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School hosts Field Instructor Appreciation Conference

By Teresa Ilinitch

On May 22, the School’s Field Education Program hosted its much-anticipated annual Field Instructor Appreciation Conference.

With field education identified as the “signature pedagogy” by the Council on Social Work Education, the School has a strong commitment to supporting its field instructors from more than 300 agencies in the Triangle and Piedmont areas. Over 100 of these social work professionals spent a day at the School interacting with faculty, attending workshops and networking.

Teresa Ilinitch, clinical instructor and field advisor working with child welfare students, coordinated this year’s event. Associate Dean Joelle Powers and Director of Field Education Rebecca Brigham welcomed participants and shared how influential their field instructors had been in their own professional social work educations.

Professor Michael Lambert gave the keynote address which marked the theme for the day, “Compassion Fatigue: Taking Care of Yourself as You Take Care of Others.” Afternoon workshops were given by the School’s distinguished faculty. Dr. Deborah Barrett presented on “Approaching Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.” Dr. Mark Testa presented on “Policy Advocacy and Multigenerational Families.” This year’s ethics workshop was presented by Clinical Assistant Professor Laurie Selz-Campbell on “The Use and Abuse of Professional Privilege.” Valerie Arendt, Director of Membership Marketing and Communication for NASW-NC, presenting on current initiatives and resources available through the Association.

Each year, the School gives awards to local agencies that exemplify “the best of the best” in field instruction. Award winners this year were the Wright School, presented by faculty member Marilyn Ghezzi; the Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County, presented by faculty member Jean Livermore; Durham Congregations Associations Neighborhoods, presented by faculty member Dan Hudgins; Family Services of the Piedmont, presented by faculty members Tina Souders and Theresa Palmer; and Orange County Schools, presented by faculty member Tauchiana Vanderbilt.

The Field Education Program recruits and develops new field instructors on a continuous basis. If you are interested in becoming a field instructor, please contact Rebecca Brigham at