School of Social Work Alumni Updates

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      How many social workers does it take to celebrate Michaela Rinkel's wedding?!

 

 

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Kirsten Thornton: Kirsten says "I recently moved back to Renton, WA after four years working with the City and County of Honolulu! I work for the Renton School District (my old district) as their GEAR UP District Coordinator. I am back in school, attending Seattle Pacific University. I am currently completing a Program Administrator Certification and will be done in the Spring of 2020. Hopefully, I will roll into their Education Doctorate. Crossing my fingers it will be done by 2022. Lastly, I had a little boy in September of 2018! His name is Toussaint Kahikina! He is the sweetest little human ever. We are celebrating his 1st birthday with friends and family flying from all over, and I just couldn't be more excited to see some HPU 'ohana who will be making it over.  

 

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Lauren Pelletier, LMSW: Since graduating from HPU, Lauren moved to Middletown, Connecticut. Her husband and her bought a house and she began worked for The Village for Families and Children as the only Bilingual Clinician for the Extended Day Treatment Program. There are four sites in the state and Lauren assists with assessments and all communication with monolingual Spanish speaking families. She has also spent time helping with case loads at the agency's short and long term psychiatric residential treatment facilities. Lauren's family grew this past December and her son now has a baby sister. 

 

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Patrick Taylor is currently working as a Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM) Social Worker at the Hampton VA Medical Center in Virginia where he assists with veterans diagnosed with chronic mental illness with their intensive case management needs. 

 

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Christina Travnitz: Upon graduation a little over 3 years ago, Christina, her husband and her daughter moved to LA, bought a home and laid down some roots. She works for the LA County Department of Health Services as a Psychiatric Social Worker. She works with the severely mentally ill population and says it is equally challenging as it is rewarding. Christina and her husband welcomed a baby boy into their family a year ago and have become a happy family of 4. She says "Life is busy but exciting! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was on the beautiful HPU campus, time flies!"

 

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Lavon "Von" Petersen: Von was able to reach out to one of the MSW professors from the BSW/MSW program at HPU who is very well connected within the community, and was instrumental in letting him know which agency was hiring. Subsequently, he was recently employed by St. Francis Healthcare Center at their CARE Plus program. As a MSW (soon to be LSW) at St. Francis Care Plus program, Von works with a team of experienced social workers who guide patients and their families to reduce stress for a better quality of life. They provide health education; assess language, cognitive or literacy barriers; assist with long-term care planning; and identify community programs for home care, chore services, transportation, home meal deliveries, and other services. 

 

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Audrey Pasion: Right after graduating May 2018, Valerie Valeriano (HPU MSW alumni) suggested that Audrey apply for a Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Therapist position. She is happy to say she was offered the job and started working for Parents and Children Together in July 2018. Audrey says "I'm absolutely loving my position and the organization I work for." 

 

 

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Lisa Blair is working with the City & County's Substance Abuse Prevention Programs. She recently rebranded their prevention campaign. It now has a new name: Proud to be Pono. Lisa is also looking into starting a Partners in Prevention workgroup which would connect the County's underage drinking coalitions, prevention and treatment agencies, and other community stakeholders like DOE, HPD, mental health care services, etc. for collaboration, trainings and support. Anyone interested in learning more can contact Lisa at lisa.blair@honolulu.gov.

 

 

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Kiana Amby is employed by Saint Francis in the Franciscan C.A.R.E Plus Program and at Care Hawaii as a CMO (Crisis Mobile Outreach worker). 

 

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Terry M. Jasper, Jr. is a Kids First Social Worker for the Juvenile Client Services Branch Specialized 

 

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Jacqueline Tran is currently working at Kalihi Palama Health Center. She recently got married on September 20, 2019.