I recently sat at a table with colleagues: fellow field directors, training directors, and healthcare administrators – all social workers – reflecting on a project we shared over the period of a year. When we began, some of us knew one another a little, some were quite connected, and others virtual strangers. One year later, we reflected on the connected and collaborative group we had become. We shared a common focus, brought our ideas, watched them evolve, and managed to produce something together that excited us, inspired us, and united us.  I always marvel at the power of creative conversation born of a common language and a shared worldview; and of the learning that occurs (as we will eternally teach our students) in relationship with one another.

As Emmie Homonoff passes the baton to me as Editor of the Field Educator, I feel an honored sense of excitement and anticipation to think of an even larger, and potentially global, “table” to share with you. A free access journal that includes all levels of “conversation,” is a down-to-earth vehicle so compatible with who we are as a professional community.

With greater immersion into the world of field education, I am struck by the countless “horizontal” relationships we meet at the table: students, field instructors, field liaisons, agencies, and hospitals to name a few. Together, we answer to a higher order of “vertical” relationships that provide a rudder for our profession, and for social work education: our value set (and Code of Ethics), the Council on Social Work Education, social policy, and healthcare policy are some of these influencers.

The Field Educator represents the thinking that occurs in both the horizontal and vertical realms of practice and, in some cases, where these planes intersect. In this issue, we see this intersection in the Conversation, which considers changes in healthcare policy (Affordable Care Act of 2010) and the resultant implications for social work education; we find a more lighthearted reference to the impact of social media in our professional world with “It All Began with a Tweet;” and explore the need for social work educators to respond more concretely to protective matters by imparting skills in the classroom that pertain to the laws of individual states in Cynthia Dickman’s article on this important topic.

With this issue, the reach of colleagues expands once again with the contributions of field scholars from this continent to Northern Ireland and Greece! And, with about 11,000 “visits” to our website since the April edition (80% of those new visitors), we are energized by the response which spans the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. If you are reading this but have not subscribed, I hope you will consider doing so.

Finally, I would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to Emmie Homonoff who is honored in this edition. Her dedication and no-nonsense (but always compassionate) approach to students, colleagues, and life has provided refreshing modeling to me and to so many.