The Catalyst

Classroom Speakers

Listed below are some of the speakers who came to share their professional experience with social work students. 


Justin Terrell a MSW from Take Action MN came to spoke to two cohorts of BSW students about his experiences in the field of social work. Justin touched on diversity issues within the social work practice and his experiences with community organizing.  Justin shared his experience working on “Ban the Box” legislation, which aims to eliminate questions about felony convictions and criminal history from job applications.      


Connie Orth from Crisis Nursery in St. Cloud came to speak to about the intricacies of grant writing and the importance of grant writing skills in non-profit organizations. Connie offered real life examples of her successful and unsuccessful attempts in securing funding for vital programming. Connie provided tips and resources for students interested in grant writing to take with them when they enter the world of professional social work.


James Turner a MSW from Sauk Rapids/Rice school district spoke to MSW students about his work with diversity issues in the public school system.  The presentation provided scenarios from his experience and background which created discussion topics for students to expand on. James also incorporated some diversity training tools he uses with his students and clients during his time with the class.


Troy Johnson a MSW with Elk River High School came to speak to MSW students about his work as a cultural liaison for high school students. Troy also provided numerous examples of community organization efforts from his previous position at La Cruz Community in St. Cloud. Troy also made time to speak with students in The Department of Social Work’s democratic citizenship classes on a separate occasion. Troy used his professional experiences to give an example of the many roles a social worker can have in the professional world.

- Mathew Berry

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