Faculty of Distinction – December 2020

Published: January 29, 2021

Congratulations to Annie Estvold, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for December 2020. Estvold teaches Social Work, Sociology, and Psychology classes and has been with the College for a year.

“I am so passionate about my field and love sharing it with students who are eager to learn,” Estvold said. “A huge part of my identity is being a social worker. I truly love helping people, and I adore teaching for these reasons. I love seeing my students carry on the skills and knowledge they learn at CWI and apply it in the professional world. I learn so much from them every day allowing my own personal and professional growth to continue.”

Prior to teaching, Estvold spent over a decade practicing in a variety of clinical settings and being active in social justice movements, advocacy, and legislative processes. Along with the completion of a master’s degree in Social Work and as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Estvold invests in her students with passion and expertise.

“CWI empowers students to take control of their lives and education helping them to make changes to their own world and the community at large. I truly have never met a more caring group of people than I have at CWI. Staff and instructors are so invested in each student and work hard to give a personalized experience to each. Our team is adept at working with students who face adversity and helping them succeed despite it. Because of CWI, our community is a better place as our students have experiences and learned caring, compassion, and empathy in addition to a professional skill set.”

Over the past year, Estvold assisted in the creation of a Social Work degree program at the College.

“I have really enjoyed being a part of the process of starting this new program. We identified an educational need for students and worked hard to quickly and efficiently fill that need. We are now offering a customizable associate degree in Social Work designed to help students transfer seamlessly to their program of choice. As part of this program development, I was able to take a group of students to the Capitol for Legislative Advocacy and Education Day where they had the opportunity to learn about key social issues affecting our communities and then meet with their legislators to advocate for policy change. It was an amazing experience and such a joy to watch the students learn and grow so much in one day."

“This program was of high interest to our students and a need in our community,” commented Department Chair of Social Sciences, Jana McCurdy. “Annie worked extremely hard in its creation researching programs, talking to transfer institutions, and clarifying the mission. She generates enthusiasm and works to ensure students are prepared in knowledge and skills to transfer. A capable mentor and guide, she maintains open communication, shares her perspective respectfully, and promotes excellence. She is energetic, enthusiastic, and an excellent ambassador for CWI.”

Estvold grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho, and is very close to her extended Italian family. She and her husband of 12 years recently welcomed triplet boys to their family and have a dog named Freeman and a cat named Conley. Outside of teaching, she enjoys reading and relaxing and recharging in nature by hiking, camping, and snowshoeing.

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