Faculty Spotlight - Jolene Hui

Full name:

S. Jolene Hui, MSW, LCSW

Degrees earned and Universities attended:

BA - English Literature and Creative Writing, The College of Idaho

MSW - University of California, Los Angeles

1st and 2nd year internships:

First year - Lamp Community Center - Skid Row, Downtown Los Angeles

Second year - LA County DMH - Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Downtown Los Angeles (CalSWEC Mental Health Stipend Recipient)

Jobs after finishing your degree?

After interning with LA County DMH at Twin Towers Correctional Facility my second year on a treatment team, I was hired to work on the Jail Linkage team. I worked primarily with the segregated GBT population when they were still housed in Men's Central Jail. I also had some community reintegration cases where I would have a treatment plan and work with the clients when they were incarcerated and then once they were up for release I would work with them in the community for 30 days, linking them to FSP programs in LA County. I also did overtime working in the Inmate Reception Center - which was always interesting. I suppose it was all interesting work! It's been five years since I left the jails and I still miss my clients there. I had a lot of opportunities there. I also worked a lot with the HIV case managers and did counseling with those inmates who found out they were HIV positive when they were tested upon entry to the jails. That was tough but no one else was doing it and, clearly, it should have been part of the testing process.

I decided that I wanted some county outpatient clinic experience so I transferred to Edelman Westside Mental Health. The best thing about that clinic was my colleagues. They were very positive and easy to get along with and I genuinely loved working with them. I did not enjoy my high caseload or enjoy doing case management. I prefer diagnosing, assessing, and therapy to case management so the times when I worked in their Welcome and Triage unit were my favorite.

After having my first child I decided to stay home with her and ended up working remotely part-time for the National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter. I resigned my position as an elected leader so that I could serve as a Membership Coordinator. I ended up loving the work so much I am now the Director of Membership for the Chapter.

Classes you are teaching at CSUDH?

Currently I teach for the part-time MSW program; I'm a field liaison for foundation year students, teach the diagnostic class in the fall and HBSE II in the spring. I began teaching for CSUDH when I took over a diagnostic class for the full-time MSW program in the fall of 2015. I love that class.

Your aspirations before you began your MSW program:

Before I began my MSW program I really wanted to be a Certified Sex Therapist. I was a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) for a handful of years. In addition I just wanted to be simply a really great therapist.

Your aspirations after you finished your MSW program:

I had such great internships when I was at UCLA and I learned so much. I think perhaps I just was open to learning a lot more - being open to more jobs and experiences than I had been before. I took a Birth Doula training when I was fresh out of grad school and definitely wanted to incorporate that somehow into my practice. It took me a little while but I just opened my private practice and am focusing on perinatal mental health now. I'd like to go back to attending births someday, when my kids are older and I can leave them for longer periods of time!

Have you accomplished the goals you once had as a student?

I may still get my sex therapy certification in the distant future but my goals morphed the more experiences I had. I am way more satisfied in my career than I ever imagined I would be.

What you love the most about being a Social Worker?

I guess I am just surprised at how much I love being a social worker. I really love every aspect of it. I love that we have knowledge of, well, everything. We can work with individuals, we can work in larger systems, we can be real change makers on every level. Our profession is based on empathy, caring, social justice, and really all of my personal values. I could not have chosen a better career. I tell students that all the time - we have the best profession. Also, we have so many options as social workers. We can change jobs a million times if you want to - never a shortage of social work jobs.

Advice you would give current students about school or the future?

Flexibility is the MOST IMPORTANT thing right now while you're in school. As I said before, being open is key to learning. Know that not every experience may not be how you expected it to be but use it as a learning experience. You'll be able to try many different things in your career. Another thing - be proud of your capstone. It may be a pain right now, but your research is important to your community. Research informs practice. And you'll look back and be proud of the work you did.

Anything you want us to know about you such as your favorite color or favorite food?

Sushi. I love sushi.

Anything you’d like to add?

I feel very fortunate to be a part of the CSUDH family - it is a great program with wonderful faculty and students. Also, here's a plug for the NASW-CA membership internship available in the fall - if any of you are looking for a macro placement, let me know! I may have a unique opportunity to share with you.