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College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Advisory Board

The Community Social Work Advisory Board serves as a guiding force in the continuing development of social work education at Virginia State University.  Its chief obligation is to ensure development of a social work department consistent with community needs and goals and high in professional quality.

The Community Social Work Advisory Board is composed of social service professionals, community leaders and former graduates from all geographic locations in Virginia served by the Virginia State University Social Work Department (Richmond-Petersburg Tri-City Area and other Southside Virginia localities).  The Advisory Board functions as a link between the community and the Social Work Department, sharing community interests and needs, advising the Field Department on specific issues, discussing current trends in social work practice and social work education, and providing community support for the field instruction component of the curriculum.

  • The Board assist in the maintenance of high standards for the department through their involvement in curriculum overview, student practicum, community networking and as a resource for committee selection.
  • The Board provide a means of disseminating information about the Department, obtaining feedback from key community leaders about how the Department’s significance is perceived, securing suggestions for the Department’s improvement, and assisting the Department in obtaining local and state support.
  • The Board encourage participation by professionals representing community agencies who have a commitment to social work education including members of local NASW chapters.

The Board is appointed by the Social Work Department faculty and consist of a group of  15 or more and is comprised of students, program alumni, and professional and community leaders, representing a broad array of agencies and fields of practice who support the Social Work Department Baccalaureate Social Work Program. 

  • Members shall serve three year terms, staggered so that turnover shall be approximately equal thirds. Reappointment is not limited
  • The Board shall elect a chairperson from its membership who will serve a two year term. Members are eligible to succeed themselves.
  • The Board chairperson shall serve as the SWAB representative to the Social Work (Curriculum) Committee.

The Social Work Advisory Board advises the Department of Social Work on the direction it should take. The Board meet formally twice a year (Fall and Spring), but will also be represented by the Chairperson of the Board on the Social Work (Curriculum) Committee.

  • The Social Work Curriculum Committee is the curricular and policy setting committee for the Department.
  • Board members communicate with the Chairperson of the Board or the Department Chair or designee between board meetings when there is information to impart that should not wait for formal meetings.
  • SWAB input take the form of development of specific curricular areas and sequences (Practice, Policy, Research, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Diversity, Social Justice, Special Populations, etc.), assisting in the creation of field observation activities, advising on elective offerings, providing local job information for graduates, and giving guidance on a wider variety of topics.
  • The Boards active participation in program accreditation endeavors, including site visits from the Council on Social Work Education is extremely helpful in the Social Work Department’s successful accreditation efforts. 
  • The Board fill an extremely vital role in ongoing self-evaluation and future development.
  • The Board is an excellent source of information and a particularly vital contact with the local professional community as well as local needs and trends in social services.

Current Advisory Board

  • Ms. Jane B. Parker, MSW - SWAB President
  • Gwen Thornton, PhD, LCSW - Chair of Social Work Department
  • Ms. Nannie Russell, MSW - (Retired)
  • Ms. Angela Bowman, MSW LCSW - Henrico County Department of MHMR
  • Kimberly W. Miles, MSW ACSW - Director of Petersburg Department of Social Services
  • Ms. Debra Riggs, BA - Executive Director of NASW – VA Chapter
  • Yvonne Barry, PhD LCSW - Director of Human Services at John Tyler Community College
  • Mrs. Michelle Bair - VSU Alumni 2012
  • Ms. Pamela Ratcliff - Director of Human Services at John Tyler Community College
  • Latroyal Smith, MSW LCSW - Independent Living Solutions
  • Jennifer Campbell, BSW - VSU Alumni 2014
  • Mary Vail Ware, MSW - Virginia Attorney General’s Office & VSU Adjunct
  • Angela Henderson - VSU BSW Faculty                        
  • Becca Lynch - Office on Youth & Human Services
  • Tammy Walton, MSW - VSU Adjunct Faculty
  • Keneisha Thornton, MSW - McGuire Veterans Hosp. & VSU BSW Adjunct
  • Denise Lucombe, MSW - Richmond City Department of Social Services
  • Felicia B. Daniels - Progressive Adult Rehabilitation Center, Inc. 
  • Melissa Foublasse, MSW - Petersburg Department of Social Services & VSU Adjunct Faculty 
  • Carla Jones, MSW - VSU Adjunct Faculty
  • Lillian Rhudy, MSW LCSW
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