Social Work Month Highlight
Meet Amanda Ngola, MSW, LCSW (she/her)
What inspired you to become a social worker?
My family was a big influence on me becoming a social worker. Growing up in an interracial family with one parent who was a lawyer and another who was a special education teacher, we were accustomed to navigating different cultural spaces and talking about social issues, race, class, education, and politics. Through example, my parents instilled a foundational belief that giving back to others was essential. At first, I wanted to be a high school Spanish teacher or a psychoanalyst! I loved learning Spanish, sociology, and processing issues with my friends in college. Eventually I came to learn about social work and saw it as a profession that would allow me to address social issues on a personal and systemic level and it was a fantastic fit for me. Being a social worker has allowed me to get to know individuals in deep ways, work for systemic change, create programs that increase mental health access, teach and supervise MSW students, and work with incredible colleagues. All the things I ever wanted in a career! I have been so fortunate that my family history, educational influences, and interests lead me down the social work path. It has been an incredible journey, and I know there is still so much more to come!
What is your current social work position?
Currently I serve as an Associate Clinical Professor and the Associate Field Director. My field administrative duties are focused on the Part-Time MSW program, and I love being involved in the world of supervision and training. I also teach mental health related courses, which currently includes SW612: Psychopathology for Generalist Social Work Practice. Prior to joining the School of Social Work, I was a clinical social worker and Director of Campus-Based Outreach at University Health Services (Mental Health Services) at UW-Madison. One of my proudest accomplishments there was starting the Let’s Talk Program which offered drop-in mental health consultation to students across campus. It resulted in greatly increasing access for underrepresented students who may have been disinclined to come in to UHS for traditional mental health services.
How long have you been a social worker?
I have been a social worker for just about 23 years!
What message would you want to give or highlight right now to all social workers if you had the opportunity to have it heard nationwide or around the world!
Keep growing! Keep learning! Keep evolving!
Thank you Amanda for all your contributions to the social work profession and the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work!
Thanks to Michelle Helmer, MSW, LGSW, Eau Claire Site Director, Part-Time MSW Program for organizing this series celebrating social workers!