AUSB Faculty Members Recognized for National Social Work Month

Debbie Allen, Mayor Helene Schneider, Elizabeth Wolfson
Debbie Allen, Mayor Helene Schneider, Elizabeth Wolfson

MA in Clinical Psychology program chair Dr. Elizabeth Wolfson, LCSW, and adjunct faculty member Debbie Allen, LCSW, honored as “social worker heroes” by the National Association of Social Workers–Santa Barbara unit.

The two colleagues were recognized as local “social worker heroes” at the Social Work Month Awards Dinner, held at Mulligan’s Café on March 5, 2013, in appreciation of their outstanding accomplishments in the field. The Honorable Mayor Helene Schneider of Santa Barbara spoke at the event, which was attended by social workers, professionals and other community members.

Dr. Wolfson spent a decade as an instructor at AUSB before joining the University as full-time faculty and Chair of the MA Clinical Psychology program. Under her development, the program’s innovative Concentration in Healthy Aging has won an AARP and Central Coast Commission for Seniors award. She has also been a practitioner, supervisor and Program Director for numerous award-winning community programs, such as the Portraits of Survival Program, that paired Holocaust survivors with gang members to express their life narratives, and Santa Barbara Village; a membership organization she helped launch, that has supported elders in their homes since 2010.  

Dr. Wolfson has served on the Board of the National Association for Social Workers since 2001. As VP of Professional Development in 2002, she developed the Continuing Education program for professionals in collaboration with other agencies. Recently, she has arranged for NASW to present seminars at the AUSB campus, which are open to students and any community members interested in clinical practice. Dr. Wolfson has published and presented on topics focused on Holocaust Survivors, Forgiveness, Healthy Aging, and other subjects.

Ms. Allen, an adjunct faculty member in AUSB’s MA Clinical Psychology program, is well known in the social work community. Her two decades of community and private practice have encompassed working in inpatient psychiatric hospitals, intensive outpatient and day treatment programs, residential treatment, and school based therapy. She has mentored and trained numerous social workers during field placements, post-graduate internships, and state licensure qualifying periods. Ms. Allen has also participated on mental health advisory boards and has held positions with NASW on the national, state, and local level; she currently serves as Region G Assistant Director.

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