Lincoln Memorial University Celebrates National Social Work Month

LMU social work major Brooklyn Bowen speaks to group.

(Photo: LMU Social Work senior Brooklyn Bowen speaks to a group about the University’s Social Work program.)


Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will celebrate Social Work Month throughout the month of March. Observing the national theme “The Time is Right for Social Work,” the University hopes to highlight how social workers have enriched our society for more than a century and how their services continue to be needed today.

The annual Social Work Month campaign is a time to inform public, policymakers and legislators about the services social workers provide in an array of sectors, including hospitals, mental health centers, schools, social service agencies, community centers and in politics.

The 2021-22 academic year represents a milestone as the 47th year that social work courses have been offered at LMU. Students who would like to be a member of a dynamic and challenging profession that focuses on improving the quality of life for individuals of all ages, families, and their communities, are right at home in the social work major.

“People become social workers because they have a strong desire to help others and make our society a better place to live for all,” said Ann-Marie Buchanan, PhD, associate professor of social work and chair of the social work program.

Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are almost 720,000 professional social workers in our nation, but that number is expected to rise to more than 800,000 by 2030, BLS said.

The LMU Social Work program provides students with the academic preparation and practical experience needed to start work immediately after graduation as an entry-level generalist social worker or to enter graduate school. Most students complete this professional program in the four semesters of their junior and senior years. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting organization for baccalaureate and master’s social work programs in the United States. The program has an advisory council composed of social work practitioners who serve as guest speakers for classes and special events, admission committee members, field supervisors, and adjunct instructors.

Students in LMU’s Social Work program are given opportunities to build their resumes through volunteer work and internships. They are instructed and mentored by experienced and licensed faculty members, including Buchanan, Kay Paris, PhD, professor of social work, and Kristy Lee, MSW, assistant professor of social work and field coordinator.

Social workers have helped drive significant changes in our nation. Social workers such as social reformer Jane Addams, former Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, and civil rights leaders Dorothy Height, Whitney Young and Ida B. Wells have pushed for voting rights, equal rights, Social Security, unemployment insurance and other programs.

“Social workers touch millions of lives each day and it is likely a social worker at some time will assist you, a family member, or a friend. They can help you find the resources you need,” said Buchanan. “If you want a better relationship with your spouse, partner, children, or parents, a social worker can help you forge stronger connections. Are you living with depression, anxiety, or a substance use disorder? A social worker can help you overcome them and thrive.”

Social workers continue to work on the frontlines throughout the pandemic, helping clients get the health care they need and helping loved ones overcome grief and loss. Social workers will continue to play a key role in helping people as this nation grapples with issues such as racism, economic uncertainty, deep political and cultural differences, and natural disasters fueled by global warming.

There is currently a shortage of social workers in schools and other sectors where they are vitally needed. They play critical roles in health care and mental health care.

“Each day, social workers empower millions of Americans so they can live life to their fullest potential. Social workers also work in communities and in politics to improve living conditions for all. During Social Work Month, we urge you to learn more about our amazing profession, thank the social workers in your lives, and help support the profession,” Buchanan added.

For more information on the LMU Social Work program, contact Buchanan at [email protected]. Information can also be found at

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at [email protected].

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