The reception took place on Thursday in the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center.
Representatives from various colleges and universities were in attendance at the reception to assist current students planning to transfer to their institutions. Cleveland State’s Social Work Emphasis Program has degree-specific articulations with UTC, UTK, Dalton (Ga.) State College, Southern Adventist University and ETSU. Tennessee Wesleyan College’s Human Services Program and MTSU were also available to speak with students.
“March is National Social Work Month, so each year we host a reception for the current and prospective students,” stated Jana Pankey, associate professor and Human Services/Social Work Club adviser.
“We invite colleges that we have transfer agreements with and give these representatives time to speak to our students to tell them how easy it is to transfer once they get their associate degree here. This year, we decided to invite the alumni. We have 61 graduates from the program since 2004 and many have since received their bachelor of social work and their master of social work.”
Pankey continued, “I have former students who are working in the field coming back to speak to my classes, but this is the first year we have included our alumni at the reception and had an actual alumni event. I thought it would be great for the current students to have the opportunity to speak to graduates who have successfully completed the Cleveland State program and are continuing their education or are now working in the profession of social work. They all got their start at Cleveland State, and current students will be able to see firsthand the quality foundation education the college provides.”
CSCC Alum Landen Saffles said, “I am privileged with the opportunity to reunite with my Cleveland State family for this event. As professional helpers, we have a responsibility to guide and educate one another through the path of training, and through the activities we embrace in order to benefit others. I look forward to meeting and talking with Cleveland State's current social work students, as I can acknowledge from firsthand experience, both the quality of training and the passion for service to which they are exposed.”
Saffles is currently employed as a licensed master social worker at Morgan County Correctional Complex (formerly Brushy Mountain State Prison) where his responsibilities include individual and group counseling/psychotherapy, psychoeducation, mental health triage, and crisis intervention.
While enrolled at CSCC, Saffles served as regional vice president and chapter president of Phi Theta Kappa, vice president of the Human Services/Social Work Student Organization, secretary and senator of Student Senate, and founding member of the Multicultural Fair Planning Committee.
He was awarded the 2008 Distinguished Graduate, All Tennessee Academic Team, Distinguished Human Services/Social Work Student Award and 2008 ETSU Academic Officer Transfer Scholarship, all while graduating with highest honors (4.0).
For more information about CSCC’s Social Work Program, contact Jana Pankey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-473-2438.