Thursday, November 18, 2021

Tanya Ranchigoda, a lecturer and co-chair of the School’s clinical social work concentration, has received the Outstanding Leader Award from the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work for her contributions to the profession and the social work community.

Upon learning that she had won the award, Tanya said: “I think many of us feel this work is innately part of who we are. We do it with love, compassion and sometimes desperation because it is the only path we can imagine being on. I can continue this social justice journey because every day I call upon the most amazing colleagues, friends and family to hold my hand and coach me through the toughest and most joyous moments.”

A first-generation Sri Lankan Canadian American, Tanya has been with the School since 2010. In August 2020, she became the clinical director of MEND, a small group practice that promotes mental health accessibility and equity for LGBTQ, Black, Indigenous and people of color in the community. 

Currently at MEND she hosts several School of Social Work MSW interns in the clinical training program. She also maintains a small private mental health practice where she focuses on supporting individuals and families as they adjust to chronic or terminal illness, significant life transitions, grief and loss. Finally, on occasion, she provides consultation on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion to profit and non-profit organizations. 

Tanya’s social work expertise includes pediatric oncology, children’s wellness and child welfare. She has presented at numerous national conferences on topics related to the psychosocial impacts of illness and the promotion of social justice through contemplative practices. She has been a member of the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work for more than a decade and was on the board as part of the ethics and professional development teams.

The Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work, established in 1973, is an organization of clinical social workers who practice in diverse settings, including mental health clinics, family service agencies, hospitals and private practices. The group provides clinical training and support, legislative advocacy on mental health and social service concerns, protection of clients' rights and economic vitality for practitioners.

Be sure to congratulate Tanya on her award and to add your thanks to her many outstanding contributions to the School and the social work community!