Sociology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Davila has been a member of NASW since 1998 and is also affiliated with the Gerontological Society of America, UCLA Alumni Association, American Legion, and National Guard Association of California. He is the recipient of the “Spirit of Service” -Community Volunteer Award, which he received from his employer for his volunteerism with NASW CA Chapter. Positions held with the chapter include: Board of Directors, VP of Professional Development; Professional Development Committee Chair; Delegate to the Delegate Assembly; Region F Inland Empire Unit Chair, multiple other committees, and current Chair, Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification.

Platform Statement:  Merriam-Webster defines commitment as an agreement or pledge to do something in the future. This is my promise if elected to serve as your Region XIII representative. My burning passion and commitment with NASW has been to serve on the Chapter Board of Directors and multiple committees. As a chapter volunteer leader, I have attended, Lobby Days in Sacramento, volunteered 15 consecutive years at the California Annual Conference, and have been involved with NASW National: Chapter Ethics Committee Bi-Monthly Ethics Review Training.

My extensive volunteer efforts with the California Chapter and not-for-profit experience and expertise create an advantage that is essential for a strong candidate. NASW operates as a not-for-profit entity balancing marginal profits and implementing successful strategic plans, and policy. My employer allocates marginal revenues directly into member benefits and business programs rather than for shareholders. I pledge to advocate for policy implementation and equitable allocation of financial resources, and membership growth under the NASW Board of Directors.

Rachelle Jackson

Rachelle Jackson

Biography: Rachelle Jackson, MSW, LCSW, CCM, is a social work educator and practitioner. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience in child welfare, international adoption, health care, behavioral health, case management and clinical practice. She obtained her MSW from California State University, Long Beach. Jackson is adjunct faculty at San Jose State University, School of Social Work, and clinical practitioner at NorthBay Healthcare where she serves on an integrated behavioral health team. Additionally, Jackson serves as a member of the Solano County Mental Health Advisory Board, is 1st Vice President of the Vallejo Branch of the NAACP and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Jackson has served NASW-CA Chapter on the local level as Assistant Regional Director for Region C, as member of the Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification and the Professional Development Committee.

Platform Statement: I am sincerely honored to be nominated as a candidate to represent Region XIII on the NASW Board of Directors. I am interested in this position because I care about the standards of our profession and the power of advocacy we have as a group. I am passionate and dedicated to our profession and committed to the beliefs of the Association. If elected, I will utilize my leadership, practice, and facilitation skills to best serve the Association. I want to be a liaison between the NASW Board and the local chapters to support the profession, ensure efficient communication with our members and to advocate for issues effecting the needs of social workers and the diverse communities we serve. I appreciate your consideration and thank you for your support.



National Committee On Nominations & Leadership Identification

Region V

Peter Callahan

Peter Callahan

Biographical Statement: Peter J. Callahan graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from West Virginia University in 2003. He was honored to give the graduating speech which focused on advocating for the profession of Social Workers. Callahan has been in private practice since 2007.Since then, his practice, which focuses on family and addictions, has grown to offer low-cost and accessible care to many in the community. In the various positions he has held, Callahan has started many community-based programs. In 2016, the State of West Virginia asked Callahan to spearhead the first Crisis Stabilization and Detox Center in the community since the early 1990s.Callahan serves on the NASW WV Chapter board as well as many other state and local boards that promote the success of the community. He fights for families, people afflicted with addictions and those incarcerated and involved in the criminal justice system.

Platform Statement: I have always been a champion for those who need access to treatment and services. I believe it is important to be involved in anything that promotes the wellbeing of the members of my community. This includes being involved in the decisionmaking process. Living five hours away from where the decisions are made in the State of West Virginia, I think it is important to give a voice to our needs.

I acknowledge that our interests as Social Workers vary as much as those ideals of candidates voting on our behalf. If elected as a member of the National Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification (NCNLI) I want to give a voice to our interests. I want us all to be included regardless of race, gender, identification, religious, political, or cultural backgrounds. A voice that represents Social Workers and the communities and issues we serve.

Donald McDonald

Donald McDonald

Biography: Donald McDonald, MSW, RCP works as a Technical Expert Lead (TEL) with JBS International, directing technical assistance for HRSA Rural Community Opioid Response Program grantees across the country. He is a war veteran and former school teacher who has experience in clinical addictions services, peer support services, policy advocacy, and education. He holds a Bachelor of Education from NC State University and a Master of Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill. He serves on NASW’s ATOD committee, where he has published several newsletter articles. He also serves on NIH’s Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) Stakeholder Board. As one thriving in sustained recovery from severe mental and substance use disorders since 2004, McDonald’s passion is Recovery Activism.

Platform Statement: I’ve enjoyed NASW membership since I was a student. I still have the mug. Our nation is in crisis -- fractured and divided, and we are part of the solution -- as we always have been. Our Service value encourages us, with a spirit of humility, to meet people where they are, whether they are our participants or the decision makers we aim to influence. Concurrently, our Social Justice value directs us to seek out and resolve inequity with all the outrage at our command. How do we reconcile these seemingly conflicting values? I was an angry social work student, and one of my professors taught me not to quell that. She said, “Harnessed anger and clear direction will make change on many levels.” NASW is poised to help our members embrace their outrage and direct it toward impactful and lasting change-making. If elected, I will not let us forget that.