Celebrating a Long Legacy and Passing the Baton

“In my heart I was a social worker, but I never really knew I was.” This is the instinct that led Dr. Mary Anne Busch to pursue a career in social work. Like many in her family, she always had an instinct to help others, and when her husband accepted a faculty position at UNCG in 1970, she decided to further her education as well. Inspired by her professors and motivated by her instincts, Mary Anne pursued a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD in social work.

Mary Anne’s daughter, who is also a social worker, introduced her to the former CNNC director Dr. Raleigh Bailey when the Center was just three years old. Mary Anne then joined the CNNC’s AmeriCorps team and led the tutoring program. At the time, she was the only tutor for a group of 25 children in the Glen Haven Community Center. Mary Anne recognized the need for growth, so she suggested expanding the tutoring center so the children could receive the help they needed while more volunteers could gain experience.

Before her time at the CNNC, Mary Anne taught social work and gerontology at High Point University for a number of years. She also enjoys traveling and volunteering; she and her husband, Chris, would often go to Northern Ireland where they would serve folks in need at a peace and reconciliation center called Corrymeela. They would often travel back and forth as they developed friendships across nations.

After a long and prosperous career of teaching, giving, and volunteering, Mary Anne is retiring as the beloved CNNC Coordinator of Internships and Refugee Services.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Similar to Mary Anne, Jannifer Pastorick, the Oakwood Forest Community Center Program Coordinator, also came to UNCG to study social work. She is originally from Tampa, Florida so she was raised around a large, diverse refugee and immigrant community.

During her social work internship, she connected with the CNNC and remained at the CNNC during her graduate studies, while also participating in AmeriCorps. After three years of volunteering and interning, Jannifer accepted her current position at the CNNC. This position allows her to collaborate with community partners to serve our communities.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jannifer has coordinated with Greensboro Urban Ministries to organize food pantries, feminine products, and baby products for community members in need. This allyship has brought many fresh groceries to the Community Centers and has supported many people in need.

In her current position, Jannifer trains social work interns, coordinates programs, mentors, and supervises the AmeriCorps members. Social work interns work directly with the program to fulfill learning objectives, thus the CNNC provides structured and authentic learning so students can experience the reality of social work.

Jannifer recognizes that the Community Centers serve as a strong educational background for students, and wants to push for more advanced programming, for Master level students to do case management, and focus undergraduate students in youth programming. Overall, Jannifer’s goal is to teach social work interns and students how to build healthy working relationships with clients.

Mary Anne initiated the connection between the social work department and the CNNC that Jannifer is now continuing. Although she previously worked with the Oakwood Forest Community Center, now that Mary Anne is retiring, Jannifer is inheriting the role of managing the interns at all three Community Centers. In partnership with Natacha and Lauren, they will coordinate interns based on placement needs and client needs.

Jannifer will also be the faculty liaison between the social work department and the CNNC, and will act as adjunct professor. She will focus on advancing the internship experience at the undergraduate level, which will involve meeting with students in small groups every week, discussing the internal processes and how students are responding to stimuli, conducting brief presentations, and writing self-reflections. Jannifer aims to create a student-centered pedagogy that will cultivate confidence within students so they can graduate with marketable skills. This seminar will begin in fall 2021.

We are excited for your future endeavors, Jannifer! We thank Mary Anne for her commitment to clients, students, and the CNNC staff. Your precedent is admirable and will allow Jannifer to expand her vision for the social work program in her new role of succession. All the best to both of you!

Janie Raghunandan
Marketing and Communications Intern