For Arizona’s Senator-elect, that means trying to understand where people are coming from and having empathy for other perspectives. She said she wants to learn why people have particular points of view or perceptions, even if they are different from her own.

“I promised myself and instituted this throughout my entire campaign — all 700 or so people who were working for us by the end of that campaign — that we would behave in the highest ethical manner every single day, regardless of what happens in the rough and tumble of American politics today,” Sinema said. “That we would stand up every single day and we would continue to behave according to the ethics of our profession that we would not engage in that low name-calling or the ugliness and the pettiness of personal attacks.”

With about 100 social workers in attendance, Sinema used the opportunity to get recommendations for new staffers. Since her election to the United States House of Representatives in 2012, Sinema has exclusively hired social workers with graduate degrees or MSWMaster of Social Works to serve in her casework office. She plans to hire more as she now represents the entire state.

“I need more MSWs, so please send me your best and brightest, hardest working MSWs,” Sinema said. “I expect that the number of calls we'll receive in our office come Jan. 3 will skyrocket and that is exactly what I hope. I want folks all around the state to wake up and think to themselves, ‘I got a problem with the federal government, something's not getting done. I can call my senator and she and her team of social workers will help solve these problems.’"

James Herbert Williams, director of the ASU School of Social Work, couldn’t help but smile when he heard Sinema say she wants to hire social workers with graduate degrees to solve problems.

"I couldn't see a better role model for students, especially women,” Williams said. “It shows what you can accomplish in life, and the importance of an MSW degree.”

In addition to earning her master's degree in social work from Arizona State University, Sinema earned a law degree from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, a PhD in justice studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and an MBA from the W.P. Carey School. 

Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions

602-496-0001