Armed with a serious passion for helping others through social work, professor Tiffany Presnell has used her experience to help get ETSU’s Social Work program started at the Sevierville campus.
Presnell’s academic journey has taken her from her home state of Maine, where she earned her Master’s of Social Work at the University of New England and worked full time as the Indian Child Welfare Director for a native tribe. Now, she has been in Tennessee for the last five years.
“When I moved [to Tennessee,] I worked at Vanderbilt as an educator and consultant,” Presnell said. “I heard ETSU was starting a social work program in Sevierville, and I wanted to help make the program thrive.”
Along with teaching classes, Presnell is also an advisor for the social work program and is currently coordinating with several agencies in east Tennessee for field placements for her social work students. On top of all that, she also helped organize the campus’s first social work career day.
“There are several rewarding aspects to my job,” she said. “ I love the students and love watching them grow and learn. The students have a passion for social justice, and they are very active in these roles in the community. I feel extremely honored and blessed that I get to teach and mentor them. Knowing that we are sending high quality social workers out into the field is priceless.”
Presnell also encourages those students who are interested in the social work field to research career opportunities to ensure they will be able to do what they are passionate about with a social work degree.
“There are a lot of people that don’t realize clinical social workers are therapists and clinicians,” she said. “Students that are considering the helping field may want to schedule a time to meet with a social worker and ask questions to ensure they are pursuing the right career.”