Bob Blackwood received his Masters of Social Work degree from the University of South Florida in 1994. He graduated as a member of the Phi Alpha Phi Honor Society. He is currently the Chief of Social Work Service at James A. Haley VA Hospital where he supervises more than 164 clinical social workers, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and administrative support staff. Bob's commitment to the School of Social Work remains as he serves on the Professional Advisory Council. He served on the Board of Directors at the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County from 2011-2013.
Although Bob's father was a veteran and he had done contract work for the Department of Defense, he gives credit to Dr. Anne Strozier for letting him know about a summer field placement opportunity at the VA, which helped lead to his career serving veterans. Bob began his career at the VA in June 1994, within one month of his MSW graduation. Bob reports, he "has thrived in the team-based, interdisciplinary approach to health care, and the strong professional respect the VA shows to social workers."
Bob is thankful for Professors Anne Strozier, Ruta Wilk, Bill Hutchinson and Cleo Roberts who provided him with great learning experiences by role modeling what it meant to be a professional clinical social worker. He is grateful to his classmates "who were a constant source of support through the wonderful, stressful times of graduate school." One piece of advice Bob would like to share with students is "Learn the theory and practice, and know that becoming the professional you envision is a process, that learning the art and techniques of clinical social work is a decision and a journey."
Tanya Johnson- Gilchrist
Tanya Johnson- Gilchrist received her Masters of Social Work degree in 2012 and her Masters of Public Health degree in 2013 from the University of South Florida. She is currently the Senior Adoption Support Counselor at the Sylvia Thomas Center for Adopted and Foster Families. Tanya provides therapeutic services to children and families, facilitates several parent and teen support groups and also serves as the clinical supervisor for graduate and undergraduate students. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan and as the chairperson of the Board of Directors for Synergy Health Centers, Inc. A true reflection of Tanya's hard work was evident in her being the recipient of the USF Field Instructor of the Year Award in 2015. Tanya's connection to the School of Social Work continues as she serves as a supervisor of social work students at BRIDGE.
Prior to enrolling as a student at USF Tanya served in the United States Army. Tanya is grateful for the experiences she had as a student volunteering at BRIDGE, the Judeo-Christian Clinic and LEAD. Tanya appreciates the wonderful informal mentors she had while a student which helped guide her and provided her with support. Tanya's advice to current students is "do not be afraid of not knowing. Be afraid of not learning and not growing. Secure a mentor along your journey (formal or informal) that you can check in with who will serve to ensure your 'compass' stays calibrated."
Beatrice Froute de Domec
Beatrice Froute de Domec graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of South Florida in 2014. She was the recipient of the King O'Neal Scholar Award at graduation. Beatrice currently works as a Case Manager in the Catholic Charities: HUD Rapid-Rehousing Program for Homeless Families. Beatrice started her journey with Catholic Charities with her field placement in their refugees program. Beatrice reports this was a perfect fit because her passion lies in international social work.
Although Beatrice had several great experiences while a student at USF, she described her participation in LEAD as both "very informative and eye-opening." Another memorable experience for Beatrice during her time at USF was her study abroad trip to India with Drs. Carrion and Joshi which included the cultural immersion and interaction with the Idu Mishmi tribe. Beatrice's advice to current students is "kindness and personalized service go a long way in helping establish a meaningful relationship with your clients. Show interest in learning and apply what you already know."
Paul Milford graduated with his Masters of Social Work from the University of South Florida in 2013. While at USF Paul was the first MSW student selected to be a part of the Maternal and Child Health Leadership Training Program through the College of Public Health. He currently works as a Social Work Services Program Consultant for Children's Medical Services through the Florida Department of Health. Paul was appointed by Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass to represent District 2 on the Lee County Human Services Advisory Council. As a member of this council he advises the county commission on human services issues within the community.
Paul reported his experience working with an Early Head Start social worker during his high school internship program helped influence his decision to want a career as a social worker with children and families. Paul is very grateful for the training he received through the Maternal and Child Health Leadership Training Program which built core skills such as "interdisciplinary collaboration, family- centered care, and cultural competence." Paul reflected on what he learned from Dr. Conforti- Brown during his time at USF when offering advice to students. "Be present in the moment. You'll be amazed at how much more you pick up on when you stop thinking and start listening."