Jerey McKinney of the School of Social Work is the recipient of a Living Our Values Award.
The Living Our Values (LOV) awards recognize individuals and groups that exemplify Illinois State’s core values of Learning and Scholarship, Diversity and Inclusion, Respect, Collaboration, Individualized Attention, Civic Engagement, and Integrity, as spelled out in Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State – The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018-2023. The awards celebrate the commitment to live the University’s values every day and strengthen the campus community by sharing those values.
McKinney serves as the director of student services for those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work. She is responsible for recruiting, admitting, and advising all undergraduate social work majors. Also teaching several social work courses, McKinney is known for her expectation of respect inside and outside the classroom. “It is important to always be open to learning and having new experiences. Experiences are what help shape us as individuals,” said McKinney. “Students in our profession need to embrace all that comes our way and know our biases in order to evolve as professionals and as human beings.”
McKinney received the Living Our Values Award nomination from Hannah McGuire, a first-year student, double majoring in criminal justice and psychology. “Jerey was unafraid to talk about difficult topics, yet her classroom was an environment where everyone felt comfortable and valued,” said McGuire, who hails from Rockford, Illinois. “The comfort level with Jerey is in part due to her dedication to the dignity and worth of a person—a staple value of social workers. She lives and breathes our values.”
Along with her duties as a director, McKinney serves as a liaison within the University and to the professional world. She is the continuing education coordinator for the School of Social Work, providing access to professional development opportunities for practitioners to maintain licenses. Her on-campus collaborations include partnering with the Office of International Studies’ Management Development International (MDI) program and working with the Julia Visor Center to provide in-service training on motivational interviewing for peer coaches and mentors.
Nominees for the Living Our Values awards can be any current Illinois State student, faculty, or staff member, or a group of people at Illinois State working toward a program or initiative that reflects the core values.
Nomination forms can be found on the Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State website.