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School of Social Work Summer 2019 Commencement

Keynote Speaker John Van Camp Retired President & CEO, Southwest Solutions

John Van Camp

John Van Camp retired as President and CEO of Southwest Solutions in May 2018 after leading the organization for 37 years. He started as an administrative assistant in 1973, a year after the organization opened its doors as a small community mental health agency.

As CEO, Van Camp expanded the role of the organization and its impact on the community. He believed that reintegrating people with mental illness and the homeless into the community also required providing decent affordable housing and support services and actively participating in neighborhood revitalization and economic development.

Today, Southwest Solutions is a foremost provider of human and housing services, real estate and economic development, providing more than 50 vital programs and employing more than 300 staff persons. Its programs assist more than 10,000 people a year and are known for achieving outstanding results in improving lives and strengthening communities. The extraordinary growth of Southwest Solutions and its national renown as an effective integrated- services and community- building organization stem from Van Camp’s leadership and vision. He operates by the credo that “leadership is creating a compelling vision that others see as their own” and he fostered an organizational culture where individuals are encouraged to innovate and excel.

In 2018, the National Council of Community Behavioral Health presented Van Camp its Visionary Leadership Award. He was named as a national “Behavioral Healthcare Champion” and has received the Reinventing Michigan Award, the Wade H. McCree Jr. Award for the Advancement of Social Justice, an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Oakland University and many other prestigious honors.

Read John's speech

Student Speaker Dillon Cathro MSW Degree Candidate

John Van Camp

Dillon is 12-month student specializing in Interpersonal Practice and Children and Youth in Families and Society. He has had the great fortune to have practice in two field placements: the School of Social Work - Program Evaluation Group and the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, where he received a multifaceted and nuanced social work education that has helped him grow both as a practitioner and as an everyday person. Through the Ullman-Freud Fellowship, Dillon worked on a program to evaluate the extent to which students in the TLGBQIA+ community felt affirmed and welcomed in their professional internships. This project generated a vast amount of research and results that Dillon hopes will be used by future scholars to improve the experiences in TLGBQAI+ folks in the SSW, and greater University community.

Dillon is also a member of the Sexual Misconduct Education and Sanction Working group, as well as the Sexual Misconduct Advisor Board, both of which strive to eradicate sexual violence throughout the community, through preventive education and policy reform.

Dillon hopes to eventually earn in a PhD in Education, focusing on Pedagogy reform and teaching in an undergraduate social work program at a liberal arts school college.

Read Dillon's speech

Student Performer Erin Yuen MSW Degree Candidate

John Van Camp

Erin Yuen is graduating from the MSW program with a Master’s degree in Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health with a specialization in School Social Work. She intends to provide individual mental health counseling at an agency or group practice and work part-time in a school setting.

Erin truly enjoys group work with middle and high-school age youth and plans to focus on self-compassion, mindfulness, and developmental self-identity work through the incorporation of rites of passage, creative expressive arts and the use of myths and archetypes. Her practice will include a specialization in working with adolescents and adults with ADHD and the often invisible twice-exceptional and gifted populations.

On a state and national level, she intends to work toward mental health parity and easier access through more consumer choice. Advocating for the enforcement of routine regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force network checks on all organizations that receive federal or state funding is high priority.

Erin graduated in 2000 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. She has spent the past 15 years directing, coaching and teaching the performing arts at both the collegiate level and within her community in southeastern Michigan as well as recording over twenty titles of nationally- released audiobooks and DVDs. And finally, it is important to know that Erin has been married for 18 years and is Mom to four amazing children! She is here because she is loved.

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Remembering Katrina Marie Fischer

Katrina Fischer earned an Associate in Arts from Delta College and a Bachelor of Social Work from Saginaw Valley State University before entering the School of Social Work. Within the Master of Social Work program, Katrina focused on Interpersonal Practice and Children and Youth in Families and Society. She had a deep commitment to helping youth in foster care and families with complex needs. Katrina interned at Michigan Psychiatric Associates (Child and Family Program) in Bay City, Michigan where she educated caregivers and communities about trauma-informed practices and provided strengths-based interventions for children. Katrina was working toward her goal to provide therapy to children and families.

Today, we recognize the significant impact that Katrina Fischer made to our School and the social work community. We are honored to include Katrina among our MSW graduates and are deeply saddened to have lost such a talented social worker and member of the SSW community. She will be missed by many. Her children Trinity Angel Rose Escobar and Elijah Nicholas Fischer will accept a posthumous MSW degree in her honor.

Commencement Resources

Photos from the Ceremony

View the Summer 2019 commencement gallery on Flickr

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