Dr. Laurie Dahley, assistant professor of social work and field program coordinator at Concordia, is president-elect of the Minnesota Social Service Association.
With close to 3,700 members, MSSA is the oldest and largest social service association in the nation. MSSA will be celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2018.
Dahley will serve a three-year commitment – as president-elect for one year, president for one year and immediate past president for one year. MSSA holds monthly meetings and committee meetings throughout the year in the Twin Cities.
Dahley first served the MSSA on the regional committee as awards chair, then as the Northwest representative where she then became a member of the state board. After two years, she was asked to take on the education committee as chair and then co-chaired the conference committee, a conference that had 3,000 attendees this year. This spring, Dahley was encouraged to run for president of the organization and was elected by its members.
The MSSA is a grassroots organization that has an active and aggressive legislative agenda developed through a delegate assembly process, as well as a focus on providing education opportunities to social work professionals through regional and state conferences.
Dahley was encouraged by the executive director of the state board to throw her hat in the ring for a spot on the MN State Board of Social Work. After a nine-month background check, Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Dahley to serve on the board two years ago. Due to the nature of the MSSA’s legislative agenda, Dahley will be resigning from this position.
Dahley has been very involved in professional activities outside the classroom over the years as a faculty member at Concordia.
“Laurie has demonstrated exemplary leadership for these statewide organizations,” says Dr. Kristi Loberg, associate professor and director of the social work program. “Laurie’s willingness to involve herself in professional organizations locally and statewide helps us to stay current in our field and to better prepare students for the social work profession.”
Concordia’s social work program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education for more than 35 years. Its graduates work in a variety of professional positions locally, regionally and nationally.
As field program director at Concordia, Dahley supervises student interns and will have two students in the field during the summer. She holds seminars and reviews field logs and student intern assignments.
Because students are required to have 30 hours of community service, Dahley also works with community partners to establish opportunities for integrated learning experiences for students.
In addition to work and professional activities, as a grandma of one, Dahley looks forward to the births of two additional grandchildren this summer.