Director of Programs and Training/Foster Care Liaison
Shannon is responsible for overseeing programs and training hosted by the institute. Shannon’s role includes program development, outreach and collaboration efforts on campus and in the community, and volunteer and student coordination. On-campus, Shannon is a Foster Care Liaison and spearheads Spark. Shannon has a Master’s of Science in Social Work (MSSW, 2010) and Masters of Art in Counseling (MAC, 2006) along with extensive experience working with at-risk youth populations in various settings. She is certified in Mediation and Advanced Family & Divorce Mediation and is a certified Dare to Lead™ facilitator. Her professional interests are in human capital, strategic planning, and community building in the areas of youth, education, substance abuse, mental health, and literacy. Shannon has a passion for helping youth build skills they need to thrive and survive inevitable change, and nonprofit leaders develop strong management skills. In her personal life, Shannon spends most of her time chasing her toddler and spending time with her husband and puppy. You might find her sneaking off to a movie on the weekends or enjoying a concert somewhere.
BSW Program Intern
Iris is a 4th year BSW student who joined the TXICFW Spark team as an intern in Fall 2020 and is assisting with student connections, advising our Spark student group and building our outreach and mentoring program. Iris has a big heart for helping people and communities, she is always striving to learn more about the communities around me and how she can best serve them. Iris has always had a passion for non-profit work and community event management and found her home at the School of Social Work here at UT. You can find Iris exploring Austin and nature preserves in the area – she loves the outdoors and hiking. She also enjoys baking and watching movies, playing board/card games, and people’s company!
Foster Care Liaison
Dr. Monica Faulkner oversees multiple projects relating to foster care, child care, and teen pregnancy prevention funded by state agencies, private foundations, and the federal government. Her primary research interest is teen pregnancy prevention for foster youth and the welfare of teen parents in foster care. Dr. Faulkner is an Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas at Austin where she teaches policy, human behavior in the social environment, and child welfare-related electives. Regarding professional experience, she has worked in both direct practice and clinical settings. Dr. Faulkner received her Doctorate in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin in 2010. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Houston. She received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Government with a minor in Spanish and a Bachelor in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin.