Northwestern’s Social Work Students Attend Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Worker Board Meeting

December 3, 2018


Social work students are pictured with Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Worker executive director Jim Marks prior to the beginning of the meeting. Front Row (left to right) Katelyn Van Vickle, Ashley Neal, Marsellia Rael, Alicia James; Middle Row (left to right) Kathryn Hess, Jamie Metcalf, Reba Finley, Madeline Turner, Mirissa Branine, Elizabeth Fox-Shipley, Jessica Goodballet; Back Row: Jim Marks.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University social work students recently attended an Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Worker (OSBLSW) board meeting held at the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision in Oklahoma City.

Social work students attending the meeting included senior Mirissa Branine of Woodward; junior Reba Finley of Arnett; senior Elizabeth Fox-Shipley of Laverne; senior Jessica Goodballet of Mooreland; sophomore Kathryn Hess of Enid; senior Alicia James of Woodward; senior Jamie Metcalf of Blackwell; senior Ashley Neal of Enid; senior Marsellia Rael of Woodward; senior Madeline Turner of Enid; and senior Katelyn Van Vickle of Woodward.

“Since social workers at the bachelor’s level can obtain a professional license to practice it is imperative students understand the standards of the profession and high levels of accountability associated with it,” Dr. Kylene Rehder, chair of the department of social work, said. “I am grateful to executive director Jim Marks and my fellow board members for their willingness to welcome students, provide them with the rules and regulations of the profession and offer insights into the board’s role and functions.”

Social work is a professional and academic discipline committed to the pursuit of social justice and human rights which works towards addressing individual, group and community needs. Social workers perform interventions through research, policy, community organizing and direct practice with research often focusing on areas such as human development, social policy, public administration, program evaluation and community development. Due to academic, professional expertise, competencies, ethical and legal thresholds required for the practice of social work, every U.S. jurisdiction and Territory, including Oklahoma, has in place a "Social Work Practice Act" to regulate the practice within their respective jurisdictions.

“The Oklahoma state licensure meeting was an amazing experience,” James said. “It was a great educational experience to grasp the professional demeanor of the licensure board members and to understand the dynamics to receive a license for myself in the near future. I am looking forward to next year’s meetings and learning more.”

The practice of social work in the state of Oklahoma is declared a professional practice and is subject to regulation by the OSBLSW under the Oklahoma Social Work Practice Act (O.S. Title 59). The purpose of Oklahoma’s Social Work Practice Act serves to promote, preserve, and protect the public health, safety and welfare by and through the effective control and regulation of the practice of social work and the licensure of social workers.

“Attending the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers board meeting allowed me to gain a better understanding on policies and procedures in relation to social work practice,” Neal said. “This experience furthered my knowledge on the importance in the development of self-awareness not only in practice, but also in our personal lives. Being able to represent the social work department at Northwestern Oklahoma State University was an honor and I look forward to attending future board meetings.”

The OSBLSW consists of board chair Sharolyn Wallace, PhD., LCSW; board vice-chair Beverly Coon, LMSW, LCSW; board secretary Rehder, Ed.D., LCSW; board member Connie Schlittler, LCSW; board member Kelly Harmon, LMSW; and board member Durand Crosby, JD, PhD.



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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