Social Work Interns and Field Instructors Recognized at Annual Breakfast  

Every spring, Social Work students who interned at various agencies throughout South Florida to gain experience working directly in the field as part of a requirement for graduation are recognized for their hard work and commitment to their field along with recognizing the field instructors who go above and beyond to educate the students.

A requirement in all social work programs, the students must meet the competencies and practice behaviors set forth by the School and accrediting body (CSWE) during their practicum. Students learn to integrate their classroom learning/knowledge into their practice in the internships under the supervision of MSW-level field instructors.

This 2018-2019 year, three students are being recognized for the outstanding work they did during their internships while three community partners are being acknowledged for their mentorship.

“I am endlessly proud of our social work students who work tirelessly to balance their classwork with internships, where they give 100% of their effort to make sure that the members of the community get the support that they need,” said Director of the School of Social Work Mary Helen Hayden. “We are also incredibly grateful to all of the field instructors who show our students what it is truly like to be outstanding social workers  and guide them as they grow to fulfill their passions of helping, nurturing and building up our community – thank you and congratulations to all!” 

Student Interns of the Year Awards 

Left to Right: Shimon Cohen, Lourdes Martin, Julia Pomeroy, Beatrice Farnsworth, Elise Linder & Jennifer Abeloff

Student: Julia Pomeroy – BSSW, Spring 2019

Agency: Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP

Nominator: Lourdes Martin, Social Work Supervisor

“Since the inception of her internship, Julia has gone above what is expected of her. We often joke that we will need to add her to the payroll because her level of activity and reliability is unparalleled. She emerged as a true leader within NHELP early on and she has been pivotal in helping faculty meet program deadlines, identify programmatic issues/obstacles and deliver the highest level of training to the new intern cohort. Julia was also instrumental in creating a creative, engaging and interactive activity that was presented by BSW interns to hundreds of child participants at the 7th annual Wertheim Conference. Julia regularly receives superlative feedback and praise on her dedication and follow-up from clients, peers and interprofessional faculty. Her insight into complex clinical issues and understanding of social work ethics and values is beyond what we expect of students at her stage of practice.”

Left to Right: Shimon Cohen, Elise Linder, Alyssa Delgado, Nina Thompkins & Jennifer Abeloff

Student: Alyssa Delgado – MSW, expected 2020

Agency: Catalyst Miami

Nominator: Nina Thompkins, vice president of programs, BSSW from FIU ’13

“Alyssa is a forward thinker and constantly thinking of ways to propel the work forward. She is a soundboard for the clients that she serves, and is constantly researching and inquiring about community resources and additional opportunities for her clients to participate in. Alyssa researches findings and theoretical developments to couple with the work, and never assumes that she knows what is in the best interest of her client base, but instead collects survey data to support next steps in launching programs and services that her clients can relate to and engage in. Alyssa has led professional development training’s that focus on the importance of mental health, burnout, and self-care. She has demonstrated professionalism and always identifies as a staff instead of an intern. She has assisted with reengaging program alumni dating back to 2008 to participate in sharing experiences, and offering advice to current cohort members. Additionally, she has relaunched our social media campaign to highlight the work of current cohort members and program alumni, and is in the process of coordinating a speed-networking event to potentially pair current cohort members with a mentor contingent upon feedback she has collected.”

Lef to Right: Shimon Cohen, Elise Linder, Quinn Shuckerow, Sompa Adhya-Taylor & Jennifer Abeloff

Student: Quinn Shuckerow – MSW, Spring 2019

Agency: Johnson & Wales University Counseling Services

Nominator: Sompa Adhya-Taylor, director of counseling services

“I had the pleasure of meeting Quinn when he came to Johnson & Wales University for his interview.   At the time, he seemed shy yet very eager to learn.  He shared with me how interested he was in having a clinical experience during his 2nd year internship.  Little did he know, he was about to embark on a clinical rollercoaster!  This rollercoaster ride included calls to DCF, managing various ethical dilemmas, conducting safety assessments and coordinating an inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.  Quinn handled all of these twists, turns and drops like a true social worker.  He handled each of his cases with grace, curiosity, warmth, empathy and genuineness.  Quinn has demonstrated commendable social work practice and has shown significant professional growth and development throughout his internship.  He has an incredible ability to establish rapport with his clients, even the ones he thought he would never connect with.  Those became the cases that he did his best work with.”


Field Instructors of the Year Awards

Field instructor’s name: Dr. Teresa Neira, program coordinator, MSW from FIU ’04

Agency: UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Nominator: Hana Abdulla – MSW, expected 2020

Dr. Neira has been committed to my learning in a way that has shown me how much she truly cares about making sure patients are getting someone who is well versed in the field. She has created a safe space for me to practice my newly learned skills as well as allowing me to feel comfortable enough to ask questions. She has supported me in explore beyond my reach and even encouraged me to create proposals in order to better serve my patients. One of the most meaning lessons that I have learned with Dr. Neira has been to respect death as much as we respect life and what it means to support our patients to die with dignity. I came into this internship with a deep fear regarding death in any context and dealing with terminal patients has truly changed my understanding of our very existence. The goal of a social worker is to help our clients achieve their goals and Dr. Neira was the first to ever teach me that the dying are not dead and still have goals to achieve. Her dedication to her patients wellbeing is beyond admirable.”


Field instructor’s name: Etzner Duffaut, program services manager

Agency: Chapman Partnership

Nominator: Jephte Richie – BSSW, Spring 2019

Upon starting my first semester of internship, Mr. Duffaut immediately recognized the need and established continuous communication links with the interns in order to ensure a dynamic field condition to a fluid and fast pace environment. Mr. Duffaut established an open-door policy. The open-door policy allows subordinates and peers to present facts, concerns, and problems of a personal or professional nature or other issues that the intern has been unable to resolve. The open-door policy has been a benefit to my learning. There is not a day that goes by where I do not see Mr. Duffaut. Whether it is by stopping by his office to greet him or asked for his expert opinion, I continuously use the open-door policy. His outstanding initiative and leadership fostered an environment that is welcoming and conducive to learning. Mr. Duffaut created a positive work environment where he can lead others, build trust, develops others and get results.”


Field instructor’s name: Jackie Romillo, early childhood development administrator

Agency: Citrus Health Network, Inc.

Nominator: Lisaimy Mallo – MSW, Fall 2018

“Jackie possesses the qualities of a true role model. Throughout my eight months under her direct guidance, supervision, and support, Jackie went above and beyond to broaden and develop my skills as a social worker. Weekly supervision always extended the hour due to the insight, relevant data, and perspectives she would converse on and help facilitate during our time together. Jackie created a safe space for me to learn and ask questions, always having her office door open and replying to e-mails as if they were all urgent matters. Mrs. Romillo was in tune with my school schedule and assignments, making me a top priority amongst the many tasks, duties, and responsibilities she had as the director of the Early Childhood Development program.”


(front) BSSW Field Instructor of the Year, Etzer Duffaut; Chapman Partnership for the Homeless / MSW Foundation FI of the Year, Teresa Neira; UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center / MSW Advanced Clinical Student Intern of the Year, Quinn Shuckerow; MSW Advanced Clinical FI of the Year, Jackie Romillo (back) MSW Foundation Level Student Intern of the Year, Alyssa Delgado and BSSW Student Intern of the Year, Julia Pomeroy