The College of Social Work Hall of Fame Award is presented annually to graduates of UK’s BASW, MSW, or Ph.D. Programs who have made exceptional contributions to the field of social work, locally, nationally and/or globally. The recipient will be recognized and inducted into the Hall of Fame at a dinner in Spring 2015, in Lexington.
Anyone is eligible to nominate an individual, and self-nominations are accepted. To nominate someone for this special honor, please include the following in your nomination packet:
1) nomination cover sheet (PDF)
2) nominee’s vita or resume
3) specific evidence of major contributions to the field of social work
4) comments on professional reputation
5) contact information for the nominator and nominee, and if desired
6) a maximum of 3 additional letters of support
All materials should be sent to:
Office of the Dean College of Social Work
University of Kentucky
619 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506-0027
2014 Inductees -
2014 Inductee Teresa C. James
Department for Community Based Services
Teresa James was appointed Commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services in September
by Governor Steven Beshear. Prior to accepting the role as Commissioner, she has been the Acting
Commissioner since December of 2011 and the Deputy Commissioner since 2008. A native of Midway,
Kentucky, she received a bachelor’s of Social Work from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree in
Social Work from the University of Kentucky. She has been a licensed clinical social worker since 1993.
She has over 25 years of clinical social work experience, including more than 22 years working with severely
abused and neglected children, their families and vulnerable adults. She began her career as a front line child protective service worker with the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources in 1986 in Danville, KY.
Commissioner James is a proud and pasionate social worker who has a wide range of experiences in the
field of social work and child welfare. She is committed to the Cabinet’s mission of protecting our most
vulnerable children and adults as well as insuring that every child has an opportunity for permanency and
a forever family. She is a collaborator who is committed to working with community partners to promote
safety, stability, and well-being for each and every citizen of the Commonwealth.
2014 Inductee Elizabeth L. Croney
Elizabeth Croney is the President of KVC Behavioral Health Services Kentucky. Ms. Croney began her
developing extensive experience working with alcohol abuse and mental health programs, and in 1989,
she was appointed as the first director of Stoner Creek Centre, an inpatient psychiatric unit for
children and adults. Ms. Croney established a private practice in Bourbon County in 1990, where she
worked extensively with children and families.
In 1999, she formed Croney & Clark, Inc., a private, for-profit corporation serving three rural
counties, and over a 10-year period, she developed it into an agency providing services in
metropolitan Fayette County and sixteen surrounding counties. Croney & Clark delivered wrap-around
behavioral health and community-based services to children and families identified by the Kentucky
Department of Mental Health as needing intensive services. KVC acquired Croney & Clark in 2009 and
appointed her president of Kentucky operations. In December 2010, she became president of the KVC
West Virginia subsidiary, which she left in 2012 when Ken- tucky was awarded 8 Intensive In-Home
and Family Preservation contracts. This meant more then doubling the size of the Kentucky
operation to 235 employees. In 2009, Ms. Croney was awarded Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky’s
“Champion for Children” Award.
Ms. Croney holds a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from the University of South Florida and a
Master’s in Social Work from the University of Kentucky. She has published in the area of ethics
and supervision and is a Social Work from the University of Kentucky. She has published in the area
sought-after workshop leader, trainer, and speaker in the U.S. and Canada.
2014 Inductee Carl E. Smith
Carl Smith was born and reared as the youngest of five children on a small farm in Carter County,
Kentucky just outside of Grayson. He attended Prichard High School and enrolled in the University
of Kentucky, Ashland Extension, upon graduation in 1963. Carl moved to main campus in Lexington in
1966 where he worked at the University Medical Center as a Chemical Surgical Technician in the
Department of Physiology and Biophysics as he continued his undergraduate studies.
In the fall of 1968, Carl received his draft notice and was inducted into the US Army in April,
1969. Carl completed basic and advanced training, was selected for Officer Candidate School, and
became an infantry Officer. Carl served in the military for the next thirty years with nine of
those (1972-1981) in the active Reserve and National Guard. It was during those nine years that he
became involved in Social Work. Carl received his Master’s in Social Work while working for the
Bureau of Social Services in Kentucky. In 1981, he returned to the Active Army as a Social Work
Officer where he served in various jobs for the next 18 years. Carl retired from the Army in 1999
at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and began working for the Air Force in the Family Advocacy
Program in San Antonio, Texas. Carl became the coordinator/director of juvenile treatment programs
for The Brown Schools (in Texas) and Cornell Companies where he worked for the next 5 years. In
2008, he returned to Federal Service as a Clinical Social Worker at the Warrior Transition
Battalion at Brooke Army Medical Center working with wounded warriors. From there, he moved in
2009, to the Army Medical Department Center and School as Branch Chief of the Combat and
Operational Stress Control Training Branch and continued to serve.
Carl met his wife of thirty-eight years, Kathy Gober Smith from Enid, Oklahoma, while they were
serving in Germany in 1973. She was an Army Medic and he was a Social Services Assistant on a detox
ward at 5th General Hospital in Stuttgart. Kathy is retired and they live in San Antonio and have
two daughters, Melissa and Staci, and two grandchildren, Dillon and Alanis. Melissa is an
instructor at Texas State University, a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym and lives in San Antonio
with her husband, Chris and two children. Staci and her husband, Nolan are completing their careers in the Air Force and live in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.
2014 Inductees with Dean James Adams
2013 Inductees -
2013 Inductee Crystal Collins-Camargo
Crystal Collins-Camargo teaches at the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work and conducts research in the areas of child welfare, organizational interventions and juvenile court systems. She was formerly clinical assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work and was engaged in a variety
of grant-funded research, education and service projects in child welfare.
Dr. Collins-Camargo was director of the National Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services, a knowledge development initiative that involves multi-site research assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of provision of child welfare services by private organizations, and the nature of the public/private partnership required in such an approach. She also directed the Southern Regional Quality Improvement Center for Child Protection, which worked in a ten state region to promote knowledge development through research and demonstration projects focusing on the impact of clinical supervision on agency and client outcomes in child welfare. She has been principal investigator for several studies regarding the Kentucky court system’s effectiveness in responding to abused and neglected children and their families, and organizational interventions to improve permanency for children in out-of-home care.
Before coming to the University, she was formerly program director for Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, and worked in the public child protection system as a worker, supervisor and statewide specialist.
2013 Inductee Beth Mills
Beth Mills is a native of North Carolina. She earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Social Work at the University of Kentucky. She is a certified social worker (CSW) with a varied practice experience over the past 34 years.
Beth began her career as a social worker on the Kentucky Adult Protective Services team in Fayette County in 1978. Since that time, she was the first Director of the Lexington Senior Citizens Center and then the Division Director of LFUCG Adult and Tenant Services.
In 2004, Beth left local government to become a clinical faculty member at the UK College of Social Work. Her position was Director of Field Education where she oversaw the internships of both BASW and MSW students.
In February of 2011, Beth returned to city hall when Mayor Jim Gray appointed her as the LFUCG Commissioner of Social Services. The Department has a $7 million dollar budget and serves infants, teen mothers, court ordered youth, homeless adults and senior citizens. The Department also awards $2 million in grants to community private non-profits on an annual basis.
Beth and her husband Ron have three great young adult children. She loves to listen to live music, go hiking, and read fiction.
2012 Inductee Audrey Tayse Haynes
Audrey Tayse Haynes, 1985 MSW graduate of UK’s College of Social Work, is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Government Affairs Officer for YMCA of the USA. In this position, she is responsible for leading the government relations and policy efforts of the nation’s 2,687 YMCAs and 50 YMCA state alliance organizations.
Audrey’s career in Washington, D.C. dates back to 1993 and she has held different posts in the Clinton/Gore administration, as well as directing former Kentucky governor Paul Patton’s national office. In addition, she has held appointments in the administrations of two other Kentucky
Throughout her career, Audrey has been a strong advocate for welfare reform, health care, education, family and medical leave, domestic violence prevention and many other issues important to youth and families. Audrey has received numerous state and national awards for her advocacy for mental health care, adult education and other issues impacting youth and families
2011 Inductee, Sherri Weisenfluh
On a national level in recent years, Sherri has helped to develop the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Standards for Palliative and End of Life Care and she has pioneered the effort in the development of an advanced social work credential to demonstrate clinical expertise in hospice and palliative care. A member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, Sherri has been inducted into the National Academies of Practice for her many contributions to the field. In addition to her local duties, Sherri chairs the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals Social Work division. She is a sought after speaker on the regional, state and national levels, and is known as an author and major contributor to hospice and palliative care literature. According to Betsy Clark, Executive Director of NASW, Sherri is "... an outstanding hospice social worker and a role model for social workers everywhere."
2011 Inductee, Chris Groeber
As President and CEO of CHES, Chris is responsible for the development and oversight of the business plan that supports non-profits in a variety of ways, including providing embedded management technical assistance, grant development, continuous quality improvement processes and management information systems.
Previously, Chris held the position of CEO of Croney & Clark (now KVC Behavioral Healthcare Kentucky), a private child welfare service agency where he oversaw all staff, budgeting and administrative activities. Utilizing his previous partnerships and state-wide relationships, Chris worked with staff at KVC to implement new public child welfare collaborations in order to provide intensive assessment and comprehensive services to at-risk families. Prior to his work with KVC, Chris was an assistant clinical professor and Director of the College of Social Work’s Training Resource Center (TRC). At the TRC, Chris managed a program budget of over 3 million dollars and maintained the crucial partnership with the state Cabinet for Families and Children.
2010 Inductee, Patrick Yewell
The College of Social Work is pleased to announce the 2010 Hall of Fame inductee, Patrick Yewell; Executive Officer of Family Juvenile Services, Administrative Office of the Courts. Patrick was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, May 7 th, 2010 at a celebration with his colleagues and supporters.
2009 Inductee, Patricia R. Wilson
The College of Social Work is proud to announce the 2009 Hall of Fame award winner, Patricia R. Wilson. Pat, who is commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services, was formally inducted into the College’s Hall of Fame at a celebration dinner on May 22, 2009. Pat is an MSW graduate from our program, and she has worked in the area of child welfare for over thirty years. Since becoming DCBS commissioner in January 2008, Pat represents a vital voice for social workers state-wide and their most vulnerable clients.