As part of its National Social Work Month celebration, CUW’s social work faculty and students nominated three deserving individuals for awards.
CUW’s social work department celebrated National Social Work Month throughout the month of March. Activities included an essay contest, a panel presentation where professionals shared about their experiences in the field, and the announcement of Uncommon Christian Social Worker awards.
Nominees were drawn from three separate pools:
- Bachelor of Social Work
- Master of Social Work
- Alumni of Concordia
Bachelor of Social Work Awardee—Giselle Torres
Here is what nominators had to say about Giselle:
- She is determined and incredibly hardworking. She always goes above and beyond for those in need. The strong faith and prayers from Giselle and her family is what keeps her motivated.
- I have had the distinct pleasure of having Giselle as a student in both theology and philosophy courses at CUW. She is kind and compassionate and a very willing learner. She consistently would ask questions in and out of class that showed her desire to find ways to apply the truth of God’s Word or some philosophical idea. She comes from a Latino family that has made its way to the US through hard work and an honest faith in Christ. Giselle embodies the mission of our university. She is preparing to serve with the light of Christ those families who, like her own, are coming from other countries to the United States and seeking citizenship. I believe she will be a great blessing to many.
- She is a joy to talk to and has strong values that she lives by.
- She is an amazing person inside and out. This is demonstrated by her ability to see the best in people.
- Giselle has a unique approach to her work that sets her apart from others in her field. Her faith is incorporated into her practice in a way that goes beyond what is typical for most Christian social workers because she shows inclusion and compassion.
Master of Social Work Awardee—Brooke Brockman
Here is what nominators had to say about Brooke:
- Brooke Brockman goes above and beyond in their work, consistently embodying the values of compassion, empathy, and selflessness. She never shies away from difficult cases or challenging situations, and always approaches work with a heart for service.
- Brooke has significantly impacted the lives of countless individuals and families. She has dedicated her career to serving vulnerable populations, helping with addiction. Through her tireless efforts, she has helped countless people find hope, healing, and a path to a brighter future.
- Brooke is an inspiration to her colleagues and peers. She leads by example, demonstrating what it means to be a true servant leader. Her dedication to her clients and her unwavering commitment to social justice is a testament to her character and integrity.
- I have known Brooke for close to 4 years now. We met as undergraduate students at Concordia. Even back then, when Brooke was still deciding if she wanted to pursue social work, she demonstrated a high level of compassion for everyone that she interacted with, always looking to understand and know the individual in an objective and kind manner.
- In her final semester of graduate school, Brooke has paired her natural skillset with clinical reasoning to best serve her clients. She sets a professional standard during her clinical internships that encourages others to reflect on their own actions and do the same.
- Brooke has an authenticity to how she carries herself that allows for a genuine, therapeutic relationship with her clients.
Alumna Social Work Awardee—Amanda Krzykowski (BSW ’02)
Here is what one nominator had to say about Amanda;
A 20-year veteran in social services, Amanda has worked in roles focused on serving youth and families in the Milwaukee, Houston, and Chicago-area communities. In her current role as Director of Performance and Quality Improvement at Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS), Amanda is responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining systems for measuring and reporting client outcomes and impact. She also oversees systems related to risk reduction, quality improvement and business analytics for the nonprofit organization. Amanda works closely with her team to promote and implement quality improvement. She does this through an equity lens by identifying trends and bringing attention to and working to address disparities within social services systems.
Amanda is a true champion of change. She advocates at the state level for removing barriers faced by social services organizations and the people they serve. She is a coalition builder who gathers individuals and entities to learn together and align their actions to achieve greater impact. Amanda is part of many committees working to make impactful changes. Committees include the Board for Coalition to Expand School Based Mental Health, Office of Children’s Mental Health Impact Council, Midwest Results Network, and Concordia University of Wisconsin’s Social Work Advisory Board.
As a servant-leader, Amanda is dedicated to the growth of others and this shows in her efforts to prepare future generations of social workers. In her role as adjunct instructor at CUW since 2017, she offers students opportunities to apply what they are learning to research projects within LSS and has created social work internships at LSS, hosting a dozen or more interns in her department in the past seven years. In these ways, Amanda exposes students to practical and meaningful learning experiences that help them explore their interests and better understand what practice-informed research and research-informed practice is all about.
Amanda lives in Cedarburg with her husband, Brett, son, Calvin and dogs, Rollie and Cooper. She has a BSW from CUW and MSW from Loyola University Chicago.
Concordia’s social work program uses Christian service, quality research, and hands-on learning to grow you as a competent professional. Earn your bachelor’s degree at CUW and then continue on to acquire an MSW, the most sought-after social services degree. Learn more about our programs by clicking below.