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2017 NASW/Texas Award Recipients
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The NASW/Texas Awards seek to honor the achievements of NASW/Texas members throughout their professional careers, as well as honor the contributions of publicly-elected officials, public citizens, and members of the media whose work upholds the values and mission of social work. Award recipients are nominated by their branches and selected through a review and voting process by the NASW/Texas Board of Directors. The 2017 Award Recipients were honored during the Opening Plenary of the 41st Annual NASW/Texas State Conference at the Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas, on October 5, 2017. The conference theme was, "Social Workers Stand Up!"


Congratulations to the 2017 NASW/Texas Award Recipients featured below and to everyone recognized by their local branches for their extraordinary work in our profession.








2017 lifetime achievement award

Cynthia Franklin, PhD, LCSW, LMFT


Each year, the Texas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers selects a social worker for this award to celebrate a lifetime of accomplishments. In honoring the Lifetime Achievement Award winner, NASW/Texas recognizes the best social work values and accomplishments demonstrated throughout the social worker’s lifetime. Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards demonstrate repeated outstanding achievements, make contributions of lasting impact, exemplify outstanding creativity, and receive recognition beyond the social work profession.


Dr. Cynthia Franklin, LCSW and LMFT is this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner.  She is currently the Stiernberg/Spencer Family Professor in Mental Health and Associate Dean for Doctoral Education in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas. Dr. Franklin has held several Fellow appointments in various organizations, including AAMFT (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy), the Special Education Department at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in 1984, American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare in 2016, the Humanities Institute at UT Austin, Editor-in-Chief of Children & Schools journal from 1998-2002, and is Editor-in-Chief of the NASW Encyclopedia of Social Work, online.  She also served as a board member for the Center for School Mental Health Assistance at the Baltimore School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, the NASW Texas School Social Work Committee, and the Regional Network for Children and Youth in Texas.

Dr. Franklin began her social work career improving the lives of at-risk youth.  Throughout her 25+ years working in social work and education, she worked as a therapist, consultant, trainer, and researcher for both educational and mental health settings in the US, Taiwan, and China.  She is considered the chief architect and principal researcher of solution-focused brief therapy intervention for at-risk youth in schools.

The contributions that Dr. Franklin has made to social work practice and education are vast, and gained recognition within the profession and beyond.  Her groundbreaking work Latina youth at Garza High School led to the intervention entitled, “Taking Charge”, which is a widely used, internationally recognized school social work intervention; in 2013, this intervention was added into the OJJDP Crime Solutions Model programs guide, and has been recognized by the US Department of Education as a model dropout prevention program.  Furthermore, she is a “leader” in research on the use of SFBT (solution-focused brief therapy) with children and adolescents. Federal agencies like SAMHSA and OJJDP recognize the application of SFBT as an empirically supported intervention.  Her expertise in the areas of evidence-based, mental health interventions will improve social workers practice for years to come.  She has published over 200 peer-review journal articles, books, book chapters, and technical reports and presented her work at dozens of national and international conferences.  She also has over 20 years of teaching and mentoring students to take the state licensing exam.  She has been actively engaged as a member of several organizations, including CSWE (Council on Social Work Organization), the SSWAA (School Social Work Association of America), AAMF (Association for Marriage and Family), NASW (National Association of Social Workers), SBTA (Solution-focused Brief Therapy Association), and several Honor Society organizations.  She is also a dedicated advocate, testifying before the Texas legislature to advance bills that contribute to quality school social work services.

We are proud to recognize Dr. Franklin, an internationally recognized practitioner, educator, and scholar, to celebrate her lifetime achievements of STANDING UP! for effective, evidence-based interventions for at-risk youth!


Nominated by the Capital Area Branch



2017 Social Worker of the Year

Timothy Martel Brown, LCSW, ACSW


The Social Worker of the Year Award honors a member of NASW/Texas who exemplifies the best of the profession’s values and achievements. In honoring the Social Worker of the Year, NASW highlights superb accomplishments in the practice of social work. The Social Worker of the Year demonstrates outstanding leadership, advocates for clients, and takes risks to achieve outstanding results.


Timothy Martel Brown is this year’s Social Worker of the Year award winner.  Mr. Brown’s impact on the profession first began years ago as a NASW/Texas student board member, and in 2016, he was selected as the ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) President-elect.

Mr. Brown has worked in the health care field since 1985, and currently serves as Associate Chief of Social Work/Mental Health at the VA North Dallas Health Care System.  As an ardent change agent- he advocates to increase the number of social workers across 10 clinics to meet the needs of veterans, coordinates interdisciplinary teams, provides complex case management and psychotherapeutic interventions to clients, as well as shaping agency policies and practice, while overseeing a staff of over 500 and a budget of over $55 million.  

More incredibly are the roles and responsibilities he has taken-on in addition to full-time practice.  Through a variety of leadership roles, Mr. Brown has been dedicated to improving social work licensing and ethical practice in the state of Texas.  

He has provided clinical supervision to over 160 social workers, and served as Field Instructor for students in social work and psychology from Baylor, UH, UT Austin, Texas A&M, UT Arlington, and Texas Woman’s University.  His contribution to training future generations are outstanding.

Mr. Brown has been engaged as a leader in NASW/Texas since 1990, serving as chairperson (Brazos Valley Unit, Practice Advancement Committee, Brazos Valley, Leadership Search Committee), serving on the NASW/Texas Board of Directors, and participating as a member in a variety of other committees (Reorganization Taskforce, and Leadership Search Committees).  In 2004, Governor Rick Perry appointed Mr. Brown to the TSBSWE (Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners), has been re-appointed twice, and served as TSBSWE Chair since 2008.  He has been actively involved in the ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) since 2005, serving as a committee member and leader in a variety of ASWB committees (Finance, Program and Education, Nomination, Bylaws and Resolutions) and item writer for the LMSW exam.  Mr. Brown has also served on a variety of additional committees, including the Brazos Valley Health Partnership, Community for Action for Seniors with Disability Consortium, and the Brazos Valley Council of Governments Special Needs.  

Mr. Brown often uses his personal/vacation time earned from his full-time job at the VA, to strengthen the profession of social work in Texas.

His service has resulted in major accomplishments.  Mr. Brown has developed, written, and implemented the Texas Sun Review Commission required Jurisprudence Exam for Texas, participated in developing and implementing the IP and IPR for Texas. Additionally winning multiple awards, including: NASW/Texas Social Work Student of the Year (2000), NASW/Texas Social Worker of the Year for Brazos Valley Branch (2005), and the Sunny Andrews Lifetime Social Work Regulatory Achievement Award (2014).  

It is an honor to present Mr. Brown with the Social Worker of the Year award, for his work STANDING UP! to protect the public, as a practitioner, supervisor, instructor, and leader in the social work profession!


Nominated by the North Central Texas-Dallas Area Branch




2017 Social Work Student of the Year

Margarita Guerrero


The Social Work Student of the Year Award honors a student member of NASW/Texas who is enrolled at least halftime (as defined by their school) in a graduate or undergraduate Social Work Program and has made an outstanding contribution to the goals and mission of the profession. The Social Work Student of the Year demonstrates leadership, a commitment to social justice, the profession of social work, and clients, and the integration of social work knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values.


Margarita Guerrero is this year’s Social Work Student of the Year award winner.  Ms. Guerrero is currently a social work student enrolled in St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas.  Her Instructors describe her as an energetic, dedicated, reliable critical thinker, who is dedicated to social justice.  These are qualities she demonstrates consistently in and out of the classroom.  

Ms. Guerrero dedication to social justice and advocacy is evident in a variety of settings.  At her field placement in the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, she serves survivors of violent crime with competency and integrity, and has received praise for her work there from her field instructor and staff in the Victims Services Unit.  They found that she is skilled at utilizing professional use of self to develop rapport with her clients, and is considered- even as a student- a valuable member of their team.

Ms. Guerrero is dedicated to community-driven service projects.  She served in an alternative spring break project in El Paso, Texas.  She is a student in CAMP (College Assistant Migrant Program), working directly with migrant youth as an advocate, tutor, and mentor.  She was selected as a Hatton Sumners Summer Scholar at the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Services in Washington, DC, where she completed a rigorous summer internship. In addition, Ms. Guerrero also works alongside lawyers and law students in a new project the Karnes Family Detention Pro Bono Project in the Karnes Detention facility in Karnes City, Texas. She also completed an internship with the Student Action for Farmworkers Organization, which was a competitive internship that only accepted 20 students across the US.  She also serves as an academic tutor for students learning English as a second language, and volunteers with the Austin Travis County Integral Care Strengthening Families Program, Casa Marianella, and Caritas of Austin.  


She has the ability to balance her academic responsibilities and her passion for volunteer work.  She has maintained a GPA of 3.73, and was inducted into the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society in 2016.  Ms. Guerrero is also an active member of a number of campus organizations, including Latino Student Leaders, Bilingual Education Group, Hilltopper, Animal Allies, and Ballet Folklórico.  Her hard work has been recognized with a variety of awards.  She has received the Johnson-Turpin scholarship, and is on the Dean’s list for academic achievement. Indeed, we can only expect that a student this great will be an incredible social worker in the future.

It is an honor to present Ms. Guerrero with the Social Work Student of the Year award, for her work STANDING UP! for migrant youth and utilizing education as a means to achieving social and economic justice.

Nominated by the Capital Area Branch




2017 Public Citizen of the Year

Matthew Hinsley, DMA


The Public Citizen of the Year Award honors an outstanding member of the community whose accomplishments exemplify the values and mission of the profession of social work and who has acted with courage to make significant contribution to an area or population of concern to the social work profession such as: at-risk or vulnerable populations, quality of life in communities, or social issues.


Matthew Hinsley is this year’s Public Citizen of the Year award winner. The author of Creativity to Community: Arts Nonprofit Success One Coffee at a Time, Dr. Hinsley has served as the Executive Director of Austin Classical Guitar (ACG) in Austin, Texas since 2002. Under his leadership, ACG has worked in partnership with Austin Independent School District (AISD) to provide classroom-based, for-credit classical guitar programs now serving 4,000 students in over 50 schools throughout Austin. ACG has helped build hundreds more educational programs throughout Texas, the United States and beyond from Nicaragua to Nepal. In 2010, ACG developed a braille-adapted version of its nationally-recognized classroom guitar curriculum for use at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. ACG also partners with Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center, People’s Community Clinic, Annunciation Maternity Home, Travis County Jail, and Any Baby Can to provide engagement and education opportunities for the people they serve.


Dr. Hinsley’s work demonstrates the value of building human relationships through the power of music. Using ACG as an agent for social change, Dr. Hinsley’s community engagement approach provides opportunities for many musicians to use their talents to enhance the lives of others. An example is the Lullaby Project, a program that brings together musicians with new moms facing challenging circumstances to create original lullabies for their babies, encouraging reflection and strengthening the connection between the mother and her child.

Under Dr. Hinsley’s leadership, ACG’s educational programs achieve more than teaching basic guitar skills. They build confidence, self-respect, and a sense of purpose among the students who participate. Anyone who attends a public performance by the students in ACG’s guitar classes for incarcerated youth at the Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center witnesses the poise and professionalism of the young people involved in the program, and the look of pride on their faces when they receive a standing ovation at the end of their concert.

Dr. Hinsley and Austin Classical Guitar have been featured on PBS NewsHour, and were the subject of a documentary produced by KLRU as part of their Arts in Context series. Dr. Hinsley was the recipient of the 2015 Austin Under 40 award for Arts and Entertainment, was recognized by the Texas Legislature in 2013, and was the recipient of the Nonprofit Alliance Award in 2011. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell declared Matthew Hinsley & Austin Classical Guitar Day in 2010.

It is an honor to present Dr. Matthew Hinsley with the Public Citizen of the Year award, for his work STANDING UP! for effective community engagement, transforming doubt into hope, and creating sustainable change for at-risk youth through music!

Nominated by the Capital Area Branch


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