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Mina McVeigh named "Social Worker of the Year"
Mina McVeigh

JOHNSON CITY – (April 13, 2016) In terms of her career, Mina McVeigh says she feels like she is just getting started.

After all, she was a stay-at-home mom and community volunteer for years before returning to school at the age of 46 to earn her master’s degree, which she received in 2011.

Fast-forward five years to the present, McVeigh has received one of the highest honors in the state bestowed to a member of her profession.  Recently, she was named “Social Worker of the Year” by the National Association of Social Workers – Tennessee Chapter.

McVeigh works in the Counseling Center at East Tennessee State University where she is a senior staff counselor and serves as the Alcohol and Other Drug Outreach Coordinator.

“I love working with college students,” McVeigh said.  “I appreciate having the opportunity to guide them through their journey from adolescence into adulthood and helping them find their voice.  Many students come here and are wounded by ‘stuff,’ often from their past.”

Since joining the Counseling Center staff, McVeigh started ETSU Smart Recovery Group, which provides support for students dealing with alcohol and substance abuse addictions.  Realizing the need for this service beyond the ETSU campus, she began training her interns to lead Smart Recovery groups in the region.

“My job is to help students learn to make the best decisions so that they can be the best person possible, and part of that involves learning responsibility with alcohol,” she said.

While at ETSU, she also launched a case management program that helps students identify resources and various types of assistance, such as food and housing.

McVeigh holds a B.A. in history from Washington University in St. Louis.  Before deciding to be a full-time mom, she worked for The C.V. Mosby Publishing Company as a marketing coordinator for its health publications.

While staying home with her children she remained active in the community.  She is currently the service chair of the Johnson City Morning Rotary Club.

When the time neared for her youngest son to start college, McVeigh decided the timing was right for her to return to school.  She enrolled at ETSU and received her M.S.W. degree in 2011.

A nominator wrote in support of McVeigh for the award:  “Mina has worked to assist the underprivileged, the homeless, the hungry, the defeated, those discriminated against, those suffering from severe psychiatric disabilities, those with drug and alcohol addition, those abused and traumatized and many others.  She has worked for multiple causes and has addressed an array of needs for many students who otherwise would have been unable to finish their education or would have struggled significantly without her assistance.”

The nominator added, “One would be hard pressed to find another with her level of passion, commitment, interest, effort and energy for those she serves, the students she educates and the social work profession as a whole.”

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