Kelsey Pinckney

Social Work Trainee

Traineeship Year:

Kelsey is a MSW graduate from Arizona State University. She has a BA in Community Advocacy and Social Policy and her professional work has largely revolved around creating and advocating for access to education for children from marginalized communities, fueled by a passion for equity and social justice. She believes everyone deserves the chance to reach their full potential. Kelsey also has experience in community organizing in the arts community of Phoenix and ran a local literary magazine and small press for 5 years.  In her free time, she likes to crochet, hike, read, and spend time with her partner and their cat, Truman.


  • MSW


     When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I was determined to find my way into a meaningful internship placement that would provide me with the experiences I needed in order to become the best social worker I can be. To me, the pandemic indicated the huge and growing need for competent social workers in almost every sector of work and the world, and I did not want this strange and isolating time to cause my education to suffer. The PPC traineeship is a highly structured learning experience, with talented and knowledgeable faculty at the helm, making it an adaptable curriculum to the virtual life that we all found ourselves in during this year. 

     Due to the necessary switch from in-person to virtual clinics, lectures, conferences, and other learning experiences, it was sometimes challenging to build relationships with fellow trainees and faculty as well as gain a deep understanding of the work being done at the PPC. However, I was given the support and tools I needed to meet this challenge, and the overall experience was enriching and helpful in my journey toward becoming a Master-level social worker. The lectures were fascinating, and we were given the chance to apply what we learned from them in a clinic setting. The speakers were experts in their field, and the written reflections I completed for each lecture really helped me to understand the lessons. I also attended several virtual conferences, which helped me meet people across the country working with MCH populations and learn how they applied the MCH competencies in their work.

     I was also able to participate in several in-person and virtual clinics with Severe Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis patients, giving me the unique opportunity for direct practice skill-building and experience, as my MSW concentration was in Policy, Administration, and Community practice (PAC). This placement allowed me to really dive into how micro, mezzo, and macro social work practice can be performed together in order to provide holistic and long-lasting care. I developed a program evaluation proposal for the PPC, and also partnered with the direct practice trainee, Amanda Rader, to build, implement, and evaluate a curriculum and research project for PPC patients, complete with IRB approval. The wide variety of experiences in this traineeship were very helpful in developing my skills and understanding of social work practice in a medical setting. I have also found a deep appreciation of the unique, necessary, and far-reaching work of being part of an interdisciplinary team made up of individuals from different backgrounds and expertise, all working together for the care, comfort, and dignity of the people they serve.

Presentations and Projects