Excellence in social work

Smith named Washington state Social Worker of the Year

The Social Worker of the Year award was presented to Susan B. Smith, professor of social work and sociology, at the University of Washington in Seattle on March 29 at a meeting of the Washington state chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

The award, honoring an outstanding and influential social worker, reflects Smith’s years of service in the field of social work. The recipient must “make a demonstrable difference … and be willing to take risks to achieve outstanding results.” Some of Smith’s contributions to the community and to the field of social work have included working as a clinical social worker at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, in Miami, Florida, working as a private practice clinical supervisor in Walla Walla, Washington, for several years, and then in 2015, becoming the dean of the School of Social Work and Sociology at Walla Walla University.

In her teaching, Smith specializes in mental health and direct social work practice, while her areas of research interest include leadership, mental health, and forgiveness. Some of her widespread community involvement includes serving on the board of directors as a volunteer for REACH in Tacoma, Washington, and on the Housing Groups Board in Walla Walla. Smith’s professional career exemplifies the qualities required for this award and demonstrates, through certain accomplishments, the profession’s best achievements and values.

Learn more about the WWU School of Social Work and Sociology at wallawalla.edu/social-work.

Posted May 20, 2019

Portrait of Susan Smith wearing a red dress.
Susan Smith, professor of social work and sociology, has taught at WWU since 1997.