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The Impact of Generosity

Sondra Fogel

PhD, '94

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Q&A with Sondra

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“As social workers, we give so much of ourselves to others and various organizations, but we often fail to give back to the places that prepare us to fulfill the important mission of our profession – our schools!” By naming the School of Social Work at Illinois as a beneficiary in her estate, Sondra Fogel hopes to inspire others to take part in creating a “culture of giving.”

Dr. Sondra J. Fogel is a 1994 graduate of the PhD program at the University of Illinois School of Social Work. She currently serves as PhD Program Chair and an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of South Florida. Dr. Fogel is also the Editor-in-Chief of Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, the most enduring, continuously published social work journal.

We had the opportunity to ask Sondra about her inspiration for generosity – and why she chose to name SSW as a beneficiary in her estate planning.

What aspect of social work gives you the most satisfaction?

The skills, knowledge and critical thinking skills to work in multiple systems with diverse individuals, groups, and communities and to advocate for and promote social justice solutions for complex problems. In other words—being a professional social worker!

When you think of the School of Social Work, what keywords or phrases come to your mind?

(1) Inspiration

(2) Transformation

(3) Professionalism

What inspired you to become a donor to the School?

As a recipient of scholarship funding for my education, I have had the opportunity to realize my professional aspirations of obtaining advanced academic degrees in social work. I could not have done this without the generous financial assistance I received, especially from the University of Illinois School of Social Work. So, as I consider what is truly important to me, it is to help others who need financial support to enter this profession and received the outstanding educational experience available at the School of Social Work.

What result/impact/outcome do you hope your gift will achieve for the School of Social Work at Illinois?

I hope that the gift will assist promising students to achieve their professional dreams. But I hope that it also inspires others to develop or participate in a “culture of giving” for the School. I hope to inspire others to commit to this culture as soon as they can, perhaps establishing a practice of giving to the School every year after graduation.

Is there an important moment, person or special occasion that influenced your decision?

The University of Illinois School of Social Work is a very special place and I am glad that I can give back. It was something I knew I wanted to do. I always appreciated how warmly I was greeted by School personnel when I was at conferences. I appreciate being kept informed of the activities and research projects that are occurring in the School through the newsletter too. I also was fortunate to have the faculty that were my professors transform into great colleagues and mentors over the years.

Read more about Sondra

Interested in sharing your Generosity with SSW?

Contact Nathan Goebel in the Office of Advancement for ideas and inspiration.

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