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Vanguard: News from the College of Human Environmental Sciences

Spotlight on Career Achievement

Posted: Jul. 29, 2016

In July, Dr. Colleen Galambos, professor, School of Social Work, was elected as a 2016 National Association of Social Workers Pioneer. Now one of about 250 living Pioneers, Galambos joins Pioneers such as Grace Abbott, Bess Adams, and, closer to home, Jane Bierderman-Fike.

NASW’s Pioneers are social workers who have explored new territories and built outposts for human services on many frontiers. Each has made an important contribution to the social work profession and to social policies through service, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, advocacy, legislation, and election to public office.

Dr. Galambos is recognized for her contributions as a strong advocate for the social work role in health care and long-term care; as a leader in development of professional standards, including licensure, and gerontological competencies for social work students. She is a leader in training faculty in the development of knowledge and skills in gerontological practice. She has served as Editor-in-Chief of Health and Social Work Journal, published by NASW, and the Journal of Social Work Education, published by the Council on Social Work Education. She has led community initiatives to increase awareness of rape and domestic violence and to increase low cost housing for the working class. She is an advocate for better mental health services for all persons. Dr. Galambos recently helped improve the quality of care for older adults in skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, helped improve care transitions process for older adults throughout the continuum of care. She spearheaded community initiatives in St. Louis to increase professional’s knowledge of advance directives, and has organized advance directive clinics on National Health Care Decisions Day.

Colleen Galambos

Dr. Colleen Galambos
School of Social Work

Roberta Carter Arnold, MPS, and Director, NASW Foundation writes, "You have made important contributions to the social work profession and we want to laud you for your service. You and your Pioneer peers have prepared the way for thousands of other social workers to make their own contributions to the health and welfare of individuals and families facing significant challenges in both urban and rural communities. We salute you! … Thank you for doing what you have done throughout your life – and for setting high standards, and inspiring us to do more, every day. You are a striking role model for future generations of social workers."

Galambos says, "Since I was a junior in high school, I knew I wanted to be a social worker. To know that I accomplished this goal and I have made a difference along the way is truly gratifying. I’m humbled by this honor. It is the highest recognition a social worker can receive from NASW, and just a wonderful acknowledgment of my work."