Board of Directors

NASW-VT’s Board of Directors are a leadership body made up of members from across the state of Vermont. Elections are held annually and terms are two years.

Kate Van Wagner, LICSW – NASW-VT Board President

Kate Van Wagner is currently the Options Counselor at Lund, working with individuals and families around all pregnancy options and supporting birth families throughout the adoption process. She has previously worked as an organizer with the Vermont-National Education Association, a birth doula, and a small business co-owner. Kate served two terms on the Outright Vermont Board of Directors, and currently volunteers there as a facilitator for social and support groups for queer youth. Kate is a 2012 graduate of the UVM MSW program, where she completed field practicum’s at Connecting Cultures and the Jean Garvin School. She lives in Burlington, plays a mean word game, and dreams of becoming one of Beyonce’s backup dancers someday.

Bobbie

Bobbie received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Administration with an Emphasis in Therapeutics from San Diego State University in 1980 and her Masters Degree in Social Work (clinical major/macro certificate) from Boston University’s School of Social Work in 2002. She spent the early years of her career as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) working in and around San Diego, CA with people of all ages and backgrounds in inpatient, outpatient and residential settings. Bobbie joined the staff at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction VT in 1995 where she worked as a Recreation Therapist until deciding to return to school to pursue a Master of Social Work degree. While engaging in coursework at BU, Bobbie worked as a VA Research Health Science Specialist until after graduation from BU when she began her career as a VA social worker.  While at the VA she has held the social work positions of: Primary Care Social Worker, Women Veterans Program Manager, Senior Community Based Outpatient Clinic Social Worker, and most recently as the health care system’s Senior Non-Institutional Care Social Worker. Bobbie has served on the NASW – VT Board as a Director at Large and is currently the Chapter’s Vice President. Her interests include spending time with friends and her family (furry and feathered); walking and hiking; drumming and weaving and watching anything from the BBC.

Christina Pasnick, LICSW – NASW-VT Secretary 

Christina Pasnick, LICSW, is the Secretary of NASW-VT and is on the steering committee of the Social Justice Committee. Originally from New Jersey, she currently lives in Northern Vermont and works in elementary schools.  Christina received her MSW from New York University in 2013.  She has worked with child and adolescent populations for the past 7 years, as well as adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Christina utilizes play therapy, mindfulness practices, and art therapy techniques in her work.  She has training in childhood trauma, positive behavior supports, applied behavior analysis, and cognitive behavioral therapy.  Christina loves camping, hiking, snowboarding, paddling or just doing anything outdoors.

Lizzy Lyons

Lizzy finished Peace Corps Ghana and moved to Vermont in 2014 to start the UVM Social Work MSW program. She graduated in 2016 with the help of Title IVE and is beginning her work with DCF.

Life in Peace Corps Ghana was full of adventure and opportunity to work in the complex cross-cultural negotiations of community development. Lizzy showed her community leadership and commitment to working directly in partnership with members of community while organizing peer-educational community performances; Implementing harm reduction programs for at-risk girls through camps, photo documentation, and community events; And working with women’s groups and schools to organize business skills and income generation programs.

Lizzy was the Program Director for Street Outreach, a homeless youth drop in center, for 3 years in Youth Shelters and Family Services, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There she was got to know some incredible youth, developed new programming, created partnerships with community organizations, and oversaw federal and state grants.

Other leadership roles include Board Member on New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness and Board Member for St. Elizabeth’s Shelter. She has experience providing trainings at National and Agency levels.

Lizzy hopes that she will have the opportunity to support NASW Vermont as a ‘Director at Large’ as it grows and changes in response to NASW National Modernization program in the years to come. She hopes to engage new Vermont Social Workers with NASW as well as to support NASW Vermont with state level advocacy to support our Social Work community.

Kelli Gile

Kelli received her Bachelors of Social Work, with a minor in Child Development, from the University of Maine, Orono, in 2012 and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Vermont in 2015. Kelli is the recipient of the Title IVE traineeship provided through the State of Vermont and UVM and currently works as an Investigative Social Worker for the Department for Children and Families, Family Services, out of the Barre District Office. Kelli has spent most of her social work career working with children and families in school, home, and community settings.  When it’s sunny and not below zero degrees, you can find Kelli hiking, kayaking, road biking, snowshoeing, or enjoying the calmness of the wilderness. Kelli’s goals for the next 10 years include an LICSW, a career with international social work, and living in a tiny house!

Cyrus Patten

Dr. Patten is a veteran nonprofit administrator, clinical social worker, scholar, entrepreneur, speaker, and educator. He specializes in nonprofit change management, social entrepreneurship, complex systems theory and managing complex change in high-stakes social justice contexts.

He received his Bachelors degree in social work from Colorado State University, and a Masters degree in Social Work from the same institution. He earned a doctorate in leadership and policy from the University of Vermont in 2016, where he studied nonprofit social enterprise.

He is a Lecturer in the UVM Department of Social Work where he taught social work practice, theory, and research courses. He is a consultant to a national network of nonprofit organizations, corporations and government agencies that seek to understand the role of social enterprise in their future.

He has over 15 years experience in human services and mental health practice. This includes experience as a child welfare social worker, community mental health practitioner, and program director for homeless programs and children’s inpatient treatment programs. He has held senior leadership positions at some of Vermont’s most notable nonprofit organizations including the Howard Center and Northeastern Family Institute.

Krysten Farrell

Krysten graduated from UVM’s MSW program in 2014, where she participated in field placements at COTS’ Canal Street Veterans Housing and Essex High School through HowardCenter’s School Services. Since graduating, she has spent time as a home care and hospice social worker at Franklin County Home Health Agency and as a supportive housing case worker at the Beacon Apartments, with the Community Health Center of Burlington’s homeless healthcare program, Safe Harbor. She currently works for Spectrum as a clinician in the Jump on Board for Success program. Krysten digs laughing, crafting, and trying new things.

Tanya Vyhovsky

Tanya graduated from the University of Vermont with her MSW in May of 2017. Tanya has worked in many areas of social work practice and at many levels of practice. Tanya was the developer and director of the statewide Vermont Support Line providing non-judgemental supports to any struggling Vermonter. Her experience on the Vermont Support Line made her realize that social work was a good fit for her and was the catalyst to her seeking her MSW. While at UVM Tanya provided supports to refugees and new Americans at Connecting Cultures and worked at the level of Agency and State policy at Vermont CARES. Tanya also served as the student board member with NASW-VT. Tanya continues to have a deep commitment to changing the conversation with and about people who are struggling to be grounded in social justice and the exploration of power and privilege. Tanya is working in private practice and looking for continued areas for policy improvements at the systems level.
In her free time Tanya loves to bake, garden and run agility with her samoyed Laika. As a transplanted city girl she is also beginning to adventure into the woods, mountains and lakes of Vermont.
Gabe Brunelle
Gabe Brunelle is currently a candidate in UVM’s MSW program. He did his undergraduate field work at the Turning Point Center of Chittenden County. He has worked, interned, and volunteered for several other agencies in the Burlington, VT area, including Pathways, Howard Center, and Vermont Legal Aid. He is a long time resident of Burlington, where he likes to spend time with his son. He doesn’t believe in spare time, but he likes to read, write poetry, and play music when he’s putting off other things.