NASW Washington Chapter Board Of Directors

NASW-WA Chapter Elections are now open! Please read through each candidate's biographical and platform statement below. Voting was open from April 1 - April 30, 2021: Elections are now closed. Thank you for voting! The Chapter will announce the election results in the mid-May!

2nd Vice President of Budget and Finance (2-year Term: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023)

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Patricia Barnes Cannon

Biographical Statement:

Patricia Barnes Cannon has been a resident of the state of Washington since 2014. She received her BA in education/social welfare and MSW with dual specialization in child welfare and policy, administration, community development from Arizona State University. She completed postmasters work at the University of Arizona in interdisciplinary studies including cultural anthropology, Indigenous studies/administration.  In the past, she worked in law enforcement both at the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa Juvenile Court as a juvenile probation officer. She worked in the public education sector in both higher education administration including college budget groups at the University of Arizona and various K-12 levels, including intervention program design. Currently, Patricia serves as a court advocate for DYCF, participates with Eastside Coalition for All, and is a board member for Urban Impact, NAACP-Snohomish County, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Her emphasis presently is research and writing.


Platform Statement:

I have been a participant of the Legislative Action Committee for the past three years.  I have over four years of board experience across the public and not-for- profit sectors.  Some highlights include an appointment to the Pima County Action Agency Board for county federal block grant budget and review and current grant writing and development for Urban Impact.  In the past I have chaired the fundraising committee for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Jack and Jill, Inc. and held the position of financial secretary.

Eastern Washington Region Representative (2-year Term: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023)

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Syrene Miller

Biographical Statement:

Syrene A. Miller is an MSW graduate from Boston University, with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication. She is enthusiastic to serve as the Eastern WA representative to improve membership involvement, increase advocacy, and create additional opportunities for networking and involvement in policy and practice for Eastern Washington social workers. She also currently serves as the co-chair of the Membership Committee for NASW-WA and as the MSW Student Representative. She currently works for a community mental health agency as an Intensive Outpatient Clinician using Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Forward Facing Trauma Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Syrene has authored several textbooks, chapters and peer-reviewed articles on translating Evidence-Based Decision Making into practice. She is organized, motivated and hard working.

Platform Statement:

I grew up in Shoreline and have lived in Spokane for almost 17 years. I value the need for communication and community. As a representative, I will serve the Eastern Washington region by advocating for the voice of the membership of Eastern Washington. I have been a member of the NASW membership committee for three years and served as the MSW student representative for 2020-2021. In these capacities, I have helped create Practice Area Networks and opportunities for the membership of the Washington Chapter to network and connect with other social workers. I have also contributed to the development of NASW-WA’s strategic plan. I have worked to create focus groups and surveys to collect the needs and desires of our membership and make changes to address them. I believe that as we join together as social workers, we can strengthen the changes, opportunities, and advocacy that occur in our communities.


Skylar Newkirk

Biographical Statement:

Skylar Newkirk currently works for Klickitat Valley Health Family Medicine Clinic as an integrated behavioral health therapist where her provides individual counseling to patients alongside the primary care providers. He is also stepping into the experience of becoming a clinical supervisor. As a queer-identified transgender man living in a conservative rural area, he has lived experience in what is often considered conflicting social identities. He has been involved with NASW for over ten years, first joining as a BSW student in Fort Worth, Texas. Since then, Skylar enjoyed connecting to the profession through conferences, remote resources, advocacy opportunities, and workshops. Throughout his career, he has been honored to receive awards such as BSW Student of the Year (NASW Texas, North Central Region), Footsteps of Social Justice Leadership Award, Senior Service Award and Human Rights Award (TCU School of Social Work), and Class of 2011 Pillar of University Leadership.

Platform Statement:

I am grateful to be considered for this service to the profession. I sat on the state NASW-TX board as the BSW student representative from 2010-2011 and spent the year participating in statewide conference planning, legislative action, and advocating within the organization for LGBTQ+ members. My clinical practice has strengthened my skills in communication and advocacy, and living in a rural area has challenged me to open my perspective to the strengths and special qualities of rural social work. I am currently serving on another board for a local non-profit. With my previous board experiences and my graduate concentration in administration and policy, I feel well-equipped to serve NASW-WA as a representative. I’d be honored to continue my service to the organization and to be a voice that breaks isolation for the community of rural Washington social workers.  

Western Washington Region Representative (2-year Term: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023)

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Katie Evans

Biographical Statement:

Katie Evans, LICSW  was born in Oregon but raised in Pierce County Washington and considers Puyallup her home town.  She an enthusiastic Coug fan as she holds a BA in Criminal Justice and Sociology from WSU but is a traitor when she obtained her MSW from UW in 2008.  Katie has worked all over Pierce County in various social work roles that include Child Protective Services, Veterans Affairs Homeless Programs, JBLM as a Victim Advocate and a Military Family Life Counselor and a Manager of an Adolescent In Patient Psych Unit.  This lead to her current role as the Intimate Partner Violence Program-Coordinator at the American Lake VA.  She serves on the NASW-WA Ethics Committee and Volunteers her time as a Girl Scout Troop Leader and in the past as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children in State Custody. Katie likes to crochet, and loves her yellow Labrador retriever.  She has also been married for 13 years and has a 9 year old daughter. 

Platform Statement:

I would like to take the first opportunity to thank you for considering me for this position. As my biography indicates, I have worked in several areas of social work in Pierce County and am familiar with much of the work social workers do as a result.  I think this means I will be very capable of representing social workers at the NASW-WA level and having a strong voice for you while I am at the table. I would like take your concerns to the board, and to NASW-WA to have them heard.  My goal is to promote what you want accomplished at the NASW-WA level.  Some of my goals include continuing to promote the advancement of the Social Work profession and working to eliminate long standing systematic racism. I hope you will consider me for this position.  I have big dreams for it, but I hope to make at least some of them a reality. 

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Claudia Sellmaier

Biographical Statement:

Claudia Sellmaier, MSW, MA, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice at the University of Washington Tacoma. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate students about policy advocacy, macro practice, research, and disability studies. Claudia received her MSW in Germany and worked for years with young adults struggling with unstable housing. She provided wrap-around case management services, and worked as supervisor of up to seven colleagues. She also received a MA of Intercultural Conflict Management and a PhD in Social Work and Social Research. She has been a member of the NASW Legislative Action Committee since 2016. Claudia and her BASW students won the 2019 and 2020 Influencing Social Policy Awards.

Platform Statement: 

I am deeply honored to have been nominated as candidate for Western WA Region Representative. I have been an active member of the NASW Legislative Action Committee since 2016. As a faculty member I have hosted NASW for annual advocacy trainings, and students and alumni of my policy course attended the NASW lobby day. In this role I have always worked hard to make sure that social work is represented in Olympia, WA, and that I connect students with the important work of our local NASW-WA-chapter. If elected I am committed to bring the diverse voices of social work practitioners, students, and educators to the board, so that NASW-WA can continue to provide relevant programming to the existing membership and to attract new members. I will also bring an anti-oppressive lens to my role striving to center social justice and equity in NASW programs and policies.

Salomé Valencia-Bohné, MA, MSW, MHP, LSW

Salomé Valencia-Bohné


Biographical Statement:

Salomé is a Latinx cis-gendered candidate that is currently employed with RI International as an MHP Clinic Supervisor and has a private practice. She is known for her work in collaborating with NASW as the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work (WSSCSW) Outreach Chair. She has received multiple awards and scholarships for her work in diversity, equity, and inclusion such as the Reiki Scholarship. She currently sits on the following boards as well as supports the following community projects: Coalition Healthcare Social Work Board, Latinx Health Board, College Success Foundation Alumni Board, College Success Foundation National Board, Free People Telehealth Clinic, Washington Health Board planning committee, and Husky Leadership Certificate mentor.


Platform Statement:

If elected, I am committed to supporting NASW and its members. I hold a masters in community development and a masters in social work which equip me with the skills to collaborate and partner alongside others. I welcome communication from members and strive to walk alongside others in order to support them in their journey. I would be honored to continue to serve the professional community and sit on the NASW board.

MSW Student Representative (1-year Term: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022)

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Liz McCully

Biographical statement:

Liz McCully resides in Seattle, Washington, and is completing her final year of studies with Boise State University’s online advanced generalist MSW program. Previously, Liz worked in the education field and taught across K-12 for 20 years, earning her Master in Teaching (2007) and specializing in middle level math and science. Liz is passionate about working with marginalized, historically underserved and vulnerable populations and implemented her own educational framework to teach more effectively with individuals facing multiple social injustices. Her framework provided a high-quality, fun educational experience that met the needs of each individual while addressing existing inequities. Besides spending time on her studies, Liz is a passionate volunteer with the Prisoner Correspondence Project and Providence Hospice of Seattle. Past volunteer involvement includes the Seattle King County Clinic, StoryCorps, and Reading Partners. Liz is a dedicated advocate for autism, self-identifying as neurodiverse and raising a child with autism.


Platform Statement:

I joined NASW the same day I received my acceptance into BSU’s MSW program, as I am well-aware of the vast benefits of an organization that can educate, connect and champion its members while advancing the field of study. Just after finishing a course on leadership and management in non-profits, I received an email about the student positions on the Board of NASW-WA. The course I’d finished left me yearning for hands-on experience with governance and leadership, and the opportunity to serve on the board of NASW-WA as the MSW representative would be both an honor and a wonderful learning opportunity. I am a person of my word, present and prepared, and I thrive in rigorous environments that require me to apply myself. My strengths include generation of new ideas, creative problem solving, networking and recruitment.

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Iliana Monarrez


Biographical Statement: 

Iliana Monarrez is a first year MSW candidate at Loyola University Chicago, online bilingual program. She currently works as a secretary senior for WA State Department of Corrections, specifically with the Special Needs and Special Assault Units. She serves on the Board of Directors for Guided Pathways – an organization that works to empower and support families and youth struggling with behavioral, emotional or substance abuse challenges in navigating resources to achieve wellness and resilience. She recently completed Advocate Core Training with WCSAP, and regularly participates in the different trainings offered by them. In addition to this, she serves as the online bilingual student representative for Loyola’s Diversity Committee, as well as the community engagement and social media coordinator for Loyola’s Social Workers of Color organization. Iliana would love to bring her knowledge to NASW-WA as well as learn from others as passionate about social justice and advocating as she is.

Platform Statement:

My name is Iliana Monarrez, current MSW candidate for Loyola University Chicago’s Online Bilingual program. I am writing this statement to express my interest in being considered for the MSW Student Representative position with the NASW-WA Chapter. Although I am just now wrapping up my first semester, I am very committed and passionate about serving others through my service in the social work field. I currently hold a leadership position with Loyola’s Social Workers of Color Alliance as their community engagement and social media coordinator, as well as the online bilingual student representative for the Diversity Committee. As a MSW Student Representative, my goals would be to focus on sharing my passion for social work with other MSW students and encouraging them to bring their diverse background to our NASW-WA chapter. The past year has been difficult for us all in different ways – now, more than ever, social workers are essential. I would like to expand out social media presence to reach more students during this new virtual age, as well as connect with colleges/universities to make the chapter goals and opportunities for others known. I believe that my background, academically and professionally, aligns with the mission of NASW-WA and makes me a strong candidate for this role. 

BSW Student Representative (1-year Term: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022)

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C.J. Astrauskas

Biographical Statement: 

Christopher “C.J.” Astrauskas is currently a B.S.W. student at St. Martin’s University. C.J. is described as hard working, open-minded, and always learning. He has experience as an independent consultant and completed a career in the Military. His current work involves work in victim services. Memberships include NASW and NAADAC.  

Platform Statement: 

As BSW Student Representative, I hope to bring my experiences working in the military, management and logistics to help the NASW-WA Board of Directors in their planning efforts. I am a driven professional and student pursuing new opportunities. I have extensive background in program management and am able to make decisions under duress while remaining composed.  I look forward to serving the Washington Chapter to represent student interests.