Name: Kristen Luppino-Gholston, LMSW
Department: Social Work & Sociology
A few examples of the classes you teach: Social welfare policy, research methods, community social work practice, organizational theory.
What inspired you to pursue your career? I became a social worker after years of exploring issues of social justice and oppression. I learned about community social work as an area of practice while working in New York City with some incredible social workers and attorneys. After being in the field for several years and working with social work interns, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the process of developing young social workers. I started teaching social work as an adjunct professor and recently moved in a full-time faculty position and could not be more thrilled.
What two things might people not know about your industry or profession? I think many people think of social workers as being direct line workers in shelters, child welfare, and doing clinical work. Not many folks recognize the role of social workers in the world. We advocate for change on the community level by developing programs, organizing people, evaluating practice, educating the public, and strengthening policy.
In what ways have your students inspired you over the years? Students have grounded me in my work through the years. By teaching students about the field of social work, I am constantly reminded of why I chose this awesome profession. I have always believed that in order to stay motivated and committed, I need to constantly approach my work with fresh, new eyes – students help me do just that every day!
What is something you’d like the college community to know about you personally or professionally? I love making connections and developing community – on the personal and professional level. I have spent most of my career doing community engagement in one way, shape, or form. I have cultivated relationships throughout Western New York that I cherish and love sharing. I am always excited when I can connect people who can help and support one another and work together!
What is your greatest accomplishment this year and what do you hope to achieve in 2021? As for many of us, I think my greatest accomplishment of 2020 is getting through 2020 – especially with my two school-age daughters learning from home! In all seriousness, I was able to accomplish a major career goal of mine in 2020 by joining the Daemen faculty. I look forward to growing in my new role in 2021.