Mina McVeigh, ETSU’s alcohol and other drug outreach coordinator, recently received the Social Worker of the Year award from the National Association of Social Workers Tennessee Chapter.

McVeigh received her bachelor’s degree in history from Washington University and earned a master’s degree in social work from ETSU in 2011. She went to work for ETSU the following fall.

McVeigh was the nominee for the Northeast Tennessee Chapter and went to Nashville to receive the award.

Photograph courtesy of www.etsu.edu

Photograph courtesy of www.etsu.edu

“I could only accept the award on behalf of all the other social workers who are doing exactly what I am doing but aren’t getting an award,” McVeigh said.

Moving into the future, she plans to continue to work as an individual counselor to students.

“I want to continue to develop as an individual counselor so I can be the very best at that,” she said.

As the alcohol and other drug outreach coordinator, McVeigh designed the sober sex booth that has been seen around campus, which was designed to teach students to drink responsibly and have responsible sex.

Her goal is to steadily expand that program to reach more young students.

Another program she is trying to implement would target new students. Before they get to campus, the students would receive alcohol education so that they can better understand the more adult atmosphere of college life and better handle themselves in situations involving alcohol.

With the award, McVeigh will be able to increase her role in influencing social change.

“Winning this award gives me a platform to advocate for the most vulnerable in our society: the poor, the mentally ill, the young and the unemployed,” she said.

McVeigh advocates for causes ranging from healthcare and access to mental healthcare to decent wages and human rights.

McVeigh is the current nominee for Tennessee in the competition for the National Social Worker of the Year.