LMU Recognizes Social Work Month


Dr. Ann-Marie Buchanan is a social work hero.

(March 19, 11 a.m. to 1:30 pm, SHARE Club students will be in the lobby of Avery Hall giving away candy wishing students a happy Spring Break and a happy Social Work Month.)

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is helping celebrate this year’s Social Work Month in March with the theme “Social Workers are Essential” to highlight the invaluable contributions social workers make in our society, especially as this nation addresses the COVID-19 pandemic.


LMU Associate Professor Dr. Ann-Marie Buchanan is the chair and program director of the Department of Social Work, and for 15 years, she’s been teaching students who share her passion.  


“More and more people have become aware of just how important it is to help those in need, especially on a holistic level,” Buchanan said. “People have been oppressed, discriminated against, and struggling to survive for decades. But in a matter of months, the global pandemic brought it all to the forefront. And social workers have been working just as diligently to help as many as possible through this very difficult time, as they have in the past.”


Her inspiration to become a social worker began at Oakwood College in 1992, where she started with the goal of getting a business degree, but then realized “accounting is going to kill me.”  With the encouragement of a friend, she sat in on a class about human behavior and the social environment. That was when she fell in love with the world of helping others find solutions to their issues and problems, and that very class is her favorite to teach today. 


She completed her Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSW) at Oakwood College (now University), in Huntsville, Alabama; her Master of Social Work (MSW) at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Florida; and her PhD in Human Services at Capella University (online), Minneapolis, Minnesota.


She worked as a medical social worker from 1996 - 2006. In 2006, she started a teaching career at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She joined LMU in 2013.


“I didn't realize I would enjoy teaching as much as I do, but it's wonderful, as I get to learn a plethora of things from my fantastic students,” Buchanan said. “If you are interested in working with individuals who are trying to put their lives back together, individuals who want to make a difference in the world or even individuals who aren't sure where they fit in this life, consider social work as a career path. You won't regret that decision.”


Social work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are currently about 700,000 professional social workers in our nation, but that number is expected to rise to more than 800,000 by 2029, BLS said.


Social work has been around for more than a century and has made significant contributions to our nation. For example, 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 helped Americans secure voting rights, equal rights, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other programs. You will also find social workers throughout society – protecting children from abuse and neglect, providing mental health and substance use disorder treatment, assisting active-duty military, veterans and their families, in schools, helping corporations better serve their communities, and in community organizations as well as in local, state and government.


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 located 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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