The Miami-Dade Unit of the National Association of Social Workers – Florida Chapter has selected professor Jennifer Abeloff as “Social Work Educator of the Year.” Abeloff was nominated by students in her Field Practicum II class, Vanessa Galasso and Janitsa Rocamonde, who are each expected to graduate with a Master of Social Work at the end of this semester.
“While receiving this award alone is a great honor, the fact that two students nominated me for it is the greatest honor,” said Abeloff. She went on to explain, “When I teach, one of my greatest goals is to engage the students and share my passion for social work. The fact that these students nominated me tells me that I was able to successfully do so. That is exciting and extremely rewarding.”
As associate director in the School of Social Work at the FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, Abeloff runs the Bachelors of Science in Social Work Program as well as the Office of Field Education. Before joining FIU Stempel College, Abeloff began her career working in the child welfare arena in Missouri and California, providing services to children in the foster care system, both in homes and residential facilities. She then became the director of intake and assessment at a psychiatric hospital and later, the coordinator of an early periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment program in Philadelphia. Abeloff continued to pursue her education, completing an M.S. in Criminology at Florida State University, primarily researching issues of juvenile justice and penology.
Founded in 1955, NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, 132,000 members strong. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies. The members of the NASW-FL Miami-Dade Unit work in concert to bring about positive changes in our uniquely diverse and dynamic community.
Abeloff suggests students get involved with professional organizations like the NASW and its chapters and units, “Membership provides students with multiple resources in terms of support, role models, networking as well as access to journals, meetings and job postings.” Join NASW.