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Featured Meet MSW Outstanding Student Trinity Martinez Pope Francis once said, “Go and show love to everyone, because your life is a precious mission: it is not a burden to be borne, but a gift to offer.” And when you meet our 2022 MSW Outstanding Student Trinity Martinez, you know no other mantra could better describe her. Trinity is an advanced standing student from San Antonio, Texas, but has lived all over the US and has traveled the world through mission work and study abroad programs, including countries such as Lithuania, Jamaica, Italy and Ireland. All of these experiences contributed to her ability to adapt well to change and exposed her to many cultures and diversity at a formative age. Today, she is a natural leader, committed to speaking up for others and standing up for what she believes. Featured Meet BSW Outstanding Student Micaela Jones From a family of educators arises Micaela Jones—emerging social worker. This graduating senior originally thought she would continue the “Jones legacy” as a teacher until she began student teaching and realized that many times, the “home prevented students from being able to thrive in the classroom.” Couple that with a heart for justice, and it became clear that social work was the correct path for Micaela to pursue so that she could impact change at a larger systemic level. It was this passion that earned Micaela the title of BSW Outstanding Student of the year! Research Healthy Bonds for Black Fathers-in-law, Sons-in-law What does a healthy relationship look like for a Black son-in-law and his father-in-law? A study aims to answer that question and was published in “Psychology of Men & Masculinities” by University of Maryland School of Social Work’s (UMSSW) Assistant Professor Ericka M. Lewis, PhD, MSW, with Professor Michael E. Woolley, PhD, MSW, and Baylor University Assistant Professor Brianna P. Lemmons, PhD, MSW. Studies on in-laws are far and few between, less so for male in-law relationships, and even less so for Black male in-laws. Community The Enneagram and Baylor's Certification Program The Enneagram, unlike many modern-day personality tools such as the Myers-Briggs or the Birkman, can trace its roots to ancient times. The word itself is derived from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (drawn symbol). The Enneagram is represented by a circle with nine different starting points and nine equidistant lines drawn within the circle. It is meant to show nine different perspectives or “personalities” for how different people view and understand the world. The lines within the circle show how different personalities interact with each other in times of stress or growth. Numerous tests or checklists can be found online or in books to help someone identify which personality type resonates the most with themselves. However, as learned from Dr. Jon Singletary, Dean of the Garland School of Social Work, the Enneagram is so much more than just a test. Dr. Singletary describes the Enneagram as a resource that can be used to better help us understand ourselves. He adds that the Enneagram can reveal more about how God has created us, is calling us, and transforming us. Featured Crystal Brown Alumni Profile: Shining Her Light For Others Military veteran and Baylor alumna Crystal Brown is shining her Baylor light via social work in a way she never expected—in the field of nephrology. Growing up, Brown recalls seeing her cousin dressed professionally each day as an attorney. She always knew as a kid that she too wanted to be a professional one day so she would be able to establish her own voice. MSW Meet Raashida Birmingham: 2021 MSW Clinical Intern of the Year Congratulations to Raashida Birmingham, the Garland School of Social Work’s 2021 MSW Clinical Intern of the Year. Like many others, Raashida did not first choose social work. However, after an internship with Healthy Families Florida, a program that “improves childhood outcomes and increases family self-sufficiency by empowering parents through education and community support,” Raashida said her supervisor at Healthy Families suggested the profession of social work to her. “I am thankful for this suggestion because social work is definitely my calling. I love working with and serving others and am very passionate about having the opportunity to do that every day as a career,” Raashida said. BSW Meet Nataly Sanchez: 2021 BSW Intern of the Year “Nataly represents so much of what we are talking about nationally in terms of health care workers on the front lines during COVID-19. She is an academically excellent student. Nataly managed the many challenges of COVID-19 in her placement with dedication, perseverance and excellent client care this year,” said a colleague of the 2021 BSW Intern of the Year: Nataly Sanchez. Nataly said she chose social work because of her strong passion for community building as well as her goal to fighting human trafficking. MSW Meet Dondra Williams: MSW Community Practice Intern of the Year “Dondra’s personal values align with service, integrity, and dignity, and she upholds these values while maintaining a sense of worth on the survivor. She appreciates and meets people where they are in terms of being diverse with different cultural and social values,” said Amanda Carpenter, task supervisor of Dondra Williams, the GSSW’s MSW Community Practice Intern of the Year. Dondra began classes at the Garland School of Social Work’s online program in May of 2019. She said Baylor felt like the right place for her to pursue her master's degree because of the prioritization of the ethical integration of faith and practice, especially because of the influence her faith has had on her life choices to become a social worker. Research Professor awarded $3.1M NIH grant exploring interventions with young women in the juvenile justice system WACO, Texas (May 25, 2021) – Danielle Parrish, Ph.D., professor in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University, has been awarded a $3.1 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to study the efficacy of risk reduction intervention efforts for young women age 14-17 in the juvenile justice system. The grant will be dispersed over five years, beginning May 2021. The project, titled CHOICES-TEEN: Efficacy of a Bundled Risk Reduction Intervention for Juvenile Justice Females, is an effort to fill gaps in care for at-risk young women in the juvenile justice system. "I'm really excited and honored to have this opportunity to pursue this research that I’ve had on my heart for many, many years," Parrish said. "This grant will provide the resources to implement a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of an intervention that I hope will be able to be used more widely in the U.S. and fill the gaps in services for this population." MSW Meet Samantha Nelms: 2021 MSW Outstanding Student Award Winner MSW Outstanding Student Award winner Samantha Nelms never imagined herself to be so involved in the field of social work. Growing up, with her mother as a member of the city council in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, Samantha had been raised to appreciate and prioritize policy and politics. Because of her passion for the two, she decided to major in sociology, a field where she could study social organization, structure and the reasons behind it. Because of her expertise in the field after conducting her senior capstone on community partnership and education, Samantha remembers her friends that were already in the MSW program at the GSSW encouraging her to apply. BSW Meet Isabella Book: 2021 BSW Spirit of Social Work Award Recipient “I used to not stand up for myself. I think because of the nature of kindness at Baylor and the sense of advocacy that the School of Social Work instills, I do [now],” said Isabella Book, winner of the Garland School of Social Work BSW Spirt of Social Work Award. “I always knew I had it in me, but I just never carried through. I have a voice now, and I'm not afraid to use it.” Isabella said along with learning about the importance of advocacy, the Garland School of Social Work has also inspired her to pursue what she believes to be her lifelong purpose and career path-- being a hospice social worker.

From the Dean

Jon Singletary
Welcome to Community Connection online!
Jon E. Singletary | Dean, Garland School of Social Work

I am excited to welcome you to Community Connection online magazine. This digital publication highlights everything that makes this vibrant, creative community so special: our students, our alumni, our faculty and staff, our research, our partners and the communities we serve.

Here you will find stories showcasing the work, events, activities and accomplishments of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. If you find our stories valuable, inspiring or informative, please share them!

I am grateful for all the time, energy and resources you pour into our school. The work we do here and in partnership with people and organizations from all over the world is about making a real difference, a true impact. This is the heart of our mission, and I pray you will continue to partner with us on this journey. You enrich our lives in so many ways, and we love to share our stories with you!

We look forward to staying connected with you, and as always, we encourage to stop by and say hello if you are ever in town.