Social Work Speakers

Conference Speakers

Mara Allport, Training Program Manager, SC Safe Seniors, Medical University of South Carolina

Mara Allport is the Training Program Manager with the SC Safe Seniors program at the Medical University of South Carolina. She trains healthcare and senior service providers on identifying and referring elder mistreatment through free in-person and online trainings. She enjoys community outreach to raise awareness about this growing public health issue and advocates for staying safe throughout the life span.


Jennifer Butler, LISW-CP/S, Program Director, SC Department of Mental Health’s Office of Suicide Prevention

Ms. Jennifer Butler is the Program Director for the SC Department of Mental Health’s Office of Suicide Prevention.  She also serves as the State Lead for the SC team in the VA/SAMHSA Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families and a team member of the SAMHSA Crisis Intercept Map Pickens Co. team.  She has been in practice for 26 years, with the last 23 years specializing in suicide prevention.  She is the President of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) - SC Chapter, in addition to being an AFSP Advocacy Field Ambassador and serving on the AFSP National Public Policy Council.  She is also a Social Work adjunct professor at three SC universities. 


Judy Heath, MSW, LISW-CP, Psychotherapist & Co-Founder, The Life Guidance Center

coming soon


Chandler Massengale, LMSW, Mental Health Coordinator, We Are Family

A social worker, therapist, advocate, and member of the WAF family, Chandler Massengale is known for wearing many hats. She began her career as Registered Behavioral Technician, working in Applied Behavior Analysis with children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. This experience sparked a curiosity in understanding behavior as well as the individual strengths and needs that everyone has. As a social worker first and foremost, Chandler is committed to social justice, service, and integrity.

She is a proud alumna of both College of Charleston where she received her B.A. in Psychology in 2017 and Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!) where she received her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2020. During her time as an undergraduate, she served as the Social Media and Marketing Co-Chair for the Cougar Counseling Team (now Students 4 Support) for which she received the Student Activism and Leadership Achievement Hall of Leaders Award for creating and running social media accounts to provide education and combat the stigma surrounding mental health. Chandler’s favorite things are animals, plants, crystals, and organization tools.


Marguerite O'Brien, MSW, Director of Wellness, Prevention & Advocacy Services, University of South Carolina

Marguerite O’Brien, MSW, ACSM-CPT, RYT-200 is the Director of Wellness, Prevention and Advocacy Services at UofSC. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from USC and is proud to be working at her alma mater. In addition to serving on university committees such as the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues and the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, Marguerite provides supervision to MSW students, is a University 101 instructor, and leads mindfulness sessions on campus. She is trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and is a trained True Colors® facilitator. Marguerite serves on national committees through the American College Health Association and often presents at regional and national conferences.

Prior to working at USC, Marguerite was the Executive Director of City Year, Columbia; National Program Coordinator for City Year, Inc. and a Wellness Coordinator at Lexington Medical Center.
Marguerite is also a certified personal trainer, fitness and Yoga instructor. She is active in the community and volunteers regularly with the American Red Cross and the Women’s Shelter.


Theresa Skojec, MA, LPC, Mental Health Services Manager, SC Safe Seniors, Medical University of South Carolina

Theresa Skojec is the Mental Health Services Manager with SC Safe Seniors at the Medical University of South Carolina. Theresa is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been practicing for 10 years. She offers trauma treatment to older adults who are the victim of abuse or neglect through confidential in person and telehealth sessions, at no cost to the patient. Theresa enjoys engaging with the community to destigmatize seeking mental health treatment and increase awareness and understanding about trauma.