Alumni Spotlight

Leonard Mckhan, MSW, ISW

Leonard Mckhan, MSW, ISW

Leonard’s journey into social work first began with the inspiration of his mother. She was a social worker who displayed great attention and care to the mentally and physically handicapped clients she served. Her selfless display of care for others helped him realize at an early age that social work was his true career calling.

Fast forward to applications for colleges and universities lying before him and the stress of picking the perfect school to embark on his new project. Through extensive research and select on-campus visits, his quest brought him to Barry University’s School of Social Work. “Not only does its reputation precede it as a pillar in the nation for its renowned social work program, but its partnerships within the tri-county area of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach for internships prove the best education money can buy. From the moment I entered the doors the feeling was warm and inviting. When I entered the School of Social Work as an undergraduate, I quickly realized this was a family atmosphere.

Students, staff and professors alike were always encouraging, supportive and expressed a deep caring that can likely not be matched.” Through hard work and determination, Leonard completed his undergraduate degree and decided to go full steam ahead into the Advanced Standing MSW program. It was in the master’s program that he also found great support, continued friendships and amazing professors who helped to mold, shape and frame his thinking and prepare him for a future as a social work clinician.

“Upon completion of my graduate studies, I felt, and continue to feel today that Barry University’s School of Social Work helped to establish a solid foundation. This foundation paired with a focused driven curriculum and internships, provided unquantifiable career related training.” It was only a short while after graduation that he was immediately hired with yet another pillar in the South Florida community; Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, FL. He was hired initially to work on the inpatient oncology unit and spent seven years here learning, growing and fulfilling a calling to work with a population of people who deserve the utmost care. “Utilizing the knowledge from Barry helped make that evolution smooth and seamless.” Transitioning next to outpatient oncology, he continued to grow in knowledge and experience in a field that is bursting at the seams with advancements, treatments and breakthrough medicines. Currently, he utilizes his skill-set to facilitate groups for prostate cancer, caregivers, general cancer support and a Buddy Up program which links newly diagnosed cancer patients with former cancer patients for support. His is a constant presence in the community for outreach on cancer awareness and education and speaks on various topics as a member of the Speakers Bureau. He also participate in many volunteer-based community service activities. He earned the Rising Star Award in 2014 and has assisted in multiple different organizational developments that have helped Memorial Cancer Institute better treat the not only the patients, but their families as well.

“I am a strong believer in the saying “It takes a village”. The village in this case is Barry University School of Social Work. For that I am and will always be eternally grateful for the opportunity to have attended such a stellar institution. Although small, the strength in numbers and wealth of overflowing support speaks volumes. THANK YOU!!!”

Nattasha Charania MSW

Nattasha Charania MSW ‘08

Nattasha Charania, LMSW, ACM recently received the Social Worker of the Year, Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Social Work from Emory University Hospital Midtown located in Atlanta, Georgia. Nattasha graduated from Barry University School of Social Work in 2008. She started working for Emory in 2008 as a Perinatal Social Worker. She works with mothers and babies before, during and after birth. She participates on an inter-disciplinary team to ensure that patients have access to support and counseling as needed during their inpatient admission at Emory. She also works with the medical team to coordinate discharge needs for high risk infants which may include medical equipment, home nursing, daycare, etc.

Ariel Corniel MSW, LCSW

Ariel Corniel MSW, LCSW 03’

I came to Barry University in 2001 after graduating with a Bachelor's in Psychology from F.I.U. I was mainly searching for an educational environment that provided a more personal touch. Somewhere where I did not feel like just a number roaming the hallways. Barry University not only provided this environment but also a fantastic social work education. A comment made by my supervisor at my first post-Master's employment highlights just how remarkable this education was. After working at this agency for approximately one month, my supervisor shared with me the following statement: "I can always tell the difference between Barry students and students from another social work school." Of course, this was a compliment to Barry educated social work students and a testament to the ability of the School of Social Work to develop capable social workers. Thanks to my Barry experience, I've been able to gain experience in various areas of social work. I have worked in non-profits assisting low-income families, foster care, hospitals, the hospice field, and currently for the federal government. I credit my classroom experience and internships at Barry University with providing me with the tools necessary to traverse and adapt across these various areas of social work.

Linda R. Angress, MSW

Linda R. Angress, MSW ‘82 (left)

Linda R. Angress, MSW has been named the 2014 Social Worker of the Year by the Miami-Dade Unit of the Florida Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). We also would like to thank Linda for her continued contributions as an Alumnus of the School of Social Work. This past February, Linda facilitated a workshop for current students entitled: Social Work Practice with Developmental Disabilities. Click on the following link to read more about Linda’s amazing accomplishments: http://www.sunrisegroup.org/social-worker-of-the-year/