Amanda Panniello, MSW ‘19, started volunteering in the Lions Low Vision Center in her first year out of a passion for working with the aging population.
“If there is anything I can do for this population, I’ll do it,” Panniello said.
An interprofessional clinic, Lions provides occupational therapy and social work services to older individuals struggling with vision loss. Working alongside faculty and certified social workers, Panniello helps clients address the emotional issues associated with vision loss, such as social isolation, depression and anxiety.
“Each person’s needs are different, and we get to know them as best we can,” she said.
By her second year, Panniello was conducting social work assessments on her own and began co-facilitating a monthly low vision support group with Professor Laura Mutrie.
“Amanda is eager to learn and grow as a professional social worker,” said Mutrie. “Her passion and energy for this work are truly inspirational to me as a mentor and teacher.“
Panniello’s passion for her work even led to the opportunity to assist with research on the effects of social isolation in older adults and a subsequent trip to one of the nation's foremost gerontological conferences.
“I genuinely love this, and I feel thankful for all of it,“ Panniello said.