Jonathan Wales named Oklahoma’s Social Work Student of the Year

March 23, 2020

(Left to Right) Dr. Angelo McClain, CEO of NASW is pictured with Jonathan Wales, NASW-OK BSW Student of the Year, alongside social work faculty, Dr. Kylene Rehder and Jennifer Pribble.

Jonathan Wales, Northwestern Oklahoma State University senior from Woodward, has been named the 2020 National Association of Social Workers, Oklahoma (NASW-OK) Undergraduate Student of the Year. He received this award during a ceremony earlier this month held at the NASW-OK Annual State Conference in Midwest City.

The Undergraduate Student of the Year Award honors a bachelor’s level social work student from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program. Wales’ selection was based on the ability to demonstrate leadership qualities, contribute to the positive image of a social work program, successful academic performance, and representation of the profession’s core values.

Dr. Kylene Rehder, chair of the department of social work, said that Wales’ recognition is well-earned.

“We are proud of the commitment that Mr. Wales has demonstrated to the profession of social work and are excited his contributions to service and social justice are being recognized in such a prestigious way,” Rehder said.

NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world and focuses on enhancing the professional growth and development of its members, creating and maintaining professional standards, and advancing sound social policies.

Social work faculty and students attend the 45th NASW-OK annual state conference. Pictured (left to right) Dr. Kylene Rehder, chair of the department of social work; Dr. Angelo McClain, NASW CEO; Kallie Jones, Desiree Fritz, and Jonathan Wales, social work students; and assistant professor Jennifer Pribble.

 “I’m so honored by this award and grateful to Northwestern’s Department of Social Work for their support of the profession and student success,” Wales said. “I’m grateful to the social work faculty as they have prepared me to excel in professional social work practice.”

Wales currently is completing a practicum with the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Social Workers and the National Association of Social Workers with a focus on administration, advocacy and social work policy. He will be graduating in May and continuing his education in the fall to obtain his Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

For more information on Northwestern’s department of social work, please contact Rehder at (580) 327-8135 or


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist; (580) 327-8480

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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