Joined USJ: 2003
Coming Home, Giving Back
From her very first social work class as a student, Raymie Wayne knew she wanted to teach. What was surprising was that it took until then to realize. Her mother, after all, was a professor of social work. “Teaching is a way of giving back and influencing the profession,” Wayne says, adding that teaching at Saint Joseph, her alma mater, is particularly relevant to the profession because the school’s mission is consistent with the social work value of social justice.
Have there been changes in the field since her student days? Absolutely. Expectations have heightened, and the pace has quickened. The profession is becoming more evidence-based, with a greater emphasis on critically reviewing the latest literature (accelerated by technology), and considerably more reliance on research. Students benefit from two year-long field placements during their studies at USJ. Wayne notes that “spending so much time in the field helps students build valuable professional networks.” Students also have opportunities to connect with a network of distinguished alumni.
Advancing the Profession
Wayne serves as president of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, an organization with more than 3,000 members statewide, that she has been involved with since her days as a student intern. In leading the chapter, she has participated in revisions to social work licensure laws and regulations, explaining that her “social work education provided the skills to meet with state officials and the confidence to offer input about important issues impacting the profession”. Earlier in her career, she worked to increase health care access at the Northwestern Area Health Education Center and developed expertise in group dynamics by working with coalitions on issues such as homelessness and cultural competence.
Graduating Confident Professionals
She attributes the growth of social work, in part, to the fact that it provides “skills that are transferrable to all parts of life.” The numbers at USJ are increasing rapidly. During the past three years, the number of majors nearly tripled. Wayne chairs the department where she was once an undergraduate student, and her interest in “serving the profession” is reflected in her passion for teaching and dedication to students, taking special pride in seeing students move from cautious to competent and “confident professionals,” with most going on successfully to graduate school.
B.S.W., University of Saint Joseph (summa cum laude)
M.S.W., Fordham University
J.D., University of Connecticut School of Law (high honors)
Ph.D., The University at Albany, State University of New York