Alumni Spotlight

Alumna to Lead Statewide Institute for Child Welfare

Florida State University has chosen university alumna Jessica Pryce to lead the Florida Institute for Child Welfare. 

The institute was created by the Florida Legislature in June 2014 to conduct research, policy analysis and program evaluation of child protection and child welfare services. The measure, Senate Bill 1666, was drafted in response to what lawmakers called a “broken child welfare system.” 

Alumni Profiles: Bionca & Breyonna Reese - A shared passion for social work

Bionca and Breyonna Reese are not only identical twins, they also share a passion for social work. Beginning their academic career at Atlanta Metropolitan College, in their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, Breyonna started her associate’s degree in computer science and Bionca started majoring in history. “It’s funny, actually,” Breyonna reflected on the experience. “We both changed our major to social science and did not even know it until we both started taking social work classes at the same time.” 

Gerber leads resettlement efforts for African refugees

Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire—these are just a few of the African nations Katie Gerber has traveled to over the past year in her work with refugees. Katie works for a Resettlement Support Center (RSC) in Nairobi, Kenya, to prepare refugees and their families for adjudication by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for resettlement to the United States.

Sandra Thornton Baty: veteran, social worker, and inspiration

Classmates of retired Air Force veteran Sandra Thornton Baty may well have made an understatement when they said that she “has done it all in the mental health field.” Spending more than twenty years in the U.S. Air Force (USAF), Sandra has contributed to the mental health of countless veterans and their families.  To mention just a few of her many accomplishments in 18 years in mental health, Sandra has:

Gerontological/Aging Studies: An increasingly important focus in social work

“I did my initial field placement in gerontology and it was right after my dad died. He was an older gentleman and I really saw the need. Social workers are always talking about those personal experiences and I had that experience and decided that was the way I wanted to go,” Victoria (Vicky) Thomas reflected when seated at her desk at Elder Day Stay, a facility run by Elder Care Services, Inc. in Tallahassee, Florida.