NASW president-elect says he will work to keep social work relevant

By Rena Malai, News staff

NASW’s new president-elect Darrell Wheeler has been part of the organization for more than 27 years, and has served in many aspects, he said.

Wheeler

He was on the NASW-Pennsylvania board of directors, the NASW-New York board of directors, and was Region II representative and vice president to the NASW national board.

Wherever Wheeler has lived, he has always been a member of NASW and active within his local chapter, he said.

“Over the years, I’ve been an NASW member of the North Carolina Chapter, Pennsylvania, New York City and Illinois,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler is dean of the school of social work at Loyola University in Chicago. His president-elect position at NASW began in July, and the transitory role will end in a year. Wheeler will become the association’s president after current NASW President Jeane Anastas completes her term in July 2014.

“I’ve known Jeane for many years, and it is a personal and professional pleasure to work with her during my time as NASW president-elect,” he said. “She is an intelligent and thoughtful president who has taken on tough issues.”

Wheeler said he has a vision for NASW during his presidency, and wants to develop products that are consistent with what members want and need. He sees the president role as a platform to work with other organizations and within the profession to make sure social work stays relevant in the 21st century.

“One of the benefits of being president is you get to hear from members, and you get to learn from past presidents and current staff,” Wheeler said. “I want to do more listening in my time as NASW president and get a sense of what’s broadly, nationally appropriate for the organization.”

He said he decided to run for president of the association because over the course of time he’s spent in NASW board positions, he always saw ways for the social work profession to evolve.

“This is the moment in my own professional development where I have the ability to contribute to what we’re doing to strengthen who we are as a profession and to strengthen the association,” he said.

The NASW president position is a three-year, volunteer term. Wheeler will officially become NASW president on July 1.

From the October 2013 NASW News.

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