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NASW member, author Inducted into University of Pennsylvania Inaugural Social Work Hall of Fame

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- National Association of Social Workers (NASW) member SaraKay Smullens, MSW, author of the NASW Press title Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work, has been inducted into the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice (SPP2) Alumni Hall of Fame. 

Smullens, who also was named Social Worker of the Year for 2018 by the Pennsylvania Chapter of NASW, is one of five “exceptional social change agents and practitioners – one representing each of the School’s five degree-programs,” the university states on its website.

Smullens was deeply moved by the honor saying, “I literally almost fell of off my chair when I learned this, and still cannot believe it.”  

This commemoration was the first of its kind since the SP2 (formerly the School of Social Work) was established more than 100 years ago. 

“These are impactful individuals who have truly made a difference in social policy and social work,” Herb Whren, Chair of the Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board said, “We are permanently memorializing the contributions of those who have gone before us.” 

Each of the inductees “spoke passionately of their respective, lifelong commitments to social work practice, educational equity, issues of mass incarceration, and advocacy for those experiencing homelessness,” according to the university.  

The other inductees include: Jon Spack, executive director of Discovery Justice, which prepares young people to value the justice system; Kirk A. James, DSW, a clinical assistant professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work; Max Marchitello, a senior analyst at Bellwether Education Partners who focuses on social policy, and the late June Mann Averyt, PhD, a tireless advocate for the homeless in Memphis, Tenn.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.