How did you decide to go to social work school?
I had always wanted to get into understanding human behavior, motivations and why some people do things others do not typically do. Once I understood that environment and circumstance has profound impact on our behavior, Social Work’s holistic perspective just made sense.
If you could give one piece of advice to social work students, what would it be?
If you think you understand an issue, behavior or culture, you are wrong. Social Work is about life-long learning and immersion in different spaces, especially in areas we don’t inhabit in our personal lives. Never stop learning, never think you know enough. You just need to go to the next deeper level.
If you could give one piece of advice to new social workers, what would it be?
Get involved. Whether you are in macro, mezzo or macro practice, understand the impact at all levels. Systems can only change if we have those with expertise at all levels advocating with their perspectives. Professional organizations like NASW help us to stay informed and they lead the charge. Active members are the power behind the organization.
What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long week?
Be in Nature! Whether riding my bike, going on a hike with my kids, or sitting on the deck with my wife and friends. Good weather, movement and laughter are healing.
If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
- People respected other people’s differences and didn’t continue to propose ways to restrict our freedom or talking about our history.
- Everyone was afforded the basics of housing, health care and nutritious food.
- Everyone had the opportunity and resources to fully pursue their potential.
From whom do you seek consultation when you need it?
My peers and supervisor. Consultation is the greatest gift in this profession. Any collaboration to help me or those I work with enhances our work together.
You’ve won the Lottery. It’s a lifechanging amount of money.
What would you do differently?
Take a trip to the beaches in Thailand and do yoga at an Ashram in India. I’d also get a slightly bigger house on some land where my home office can be separate from my gym/guest bedroom.
What would you keep the same?
I would still do the work I’m doing but without the financial stressors.
What book are you reading right now?
Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed. I am looking forward to the movie that will be released later this year.
What’s on your playlist?
Everything from the Beatles, to Tegan and Sara, Lizzo, Marilyn Manson, and Alanis Morrissette.
What do you binge watch?
Whatever show my wife is watching with Queer Characters. Recently: The L Word: Generation Q, Sex Education and Pose.