TINA NAMIAN, JD, MSW (2008)
What brought you to social work school? Why NCSSS?
I moved to Washington, DC, in 1993 and began reading in The Washington Post about the social problems so prevalent in the city at the time. The city agencies tasked with addressing difficult issues such as child welfare and mental illness were continually under fire and I wanted to be involved in turning things around. I began to think about social work as a way that I could gain a better understanding of social issues and be in a better position to help combat them.
I chose NCSSS for a number of reasons. I liked its location; in the heart of Washington, DC. I also liked the small class sizes. I didn’t want to be lost in sea of students, but wanted to be able to have personal interaction with faculty and students. Most importantly, I liked the fact that NCSSS was a Catholic institution. I am a lifelong Catholic and I attribute my call to service in large part to my faith. I was interested in learning more about Catholic Social Teaching and tying my professional pursuits more closely to my faith.
Why the Social Justice and Social Change (macro) concentration?
Having come to NCSSS with degrees in finance and law, I felt like I was in a good position to affect systems and policy. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to work on a macro level and affect positive change in social programs serving the poor and vulnerable. The fact that the macro concentration was grounded in the idea of social justice made it more complete for me.
What is your current job, what do you do in your job, and how did the MSW program -- Social Change Concentration prepare you for your current job?
I am currently working as a Program Analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. I write regulations and formulate policy addressing the federal child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program. As my own children put it, "I help feed hungry children."
NCSSS gave me a wonderful foundation for the work that I do now. Practical skills gained, such as a firm grasp of policy analysis and program evaluation, serve me well every day. Perhaps more importantly, however, is the unique social work perspective that I bring to my work. I always try to keep in mind the needs of those participating in and administering our programs and consider ways that we can ensure that their voices are heard; not an easy task in a national program. Although program integrity and fiscal responsibility are important considerations, as a social worker I understand that it is people at the heart of our programs and it is their needs that we are honored to serve.
University of Kentucky and University of Kentucky College of Law
Finance and Law