Shane Whalley, assistant professor of instruction at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, was named by the National Association of Social Workers, Texas Chapter, as its 2023 Social Worker of the Year.

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

“I am grateful and honored to receive this award,” said Whalley. “In 2001, when I started the MSSW program with the hope of being a social justice educator with an emphasis on the LGBTQIA+ communities, I didn’t imagine that 22 years later I would be recognized for doing the work I love.  From the time I started as a student, through all my years teaching at SHS, I have loved the community and support I have received.  I always tell my students that one of the goals of social work is to change systems, so we put ourselves out of work.  I’m happy about being part of profession that takes that goal seriously and I’m here to do my part.”

Shane has been teaching at SHS since 2003, and has taught classes on LGBTQIA identities, social justice frameworks, and introductory classes to the field of social work. In addition to this latest accolade, ze has also received career recognitions with the Austin PFLAG Outstanding Educator Award, the AIR Award, Adjunct Lecturer of the Year, the 2Charles I. Wright Distinguished Alum Award from SHS, and the Texas Exes Teaching Excellence award.

“Shane is an outstanding social worker, educator, and community member who has helped advance SHS’s mission for 20 years, and helped students develop into complex thinkers and engaged professional social workers,” said Allan Cole, dean of SHS. “The SHS community celebrates Shane receiving this honor, which is so well deserved.”