Longtime CSUMB counseling center employee named Social Worker of Year

April 1, 2021

Lynne White Dixon

Lynne White Dixon

The Monterey County Unit of the National Association of Social Workers has honored Lynne White Dixon, clinical supervisor at CSUMB’s Personal Growth and Counseling Center, as 2021 Social Worker of the Year. The award presentation took place at an event on March 12 celebrating National Social Work Month.

White Dixon graduated with honors from the University of Chicago and has been a licensed clinical social worker in California since 1978. She has focused her social work career on children and families, as well as students. She has particular skills and experience in working with diverse populations, particularly in child welfare. She has presented on this work at local and national conferences and is recognized as an outstanding trainer, a news release said.

White Dixon has held her position at CSUMB’s PGCC for two decades, helping develop and coordinate internships for Master of Social Work, Associate Clinical Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapy students. She also helped expand internship opportunities for social work students to be placed in Student Disability and Accessibility Center (SDAC), the Campus Health Center, and the PGCC.

She began teaching as a field instructor for the San Jose State University School of Social Work in 2000 and has taught at the CSUMB Graduate School of Social Work for the past two years. She teaches a popular elective course called “Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice.”

As chair of the NASW-CA Monterey County Unit, White Dixon assembled a steering committee that has been active for over a decade. She has spearheaded annual Social Work Month events lauded by the social work community. She helped start a welcome dinner for incoming Master of Social Work students from the inception of CSUMB’s graduate program that has continued every year since 2010.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the local unit participated in a virtual orientation for the new students and shared the benefits and joys of the social work profession. In 2021, she stepped down as chair yet remains an active member of the steering committee.

White Dixon’s background in child welfare enabled her to create a niche serving families involved in the child welfare system, foster and adoptive families. She recognized the disproportionality of Black families involved in the system and their special needs. She became an expert in the field, as well as a teacher and clinical supervisor, helping staff and students understand the importance of respecting cultural diversity when working with these families, the release said.

White Dixon has had a private practice in psychotherapy, consultation and training in Monterey for over 30 years. During this time, she has also provided consultation and training to adoptive and foster families and non-profit agency staff. She is an expert in adoption, attachment therapy, child and adult abuse, childhood trauma, and parent-child relationships. She is credited with helping thousands of children adjust to their adoptive homes.