UNCW Master of Social Work Student Appointed to National Association of Social Workers Board

February 2023 - Laurie Webb, a graduate student in the School of Social Work (SSW)has been appointed the MSW student representative to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Board of Directors.

Laurie WebbFounded in 1955, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

Webb says she entered social work to align her profession with her values. “The NASW codified the relationship between social and social justice work, significantly impacting my decision. That probably sounds like pandering, but it’s true. My professional goals remain the same as when I took the leap of faith to change careers and enter graduate school – and new loans – as my oldest son was starting college. That goal is to keep social justice at the heart of my social work,” she said.

School of Social Work Lecturer Ryan Estes is the NASW treasurer and said of Webb’s appointment, “When NASW President Joyner called for nominations, Laurie Webb was an immediate and obvious choice. Laurie combines insight and passion to deliver thoughtful contributions. She blends her history in past careers like the film industry with her current social work career and education to be a fierce social justice advocate. In this role, she will be an immediate contributor to matters that impact social work students across the country.”

SSW Director Stacey Kolomer noted that, “The School of Social Work is proud to have Laurie Webb serve as an MSW Student Director to the national NASW board. With more than 120,000 members it is a tremendous honor for a UNCW MSW student to be chosen to serve as the MSW student representative for the whole country.  In addition to Laurie, Ryan Estes is currently serving as NASW treasurer and is also a part-time instructor in the School of Social Work.  The service of these two colleagues to the profession is impressive and UNCW School of Social Work is delighted to toast their success.”

Before enrolling at UNCW, Webb took an entry-level job in the behavioral health department at MedNorth Health Center (a Federally Qualified Health Center in Wilmington) to ensure that she was well-suited for the nature of the work. A few months later, she applied to the part-time MSW program at UNCW.

Webb explained, “I would not have been appointed to the NASW board without that leap of faith and the support and advocacy of Ryan Estes, who I am fortunate to have leaped in nominating me. The combination of serving on the board of NASW, attending UNCW, and working at MedNorth, where I now serve as a care manager, is an incredible education in social work, and I am grateful. I am truly excited about learning and serving in these contexts and doing my best to contribute meaningfully to the board of the NASW as a non-traditional but equitable and committed representative of MSW students.”