Dr. Rola Bazzi-Gates Receives the 2016 Social Worker of the Year Award

News & Press: NASW-Michigan News

Dr. Rola Bazzi-Gates Receives the 2016 Social Worker of the Year Award

Thursday, June 02, 2016
Posted by: Duane Breijak

Social Worker of the Year Dr. Rola Bazzi-Gates, PhD, ACSW, LMSW, SSW with Lamis Srour, Principal of Geer Park Elementary School.

Lansing, MI. The National Association of Social Workers – Michigan Chapter (NASW-Michigan) was proud to award Dr. Rola Bazzi-Gates, PhD, ACSW, LMSW, SSW, the 2016 Social Worker of the Year Award at the chapter board of directors meeting on May 13. The award recognizes a social worker who has made demonstrable differences in the areas of advocacy, community organizing, social work practice, program development, or research.

Dr. Bazzi-Gates has been a school social worker with Dearborn Public Schools since 1998. Prior to this, she worked as a mental health therapist for both Apex Behavior Health with Oakwood Hospital and for the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), providing services to both individuals and families. Dr. Bazzi-Gates has been a field instructor for over 45 masters level social work students from September 2000 until the present; mentoring, supervising, and evaluating them.  In addition, each year she takes on two Dearborn Public Schools social workers to mentor and advise.

One of her biggest passions is empowering families—both the parents and the children. Dr. Bazzi-Gates is a strong believer in collaborating and working as a team to provide wrap-around services to children, making sure every aspect of the child’s life is being cared for. Her dedication and commitment to adhering to the core principles of the social work profession are evident in the way she interacts with families of students, with staff, and with everyone she meets. Her incredible work ethic pushes her to go above and beyond her role as a school social worker to take on the additional roles of advocate, teacher, role model…whatever is needed of her to meet the needs of others.

“Dr. Bazzi-Gates displays a proactive stance in determining unexpected needs,” stated Amy Swis, a fellow school social worker at Dearborn Public Schools. “She has taken risks in decreasing anti-arabic sentiment and fighting tirelessly for newcomers to our community. This is not an easy task in light of zero tolerance regulations. Dr. Bazzi-Gates has opened the dialogue for race relations among the different populations in Dearborn through restorative circles being implemented in both of her buildings. She is a true team player who is committed to her work and is passionate about empowering students, parents, and the community at large.”

Throughout her eighteen years as a social worker, Dr. Bazzi-Gates has been a constant example to everyone around her of how a social worker should embody the values and goals of the profession. In addition to this award, Dr. Bazzi-Gates was awarded a 2015 Impact Award from the Dearborn Public Schools and the 2011 Social Worker of the Year Award from the Michigan Association of School Social Workers.

Please join NASW-Michigan in congratulating Dr. Rola, Bazzi-Gates in being named the 2016 Social Workers of the Year!


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