IUSSWAA Annual Alumni Conference Speaker Bios

Meet the Speakers

Jacqueline is currently an adjunct professor, teaching in the introductory, intermediate and concentration MSW programs. She is also a practicum field coordinator for Indiana University, Master’s Program in the School of Social Work (IUSSW). She joined the field team in May 2008 and coordinates the field practica for students/employees of the Department of Child Services. She was a co-mentor and co-principle investigator on a multi-disciplinary undergraduate research grant. The title of the research was Wise Women: Third-wave Feminists Re-Claiming Herstory". She has been an independent consultant/trainer since 1999. She has eight years’ experience as a faculty member at IUPUI, fifteen years’ experience with Marriott International as a Hotel General Manager, Certified Trainer and Human Resources Executive,  and six years’ experience with Missouri state government. She holds a BS and a MSW in Social Work from Tuskegee University, Alabama and Washington University, Missouri respectively. She was featured in Black Enterprise February 2000, "Making Sense of Money Matters-Take Financial Control of Your Enterprise".

Kathy is retired from Indiana University School of Social Work where she directed the Bloomington BSW Program. She helped initiate Indiana’s LEAD Day at the State Capitol and was one of the founders of Influencing Social Policy, a national organization of educators helping students learn how to influence policy. She served as President and Treasurer of ISP. She collaborated with three other social work educators in reviving the national Policy Conference, now sponsored by ISP. She taught social policy, co-authored a policy practice textbook, and conducted research on welfare reform and student activism. She co-founded, with Jean Capler, Call to Action, a Facebook page that supports those advocating for progressive social policies, and works on voter registration and voter empowerment with the League of Women Voters.

Manda graduated from IU School of Social Work in 2011 with an MSW, obtained her LCSW in 2014. Beginning her work in adolescent residential facilities, Manda has a wide range of experience working with clients who are “stuck” or need encouragement to continue in the change process. In her current role as a Clinical Supervisor at Eskenazi Midtown CMHC, she is passionate about the privilege of working with clients and staff in the Adult Addictions Dual Diagnosis clinics. Her extensive training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and national certification in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, coupled with ongoing Motivational Interviewing techniques, are useful in assisting clients as they move through stages of change on their way to achieving personal recovery goals.

Michelle is a nationally known speaker with eleven years of experience speaking to many different audiences.  She shares her story to promote awareness and the debilitating effects of sexual violence. She brings a powerful message that addresses the pain and experience that victims of violent crimes endure and the way she overcame her brutal ordeal, learned to cope and survive.  She led the efforts in creating a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) for Adults and Pediatrics focusing on a victim centered response. 

Michelle is the Assistant Director at Prevail, a victim awareness and support program where she has worked in victim services for the last sixteen years. She has received multiple honors including the Special Courage Award the U.S. Attorney General, she was the first person to receive the Distinguished Hoosier Award presented by Indiana Attorney General and has been recognized by the military for her multiple speaking engagements. She was also featured on the Biography Channel series “I Survived”.

Her message conveys a journey of resilience, inspiration, and determination.

Sam is the Prevention Programs Coordinator at Middle Way House in Bloomington, Indiana. In this role, Sam provides sexual and partner violence prevention programming to junior and senior high schools, youth-serving programs, and community members. Sam has both a BSW and MSW from Indiana University. They have experience working in disability support services, homeless casework and shelter services, child welfare, LGBTQIA+ youth support, and prison and jail re-entry. In their free time, Sam serves as a Site Director at the Interfaith Winter Shelter, works with Bloomington PRIDE to support LGBTQIA+ youth, and explores trails with a hyper Australian Shepherd.

Stephen graduated from IU School of Social Work in 2016 with an MSW, obtaining his LCSW in 2018. Stephen has worked as a clinician with the Eskenazi Midtown Adult Addictions/Dual Diagnosis Program over the past 2 years. He currently facilitates a group designed specifically to assist clients feeling “stuck” in recovery utilizing motivational interviewing and wellness recovery action planning. Stephen is very passionate about working with individuals who struggle with mental health and addiction. He initiated a life recovery group for his local church and currently serves as President on the Board of Directors for a local recovery house.

Kate has been an anti-trafficking activist and survivor advocate both within the context of academia and direct field work since 2009. She has had the honor of working with Survivor Leaders, worker organizers, and other professionals in the US and abroad to effectively raise awareness, funds, and capacity to address human trafficking through a rights-based, trauma-informed, multidisciplinary approach. She has engaged anti-trafficking work with both government and non-governmental agencies through policy advocacy, coalition building, professional training and subject matter consultation, and direct service in the form of victim advocacy and case management. She has also contributed research and writing to published reports, policy analysis, and presented at academic seminars in the US, Japan, and Australia.  In 2017, Kate accepted her current role as the Statewide Anti-Trafficking Coordinator for the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault (ICESA) and the new Coordinator for IPATH—Indiana’s statewide anti-trafficking taskforce.

Brittaney graduated from IU School of Social Work in 2014 with an MSW, obtained her LCSW in 2016. Brittaney has worked as a clinician with the Eskenazi Midtown Adult Addictions/Dual Diagnosis Program over the past 5 years. She specializes in group therapy and has worked to develop programming designed specifically to assist clients feeling “stuck” in recovery utilizing motivational interviewing and wellness recovery action planning. Brittaney is also a champion of tobacco treatment within the agency and has been instrumental in incorporating tobacco education and treatment into the existing group and individual programming.

Mark is a clinical social worker who has been with the Veterans Healthcare Administration since 2006. He’s worked as a clinician in substance abuse settings, both residential and outpatient, and in a day hospital setting working with veterans with SMI. For the last several years, Mark has held the position of Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator. As such, he works with multiple courts, jails, probation departments, and attorneys in central Indiana with the goal of identifying veterans involved with the criminal justice system for reasons relating to mental health and substance abuse issues, with the goal of connecting them with appropriate services to reduce the risk of recidivism.

Dr. Marty Pentz has been a social worker for 27-years in the field of addictions and mental health. He taught for 6-years as a full-time professor at IUSSW and for the past 15-years has been an addictions and mental health social worker at the VA Medical Center. He has presented for many years on various topics related to addictions and dual diagnosis. His love and respect for the social work profession is evident in his presentations and ongoing work with practicum students. His belief that there is no such thing as false hope allows him to work again and again with those returning from relapse. This hope also saved his sanity when his own daughter was fighting and surviving advanced brain cancer. He loves life in all its messiness.

Lisa has over 28 years of experience in the healthcare industry as an oncology social worker, health communication/marketing executive, clinical director, graduate school professor, organizational leadership consultant, health educator and strategic planning consultant in both private and public settings. With a primary expertise in the field of oncology, Lisa’s practice focus is oncology patient education, advocacy relations, clinical trial recruitment, health education, and organizational leadership.

Lisa is President of ILP Solutions Consulting Group and is a consultant with various industry and non-profit groups, including Cullari Communications Global, where she is their Director of Oncology Stakeholder Relations. She was previously the Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology for a Washington, D.C. health communications firm and in oncology marketing for Eli Lily Pharmaceuticals as well as the founding clinical program director of the Cancer Support Community-Central Indiana.

Lisa’s passion for education and community engagement extends to her serving as associate faculty professor at Indiana University School of Social Work, as well as serving on numerous local and national Boards. Lisa is a past-president of the Association of Oncology Work, a Fellow (and Chair) of the Association of Oncology Social Work and also was the 2016 recipient of the AOSW Leadership in Oncology in Social Work Award.

Justine works with the GRACE Program and Care Transitions Program at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center. Justine has a Bachelors and Master’s degree from the IU School of Social Work. She started her career as a care manager with CICOA and then started working for the VA in 2011. Justine has spent her career focusing on conducting home visits with Veterans 65 and older through both GRACE and Care Transitions home-based programs at the VA. She focuses on working with elderly veterans and their caregivers to help prevent hospitalizations and long-term care placements.

Jennifer received her Master's Degree in Social Work from IUPUI in 2012. She has worked with the geriatric home care population for 6 years. She first worked with Midtown Older Adult Services, working with low income, severely mentally ill at-risk patients for 2.5 years. While working here, Jennifer saw the many obstacles preventing her patients from aging successfully. In 2014, Jennifer went back to the VA with the GRACE team where she did her second practicum. Jennifer saw the many resources available to the Veterans; however, there were still obstacles preventing her Veterans from aging successfully. She hopes to work together with fellow social workers to address the obstacles to help more patients be able to have a fulfilling and quality of life in the last chapter of their lives.

Jessica is the Adult Advocacy Supervisor at Prevail, Inc. She has been employed with Prevail, Inc. for 10 years. Jessica received both her Bachelors and Masters in Social Work from Indiana University. Jessica currently manages all adult programming (including domestic violence, sexual assault, victim notification services, protective orders, and self-sufficiency services) and staff within those programs. Jessica is a certified member of the Sexual Assault Response Team. Jessica was also a volunteer member of Hamilton County Crisis Response Team for several years. She has facilitated both open and closed domestic violence survivors support groups, the adult sexual assault survivors group, and currently facilitates the parenting support group for non-offending parents whose children have been sexually assaulted. In addition to the support group, Jessica provides one-on-one advocacy with secondary victims. Jessica also provides community-based educational presentations for various professional groups.

NaKaishaTolbert-Banks, MSW, LCSW, LCAC, CLYL is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at D.U.O. EmpowerMEnt Services. She provides professional clinical counseling and life coaching services through her private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, and a Certified EmpowerMEnt Coach. NaKaisha is the Author of The Birdcage, which empowers individuals through the use of powerful quotes. She enjoys baking and painting as a mom of two fabulous girls, and she is also a lively wife of one awesome husband.

Christine is co-owner of Kenosis Counseling Center, Inc, a community-based outpatient practice. She maintains a successful private practice with specialized training in trauma, including CISD and certification as an EMDR therapist.  She is also a member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Family Advocacy Outreach Network as well as a state board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Indiana Chapter). These affiliations have solidified her integration of faith and spirituality into her clinical practice. Additional specialties include anxiety management, women's issues, marital enrichment, as well as working with gifted and profoundly gifted children, teens and families. 

Stephanie is a Legal Advocate at Middle Way House in Bloomington, Indiana. In this role, she provides survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking with assistance navigating the criminal and civil court processes. She has a BSW from Indiana University and a MSW from the University of Illinois- Chicago. Stephanie has experience staffing and directing low-barrier homeless shelters, community organizing, working in the anti-domestic violence movement, and providing mutual aid resources. In her free time, Stephanie serves as a Site Director at the Interfaith Winter Shelter and catches up on her favorite TV shows with her two cats, Sweet Pea and Lennon.