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UC Blue Ash Professor Named Social Worker of the Year


A professor at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College is being honored for her work in the private sector as a social worker.

Michelle Dillingham is the Social Worker of the Year for Region 6 of the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). “I am very excited to be awarded this this honor from my professional association. It means a lot to me,” says Dillingham. “I did not know I was nominated so it was a wonderful surprise!”

When she isn’t teaching social work classes at UC Blue Ash or pursuing an interest in politics, Dillingham is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati. In this role, she focuses on raising funding and awareness for social justice, economic justice, animal welfare and environmental education.

Dillingham has more than 28 years of experience in social work. About six years ago, she decided to share some of what she has learned with future social workers and she began teaching courses, first at UC Uptown, then at UC Blue Ash.

“I wanted to bring my expertise of community organizing and legislative advocacy to the classroom,” says Dillingham. “My scope of practice in the social work field tends to be unrepresented in higher education, and I wanted to make sure my alma mater has this important representation in our course offerings.”

Dillingham, who earned her Master’s in Social Work (MSW) in Administrative Social Work from UC, has a strong background in legislative issues. She worked in Cincinnati City Hall for former Vice-Mayor David Crowley and ran for Cincinnati City Council in 2017. Dillingham has also led the Cincinnati Educational Justice Coalition and served for a decade on the Kennedy Heights Community Council.

Find more information on the NASW-Ohio Region 6 awards.

About UC Blue Ash College