August 24, 2020
(HOUSTON, TX) - The Graduate College of Social Work is proud to announce that Steven Parks (MSW/MBA '13) has been named Lecturing Faculty Professor.
Steven Parks makes his return to the GCSW with deep experience as an independent therapist at The Healing Place, where he specializes in "treating symptoms of trauma, anxiety, and depression in children, adolescents, and adults."
We asked Steven Parks to reflect on his time at the GCSW and share what he would like to achieve.
Name: Steven L. Parks, LCSW-S, MBA
Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
Graduation Year from the GCSW and Program: MSW/MBA '13
Current Position: Lecturing Faculty Professor
We're so happy to have you at the GCSW in this role! What is it that drew you back to the GCSW?
The GCSW has a tremendous passion for sending out highly skilled social workers into the community, and to be named a faculty member of the GCSW is quite an honor. We need highly trained social workers more than ever to step into roles to support individuals, families, and communities. All parties involved need to be front-and-center in advocacy discussions and social justice reforms.
What was it that made you decide to go into social work initially?
I felt called to go into social work because I saw so many in our community needing empathic, humanizing, support, and help. Social work is the only profession that unites professional values with practice skills. I didn't just want to learn a subject or a job skill; I wanted to know about social justice and systemic change, which was how I found my way to social work.
You're returning the GCSW with the unique perspective of having been a student. How was that overall experience?
Being a student at the GCSW was like finding a long lost tribe of kindred spirits. The professors and students alike spoke about the problems in the world today and the solutions needed to bring us to a new era. I met and made lifelong friends who I continue to work with every day at making the world a better place for others. I know that change is frustratingly slow, but I appreciate being on a team that is relentlessly pushing for those changes.
After you graduated from the GCSW, what was your experience like putting your education into practice?
Transformative. Coming into the GCSW program, I had intended to pursue a macro and organizational career in social work. However, my internships and early years in the social work field cultivated my love for clinical work that I retain today. I am very grateful to my first social work employer, Child Advocates of Fort Bend, for the supervision, training, and experience that they gave to me.
Can you expand on how you believe your new role supports the GCSW's mission and vision of achieving social justice?
I hope my new role will serve as a crossover between social work students passionate about either a micro or macro practice career. No significant clinical work can be achieved without understanding and promoting social justice. Similarly, macro efforts aimed to achieve efficient social justice reform must take into consideration people's experiences, wisdom, and knowledge at the ground and grassroots level. I hope to instill a drive for social workers in all capacities that unite around change and reform efforts.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am very grateful and honored to have this opportunity to return to the GCSW in this exciting capacity.