Each month, faculty and staff are recognized for their enormous contribution to Union. In the words of President Sublett, “Only people make a difference in an organization and only people are important in our lives.”
March is National Social Work Month. Union Institute & University’s major in Social Work applies a real-world approach and on-the-job training experience through a combination of online and fieldwork. The UI&U degree curriculum is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and prepares the graduate for an exciting and in-demand career in social services, child welfare, health, addiction, corrections, and juvenile work.
The 2018 National Social Work Month theme is “Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions.” Union is proud to celebrate our social work leaders, advocates, and champions as they enhance the well-being and basic needs of all people, especially the most vulnerable in society.
This week the spotlight is on Kesha Williams, Ph.D., M.S.W., L.S.W., L.C.D.C.III, C.A.-C.Y.F.S.W., A.S.C.W. Dr. Williams is the Director of Field Education for the UI&U major in Social Work. Learn why she is proud to be in the social work profession in the Q&A below.
Q. What excites you about being a part of higher education?
A. Higher education allows me to impact the future in a meaningful way. That is exciting. I am also excited to be part of the Social Work profession and I believe in its Code of Ethics. Social Workers help leverage the playing field for the disadvantaged and marginalized; people who can’t advocate for themselves.
My responsibility at Union is to ensure each student attains a field placement that offers real life experiences to implement what the student has learned in the classroom. I have to be sure the student is going to receive a worthy and meaningful experience. I rely on my communication skills to build a list of collaborative agencies so that I have a healthy pool to choose from regardless of where the student lives.
Q. What attracted you to become a part of the Union family?
A. I too am a nontraditional student and Union’s mission to reach that segment of the population really touches me. I joined Union years ago in 2005 – 2006 when it was known as a college without walls. That message resonated with me. I also grew up in the neighborhood where the Cincinnati headquarters is located.
Q. If you could have any job in the whole world, what would it be?
A. If I could have any job in the world I would be president of an organization that develops programming to educate, advocate, and serve marginalized populations.
Q. What surprises people about you?
A. People are surprised at my wealth of professional knowledge. I have extensive work experience in various areas of social work. I have worked in substance abuse, been director of a health collaborative, worked at another university, and served as Director of GED Services for Hamilton County Juvenile Court. These areas have brought me extensive leadership experience.
Q. What is your favorite book, and why?
A. I have two favorite books. The first is “The Life You Were Born to Live.” It gives insight into personality and traits that help develop your career and life path. The second book is the Bible.