Celebrate Homecoming 2019
And our 50th Anniversary
at the School of Social Work Reception

The School of Social Work at King's University College invites you and a guest to attend a panel discussion and the annual Social Work Homecoming Reception.

Reconnect with friends and the School of Social Work on

Saturday, October 19, 2018
Panel: 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Reception: 5:30 – 7:00 pm

Garron Lounge
Student Life Centre

BSW and MSW graduates, students and faculty are welcomed to attend our anniversary celebration. Alumni in graduating years ending in 4 or 9 are especially encouraged to attend and celebrate their anniversary year. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available.

RSVP by October 11, 2019

We look forward to welcoming you back!

For more information, please contact Julie Siverns, 519-433-3491 ext. 4445

Our Panelists

The School Of Social Work Graduation Year: 2015

Current Career Organization(s): Fanshawe College / St. Joseph’s

Hospital Title: Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor / Social Worker

Quote: “Social work is not just a career. It is a way of living and interacting with the world.”

Life At King’s

I chose King’s because of the community that it offered to me as a student. I was able to create relationships with not only my professors but the staff in the Social Work department too. I stayed in touch with my professors even after graduation. They still are available to offer guidance and support as well as assist with making professional connections. King’s was also able to offer me a practical perspective through placements that provided me with a variety of dynamic and well-rounded learning experiences. These relationships and placements have continued to assist me in my career and eventually led to my current role in the field.

During one of my elective Social Work classes at King’s, I began to realize the professional path I could have in this field. This class shared how vast the social work field is and the opportunities to work alongside many different people to advocate and facilitate change. This experience excited me and lit a flame of passion within me. That passion for social work helped show me where I needed to be.

My favourite memory includes being able to make lifelong friends, learn from my mentors and experience the field through my placements. My MSW placement at St. Joseph’s Hospital provided me with a lifelong friend and mentor as well as laid the foundation for my current career. There were also extra-curricular opportunities, such as working with my peers to do Interprofessional Health Education and travelling to India to see social work within another context with my International Social Work class.

My placements, experiences and connections at King’s that I was able to make have shaped me into the social worker that I am today.

Life After King’s

My placement at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program prepared me for my professional career after King’s. My supervisor taught me how to balance our passion for partnering with survivors on their healing journey and the anger that we feel with the current state of how systems and society responds to survivors of violence. This experience helped me know that I had found my calling. A place in our field where my feminist values, hunger for change and dismantling power dynamics could be utilized. Following my placement, I joined Fanshawe College as the Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor. My role involves supporting and assisting students who have experienced any form of sexual or gender-based violence. This role has allowed me to meet students where they are at now and allows for flexibility in how we support students to ensure that the path forward looks how they want it to. I also work part-time as a Social Worker at St. Joseph’s in the same department as my placement. I provide clinical counselling to survivors of sexual and domestic violence. This is work that is provided within an interdisciplinary team of social workers and nurses. The program allows individuals to receive their medical care and counselling in the same location. The support provided in this setting is so valuable. The most rewarding part of my work is having the privilege to be able to work with the clients I do, and I am continuously grateful that they allow me to be a part of their healing process. King’s gave me a social work community. They connected me to the existing social workers in London and a valuable group of supportive fellow social workers that I can call upon when needed.

The School Of Social Work Graduation Year: 2008 (B.S.W), 2009 (M.S.W)

Current Career Organization(s): Human Rights Unit- Ministry of the Solicitor General

Title: Indigenous Human Rights Advisor

Quote: “Across the life cycle of a Social Worker, we must consider how meaningful the impact of change can be.”

Life At King’s

I chose King’s because King’s had an amazing reputation and I was honoured to be a selected student to attend this program for both of my degrees. I was a young single mother and seeking higher education close to home. It was important to me that I demonstrate the importance of having an education to my children.The Social Work program at King’s enabled me to pursue the types of employment I was looking for and be able to attend my studies part-time while maintaining my employment.

The professors in the School Of Social Work embraced the fact that social work studies can be vast and lead to further meaningful employment opportunities. I appreciated that fact as there are many ways to influence systemic change from the micro to macro levels of society. My professors invited me to think and explore outside of the box and would often look back and provide their own “lived experiences”.

One memorable experience was when I participated in a week-long experiential learning trip to Mexico as part of the School Of Social Work with other members of my cohort. Great friendships were cemented, the opportunity to “give back” and create “learned experiences” resonated for me. It further spoke to the need for systemic change in society and how long it takes to achieve this. This trip fostered in me a sense to become a part of the solution on a global scale no matter how “tiny” my contributions may be.

Life After King’s

I work within the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and have been an employee for about 20 years. I worked for many years with youth and children bridging aspects of Indigeneity, Resilience and capacity building in mainstream society. My work involved micro to the macro levels and helped to inform many areas in Ontario as they worked to further increase their knowledge, learning and policy development to be more inclusive of Indigenous people.

Within the past few years, I have been employed as an Indigenous Human Rights Advisor with the Ministry of the Solictor General. This focus shifted to ensuring all policies and procedures offer an Indigenous lens and knowledge base of Indigenous human rights in this governmental area.

My role involves providing Indigenous and human rights advisory services to support other initiatives that impact Ministry employees and people in various areas such as human resources, labour rights, etc. This involves the coordination of providing Indigenous human rights and human rights organizational change advice and support to ministry management and various areas. I implement this by planning and developing strategic initiatives to facilitate systemic change throughout the organization.

As an Indigenous Human Rights Advisor, being part of the development that helps to inform systemic and organizational change from a human rights and Indigenous perspective has been very rewarding and an honour.

King’s helped prepare me by offering opportunities to connect with many knowledgeable and experienced people in Social Work. I was able to draw from individuals employed in various sectors, and my professors gave me theories/ methodologies to consider when working with Indigenous populations. The learning opportunities were often invaluable and I reflect upon the memories often and with fondness in my thoughts.

The School Of Social Work Graduation Year: 1988

Current Career Organization(s): Kawartha Haliburton Children’s Aid Society

Title: Executive Director

Quote: “Always be your authentic self and treat others as you want to be treated.”

Life At King’s

I chose King’s University College because the smaller campus with access to the larger Western University amenities and programs was a great balance for a young adult coming out of high school. The key components for me when choosing King’s for social work is that the School of Social work had an exemplary reputation for a high-quality experience.

My favourite memory of being at King’s was the people, fellow students and professors, who I was able to connect with and become colleagues with. After 30 years, my fellow students and I come together every five years to celebrate our graduation anniversary. We were a relatively small class of just over 40 students and we supported each other through the ups and downs of university education.  We challenged each other to understand the values and ethics of social work, and most importantly we learned to laugh together.

The professors at King’s were also a part of this comradery. They encouraged us, supported us, created some great and memorable experiences, like facilitating attendance at the Group Work conference in Boston. One of my role models in social work education was Dr Rose Maria Jaco who taught me at King’s.  Dr Jaco instilled the importance of understanding of power structures, systems and privilege and their impact on individuals, families and children.

 As I reflect now, these experiences of valuing and understanding the importance of having supportive colleagues and accessible learning activities has continued to be foundational to my career and practice experience.

Life After King’s

Upon graduation from King’s, I was hired in child welfare and spent my career dedicated to understanding the practice of social work. I championed the work of child welfare practitioners who at that time were very much misunderstood and misrepresented in the work that they do.  Through my years of direct service work, I learned that knowledge attainment was lifelong. I learned that I would never “arrive” as the commiserate professional I longed to be, and that I was responsible to ensure that my knowledge and wisdom was up to date.