CCEC: Social Workers are Essential

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Free Event!
Virtual Event Free Event
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Jointly presented by the Center for Community Engagement & Collaboration and the Office of Field Education

Live online panel & interactive breakout discussions

Cost: Free

CEUs: 1.5



Cristina Marquez

Cristina Marquez currently serves as the Founding Social Worker for Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy and was previously with Kansas City Public Schools for over 3 years as a Trauma Sensitive Schools Clinician. She has worked in foster care and medical social work settings and has worked with children and families for over 16 years. She serves as a Field Instructor for the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare and also previously supported Park University where she received the BSW Field Instructor of the Year award for SY 18-19. Cristina is proud to give back to the community that she grew up in and is passionate about working with students by encouraging them to realize and reach their full potential.


Michelle Niedens

Michelle Niedens, LSCSW, is director of the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center’s Cognitive Care Network, a community-based program focused on early detection, provider partnerships, support services and education. Ms. Niedens received her Bachelor's and Master's degree from the University of Kansas. She completed clinical mentorship and holds clinical social work licenses in Kansas and Missouri. Ms. Niedens career has been dedicated to working with elders and those with Alzheimer's disease, including tenure in geriatric psychiatric inpatient settings, serving as Director of Education, Programs, and Policy at the Alzheimer's Association, Heart of America Chapter and teaching social work practice at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. Ms. Niedens special interests include assessment and intervention for associated neuropsychiatric challenges and advancing programs and services for individuals living with early-stage dementia. She has participated in regional and state-wide efforts in both areas of interest.


Marqueia Watson

Marqueia Watson, LMSW is executive director at The Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, home to one of the largest year-round homeless populations in the U.S., she recalls from childhood feeling a sense of moral urgency to do something about this human rights crisis. This sentiment has been a driving force in both her personal and professional endeavors and was her primary motivation to become a social worker. As a homeless advocate, Marqueia’s goal is to engage community partners in open and honest dialogue about the conditions that cause homelessness and real-world strategies to end it. Marqueia graduated from KU’s School of Social Welfare in 2017.



Nathan Eikmeier, MSW 2021

Nathan Eikmeier, MSW 2021

Talita Leikam, BSW 2021

Talita Leikam, BSW 2021

  • Robyn Joya Johnson
  • Todd Clevenger

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