Welcome to Anna Wasim, LMSW, our new Research Coordinator!
We recently sat down with Anna Wasim, LMSW, one of three new staff members, to learn a little bit more about her! Anna is our Research Coordinator for the Texas Permanency Outcomes Project. Her scholarship focuses on emerging practice models that enhance the safety and wellbeing of families using trauma-informed approaches. We are so happy to have her join us! To learn more about Anna, please visit her staff profile.
What excites you or interests you most about the work you do?
This is super nerdy but I really enjoy the process of doing research. There’s an element of creativity and collaborative resourcefulness that goes into applied research that I find entirely energizing. I think it’s those same elements that drew me to the social work profession, and I see a lot of alignment between the social work values and research methods. When working with clients or communities, you’re constantly evaluating what is working and what isn’t in your approach. You’re also checking in with yourself to see what biases you’re carrying into the situation that could be limiting the success of whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. I think this stance of constant inquiry is what makes social workers such superb researchers and why being part of a team of social work scholars is so exciting.
What is something you hope to achieve in your career?
I love working with students. In fact, I am on the Steve Hicks School of Social Work’s Alumni Network (shout out to SWAN). A big goal I have in being part of that group is connecting with BSW and MSSW folks here at UT. I put myself through both my undergrad and graduate programs, and I remember looking at graduation terrified that there wasn’t going to be a career waiting for me at the end of that. Seeing my friends from the program shine and absolutely kill it in their careers (because they’re diverse, brilliant, talented people) brings me such joy. I’m so confident that not only are social workers some of the most adaptive, hardest working people out there, but that the world really just needs more of us at this moment.
What are some of your personal hobbies?
Running keeps me from driving people insane. I have a lot of energy so I find that knocking out a few miles before coming into the office keeps me from bouncing off the walls and knocking on peoples’ doors to say hi. I also love to read all the things and listen to podcasts 24/7.
Are there any past jobs or work that you want to highlight?
My background is in working with survivors of interpersonal violence and in the past few years I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a few evaluations focused in this area. I think it’s really important that we as researchers value the stories that are shared with us in the form of data, for both the individuals and the communities who choose to work with us. When you’re in direct service, your focus is serving your client and any time spent completing a survey or interview is time taken away from your clients. It’s important to me that we don’t do research for the sake of research, but that we do research to create change and make an impact.
Anything else you want to add?
I’m a native St. Louisan and am extremely proud of the Blues for winning their first Stanley Cup.