Luvenia V. Johnson, LMSW
South Central Regional Unit: Seat 2
Luvenia Johnson, LMSW, andd graduate of USC School of Social Work, 2014. I have 15 years of experience working in the field of social work, including 6+ years in supervisory roles and leading multi-diciplinary teams. I am pursuing a LCSW and Trauma Specialist Certification. I am a strong believer in remaining current with best practices using evidence based techniques. I provide consultations to patients by providing leadership in patient care planning and caseload management which ensures improved efficiency and effectiveness in services delivered. I actively promote patient/family autonomy by ensuring their participation in the planning, decision-making, and development of problem-solving abilities. I enjoy building relationships and providing much needed resources to enable patients with tools for success.
My vision of NASW-AK would be that all social workers have the opportunity for affiliation, engagement and membership to their professional organization. I will contribute to the vision by maintaining active membership, actively participating on the NASW-AK board, attending board meetings and participating on one or more committees, and engaging in opportunities to share information of the profession organization while networking with other social workers and other professions.
Southeast Regional Unit
Erika Noll, LMSW
Western Regional Unit
Originally from NYC, I obtained my MSW form Yeshivah University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work in 1997. My concentration was GROUPWORK, my minor Ethics within their Generalist Practitioner program. I have been employed in a variety of settings since, but all related in some way to loss for Adults and their Families, Health and Healing. Currently, I have the privilege of being the Long-Term Care Social Worker for YKHC’s ELDER’s HOME located in Bethel, Alaska. I have been here for about two years now. Prior to this position, I have worked primarily in Health Care settings such as Hospice, Dialysis, Transplant, Discharge Planning, Traumatic Brain Injury, Substance Abuse, and Geriatric Psychiatry not only in and out patient but for Incarcerated Adults and their Families. In that time, due to my inability to satisfy the requirements in whatever State I resided in, and despite over 20 years’ experience, I do not yet obtain an LCSW. One of my goals for my time here in Bethel was to finally do that, but I haven’t been able to find a Supervisor within my current organization. I hope to make Alaska my home. I am uncertain if I will be able to make this a reality but nevertheless, I will need to (and want to) obtain my LCSW wherever my path leads me. I am seeking someone qualified as A SUPERVISOR per Alaska’s State LCSW regulations to provide me with supervision hours remotely and help me in obtaining the approval for remote supervision. In addition, I welcome any opportunity to contribute to Alaska Chapter of NASW.
Becky Pletzer, LCSW, DSW
Dr. Becky Pletzer, LCSW is annoyingly passionate about the practice of social work and the practitioners that foster linking, monitoring, coordinating, and advocating of community members in their communities. Dr. Pletzer's professional passions include building the professionalism platform of social work practice, particularly in Alaska, practicing in and empowering social workers to be Macro minded, and leading/educating the future social workers in building a strong foundational practice. Dr Pletzer has served as Southcentral representative for NASW-AK, volunteered with NASW-AK activities, and believes strongly in NASW's ability to continue to propel the profession forward.
Dr. Pletzer currently practices with Alaska Native population in delivering intensive case management and behavioral health service in Anchorage, teaches adjunct social work classes for University of Fairbanks, and provides professional licensing supervision for area social workers.
Lindsay Bothe Culverhouse, LCSW
Amber Winkle is a MSW student at Walden University and she has obtained her Bachelor of Management Studies from University of Maryland. She is currently an Active-Duty, MSgt/E-7, with 15 years’ time in service as a Mental Health Technician, and Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor. Her current position is the Senior Enlisted Leader for 354 Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, Medical Group. Amber is an active member of the Eielson AFB Community Action Board where she advocates for the needs of Active-Duty members and their families. The next event she will be involved with is “Veterans Stand-down Day 2022.” This event involves the local community and agencies such as the Cohen Clinic, the Vet Center, and 168 ARW. She has won many awards since being in the military (i.e. PACAF Mental Health NCO of the Year, 2021 SNCO of the Year, and numerous other awards). However, her goal is to strengthen professional affiliation and become more involved in NASW activities and events in her entire community.
I am honored to be considered as a candidate for the MSW student board position. If elected, my goal is to bridge the gap between the different social work specialties, and I will continue to help the organization move towards a diverse and inclusion platform. During this time when social workers are deeply needed, I would hope to lead the way in the state of Alaska by continuing to work towards the NASW mission and goal of advocating and serving our community. My military career has led to variety of experiences that has enhanced my leadership skills, organizational skills, people skills and grit. I hope to represent MSW students in the state of Alaska and nationally (if the opportunity presents itself.)
BSW Student Representative
My name is Leigh Smith. I was born, raised, and currently live in Fairbanks, Alaska, and I absolutely love it. I am headed into my final year of the Social Work program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and in late August I will start my practicum at a youth homeless shelter. In May 2023, I will graduate with my BSW and a minor in Psychology, with an interest in pursuing my MSW. Currently, I work at the Fairbanks Native Association as the Project Manager for two outpatient programs addressing the opioid crisis. Before this position, I worked with special needs children for five years in a high school setting. I serve on the Parent-Teacher Association at my son’s school, the Steering Committee for the Fairbanks Reentry Coalition, and the Organization of Student Social Workers as the Co-Secretary at UAF. In addition, I served on the local softball board for eight years. During my own time, I enjoy watching crime shows and football, playing softball, and laughing with friends and family. Cheers!
My determination to support and advocate for others comes from a place of deep sensitivity to vulnerable and unprotected populations, as well as lived experience. While the homeless community has a special place in my heart, I am passionate about the well-being of all groups. Additionally, I feel connected to the Alaska Native community and recognize culture as a means of healing and building resilience. I believe in the purpose of social work, to guide others towards a path of love, peace, and happiness; while fostering self-determination and accountability for people to have control of their journey. My goal is to build compassionate communities through education, addressing barriers, and being involved.
Tonie Protzman, MS, LPC, CDC, PSP III
Tonie Protzman, whose Native name, Yethnhahnilats, means “makes her life strong,” is an enrolled descendant in the Turtle Clan of the Oneida Tribe in Oneida, WI. Tonie was raised and remains in Anchorage, Alaska with her Iñupiat Eskimo daughter, Paisley. ;
Protzman, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), holds a Master of Science (MS) degree in Clinical Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in justice and psychology, both degrees from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She was a PhD Candidate with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Clinical Community Psychology Program with rural and indigenous emphasis, as well. Since graduating with her MS, Protzman has worked in the nonprofit and public sectors of behavioral and mental health. Protzman owns a consulting business, where she consults on behavioral and mental health needs and potential ethical issues around the state of Alaska. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Alaska Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Prior to NASW, Protzman was the Executive Director with the Alaska Psychological Association (AK-PA) for a decade.
Protzman shares that she is passionate about reducing stigma associated with receiving behavioral and mental health services and encourages disseminating information/access to alcohol use disorder services and care to Alaska communities. Protzman is a Governor Dunleavy appointee to the State of Alaska Mental Health Board. She serves in a Providers seat.
Protzman’s role as NASW Executive Director will be to increase membership, develop the chapter’s strategic/succession plans and to advocate for social workers in both traditional and non-traditional roles in Alaska and Washington, D.C. She plans to expand continuing training resources that address cultural trainings specific to social worker licensing requirements and to strengthen local presence and impact around the state of Alaska through development of relationships with statewide prevention program partners.
As a first-generation college graduate, Protzman is a devoted mentor, supporting historically underserved populations in Alaska studying higher education. Protzman mentors’ students and professionals new to the behavioral health field with the University of Alaskan Anchorage.
Protzman is a dynamic and powerful American Native woman who is passionate about reducing stigma in Alaska communities regarding receiving behavioral/mental health services. She dreams of one day to have a world stigma free of receiving such services – “it should be the same as going to your routine medical appointment.” Protzman has solid business expertise serving in association management and advocacy while networked throughout the State of Alaska and beyond. Tonie is active in her community, serving on several national and statewide boards and committees that address stigma associated services related to mental and behavioral health issues.
Publications (PEN NAME: Quaintance)
Rivkin, I.D., Lopez, E., Trimble, J., Johnson, S., Orr, E., & Quaintance, T. (2018). Cultural values, coping, and hope in Yup’ik communities facing rapid cultural change. Journal of Community Psychology, 45(1), 1-17.
Rivkin, I., Johnson, S., Lopez, E., Trimble, J., Quaintance, T., & Orr, E. (2017). Yup’ik understanding of stress within the context of rapid cultural change. Journal of Community Psychology, 45(1), 33-52.
Rivkin, ID, Lopez, EDS, Quaintance, TM, Trimble, J, Hopkins, S, Fleming, C, Orr, E, & Mohatt, GV (2012). Value of community partnership for understanding stress and coping in rural Yup’ik communities: The CANHR study. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice.