Social Work Student Gets Top Honors

Posted: March 4, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

There are not enough hours in the day for Master in Social Work (MSW) student Andrea Innello. Working nearly full-time at the Virginia Liaison Office of the Governor, working part-time as a research assistant and as a doggy daycare employee, and volunteering at numerous organizations, it is a wonder she has time to breathe.

All of her accomplishments and her limitless energy paid off: She has been named MSW Student of the Year by the Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She will travel to Roanoke this weekend to receive her award.

A full-time student in the MSW program, Innello is completing her field placement by interning at the Virginia Liaison Office of the Governor, an office that serves as an institutional and organizational link between the Virginia government and federal government agencies. As an intern, Innello has helped prepare for the annual National Governor’s Association Winter Conference and enjoys learning how government and social work overlap.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of interning with this office is experiencing the political process firsthand and realizing that every policy relates to social work,” she says. “It has truly been a wonderful experience.”

In her “spare time,” Innello volunteers as a computer lab assistant at Community of Hope, a family shelter in Washington, D.C. She also visits residents in nursing homes over the holidays through the Holiday Projects organization and has helped NASW plan its annual conference. At George Mason, Innello has also played an integral part in creating a Master in Social Work Student Association for the new program.

Innello, who has worked with families, the homeless, and the elderly, is attracted to her field because of the wide variety of opportunities. “I love how social workers have so many options, and the possibilities are limitless when it comes to employment in the field,” she says.

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