The Social Work Society commits to advocating for and fostering community between all CSUN MSW students using an anti-oppressive, anti-colonial, and intersectional lens.
Our purpose is to serve students across all cohorts to create collaboration and community, and to serve as a liaison between MSW students and the CSUN Graduate Department of Social Work.
Monica Montoya (she/her/hers) is a proud, first-generation, Latinx, graduate student raised in Van Nuys, CA by two amazing immigrant parents. Monica holds a B.A. from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice and is a current graduate student within the 3-21 cohort in the Master of Social Work Department at CSUN. Monica's commitment and love for social justice is tremendous and evident in the work she does, specifically surrounding students of color and marginalized communities. She is also very passionate about learning through ancestral knowledge and emphasizes indigenous and anti-colonial praxis that bring healing to those around her. Monica continuously strives to challenge the non-dominant culture by joining organizations on-and-off-campus. Since 2016, she has been involved with MOSAIC (Mentoring to Overcome Struggles and Inspire Courage) as a Mentor and Program Coordinator in order to promote academic and personal success to opportunity youth attending local continuation and alternative high schools. She has also organized many resource fairs at CSUN and in the community for marginalized and disenfranchised communities, displaying and auctioning youth’s artistic aspirations. Additionally, during her time as an MSW student, she have been involved in conferences such as: CSUN Diversity Day / We Are Power: Community in Action Conference as a student-leader, presented research at the CSUN Civil Discourse and Social Change Conference and then published her work, titled: "Why Should I Bother Having a Mentor?" with the C.A.P.T.U.R.E.D. Journal in the Africana Studies Department. She also had the opportunity to present and travel to St. Louis, Missouri and Brooklyn, New York for the Liberation-Based Healing Conference (LBHC) on the importance of mentoring and decolonizing social work. Her fight for social justice is ongoing and highlights her purpose as serving the community!
Doris Garcia (she/her/hers/ella) is part of the On-campus 2-21 cohort. She is 24 years old and is a Mexican-American first-generation student. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology option III Social Welfare/Social Justice from CSUN in 2019. She is a daughter, a sister, a friend, a student, and an advocate. Her passions include body positivity, art therapy, and child welfare. In her first year of the MSW program, Doris was part of the We Are Power: Community in Action planning committee and attended several ¡CSUN PUEDE! meetings. We Are Power introduced her to community organizing and advocacy work which has fulled her desire to continue to be involved. With ¡CSUN PUEDE! she hopes to continue to hold that space for students to be able to come together and celebrate their Latinidad. As On-Campus VP Doris hopes to continue to push for more student involvement where everlasting friendships are created.
Julissa Castellanos (she/her/hers/ella) is a member of the off-campus UNAM 2-21 cohort. She is a first-generation student, daughter of immigrants from Mexico, born and raised in the northeast San Fernando Valley in the city of Pacoima. She obtained my B.A. in General Sociology from California State University Northridge in 2016. Prior to being accepted in the CSUN MSW program, she worked as a case manager and intake specialist for the largest subsidized child care program in the San Fernando Valley. She has also worked serving low-income communities, individuals and families experiencing homelessness, single mothers, and persons with disabilities. As a cisgender educated womxn, she aims to use her experience and privilege to be of service and promote empowerment and healing in marginalized communities. She believes that building community is part of our success as students and working professionals, therefore her goal is to help foster meaningful connections and unity amongst our on-campus and off-campus cohorts by eliminating the barriers that make us feel disconnected and separated from our peers. She strongly believes that her experience and awareness of the channels of communication needed to collaborate with a group of students will serve as an advantage to contribute to off-campus students’ experience, and her plan is to use additional platforms to actively share SWS updates and to promote involvement in SWS events. Mostly, she hopes to be of support and a resource for the interpersonal and professional development of our collective social work community during our academic journey.
Anissa Juarez (She/ Her/ Hers) is part of the On-Campus 2-21 cohort. Anissa is from Oxnard, CA living on Chumash Land. Anissa graduated with her BA in Sociology from CSU Channel Islands. Some of her passions include mental health, yoga, and the outdoors. In her first year as a CSUN social work student she was a part of ¡CSUN PUEDE!, We Are Power, and Soul-cial Work Summer. As SWS Secretary her hope is to continue to create and build community among all cohorts.
TREASURER/ REP 3-21
MARY GRACE SOSING
Mary Grace Sosing (she/her/hers) is part of the On-Campus 3-21 cohort. This Los Angeles/Hollywood native received her Bachelors in Public Health from the University of California, Irvine in 2016, with a minor in Psychology and Social Behavior. Mary Grace is a first generation Filipina-American and first to obtain education in the United States for her family. She is currently an employee for Kaiser Permanente LA Medical Center with goals to improve mental health care in hospitals. She has past work experiences with mentoring and tutoring youth in LAUSD Afterschool Programs. She also continues to volunteer as a College Path LA mentor assisting high school students through the college application and financial aid process. In addition, Mary Grace aims to bring more mental health awareness and acceptance in the Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. At CSUN, She is also a committee lead for We Are Power: Community in Action Conference and member of the Asian American Pacific Islander Social Work Collective. As the 3-21 Representative and Treasurer, she hopes to provide more chances for social and professional connections, as well as create opportunities for learning that benefit her cohort and all CSUN MSW students.
Simone Hörst is a member of the online O-21 cohort. Originally from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Simone moved to California’s Central Coast in 2017. She received her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Virginia Tech in 2010, with a minor in English - cultural studies. Prior to pursuing her Master of Social Work, Simone worked in community mental health and social services in county government and non-profit settings. As the O-21 SWS representative, she aims to help foster a sense of community and connection among CSUN MSW students.
Rosa Aguilar (she/her/hers) is a first-generation American female with Mexican roots. She is part of the off-campus UNAM 21 Cohort and resides in Ventura County. She graduated from California State University Channel Islands in 2019 and received her Bachelors in Sociology and minor in Chicanx Studies. She has worked with adults with mental health issues, end of life stages, providing case management and providing in home support to families. She aims to help bridge the gap between CSUN MSW cohorts and provide support to current and new students.
Grace Rhee (she/her/hers) is part of the On-Campus 2-21 cohort. Grace is a first-generation Korean American graduate student who was born and raised in Los Angeles. She lived in South Korea from 2013-2017 when her family moved there and completed her undergraduate degree online while overseas. She hopes to provide culturally humble and research-based practices to communities that are underserved or overlooked. As student representative, she hopes to engage with 2-21 and other cohorts to create meaningful connections and experiences in our program.
Dr. ALLEN E. LIPSCOMB
Allen Eugene Lipscomb, PsyD, LCSW, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work. Dr. Lipscomb is a clinical psychologist by highest degree earned and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of California. Dr. Lipscomb received his doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) with a clinical emphasis in marriage, family and child psychotherapy from Ryokan College and his master of social work (MSW) from the University of Southern California. Upon completing his doctorate, he earned a certification in mixed-methods community based research from the University of Michigan in the School of Social Work. In addition, Dr. Lipscomb studied diversity and inclusion practices for human resources within organizations through Cornell University; earning a certification from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell. Dr. Lipscomb specializes in providing anti-oppressive and inclusive mental health services to individuals, children, youth and families of color. His pedagogy is centered on cultural anti-oppressive and clinically-responsive inclusive practices with consumers. Dr. Lipscomb maintains a private practice; conducts local, national and international trainings; is a clinical consultant and keynote/motivational speaker.