This course is a continuation of GRSW 501 and is also taken concurrently with a field placement which serves as a practice lab for theory and skills learned in the classroom.This course focuses on several practice applications: group theory and process (both task and treatment groups), agency change, and understanding the dynamics of unintended discrimination and oppression. As with the first course, student self-awareness and self-assessment are critical to developing a solid foundation for authentic practice.
This course conceptualizes social work practice as consisting of seven interrelated elements: use of theory, goals of practice, context for practice, nature of helping relationship, assessment, intervention and ethical guidelines. These interrelated elements will be explored in the context of religion, spirituality, and various practice settings. Social work assists people in achieving their full potential within their environmental contexts by adopting a holistic, person-in-environment perspective. Since its inception, the profession has recognized that a holistic perspective requires attending to biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual human needs. Current trends in social work education support the inclusion of content on religion and spiritual diversity. In accordance with professional policy, this course is an elective that provides an introduction to the spiritual dimension of social work practice.
This course provides a foundation for the graduate social work and includes some texts that will be used across the curriculum. Special emphasis is placed on understanding the history, legacies, philosophy and values of social welfare and social work. This course provides students the opportunity to explore the historical development of the ethics, purposes, and sanctions characteristic of professional social work practice.
This course provides the first year MSW student with the knowledge and skills needed for generalist social work practice. Students develop communication and interviewing skills, which are used in work with client systems of all sizes. It is taken concurrently with a field placement, which serves as a practice lab for applying theory and skills learned in the classroom. This first course in a year long sequence (students are expected to stay in the same section both semesters) focuses on understanding the generalist and integrative models of practice, social work values and ethics, the strengths perspective, empowerment principles and basic principles of ethical reasoning. Student self- awareness and self-assessment are especially important since they facilitate the development of an authentic style of practice.
Candidates for the MSW degree must satisfactorily conduct a clinical research project, present the findings, and complete a final written and bound report. The purpose of the clinical research project is to provide the student with an opportunity to independently conceptualize a research problem, formulate a research design, implement the research, analyze the data, address ethical and cultural considerations, and disseminate the findings. The project is a logical extension of required research courses (GRSW 580 and GRSW 681) and requires application, integration, and further development of previously acquired skills and knowledge. The research must be relevant to clinical social work practice. The project must demonstrate an original and clear contribution to the body of social work knowledge in the student's selected area of focus. It should demonstrate the student's ability to integrate social work theory with research findings.
Committees and Positions:
Co-Director, Spirituality Institute
Member, Tenure and Promotion Committee
Member, MSW Practice Content Area Committee
Member, MSW Admissions Committee
Member, Institutional Review Board (St. Thomas)
Coordinator, Clinical Research Presentation Day
History and Philosophy of Social Work
Theory and Practice of Social Work I & II
Spiritual Dimension of Social Work Practice
Applied Research Seminar
B.A., M.S.W., University of Nebraska at Omaha
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University
Current Research Interests:
Social work education
Social work ethics
Spirituality and social work practice
Diversity and oppression
Employee Assistance Program
Publications & Presentations:
“Using Literature Groups to Teach Diversity” in press (2010)
"Justice in Teaching: Teaching as Groupwork," in Social Work with Groups: Social Justice Through Personal, Community, and Societal Change, Haworth Press.
"Teaching as Groupwork," in Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, vol 8(1), Fall 2002.
"Naming the Spiritual: The Hidden Dimension of Helping," in Social Thought, Vol. 18(4), 1998.
"Empowering Social Work Faculty: Alternative Paradigms for Teaching and Learning," in The Journal of Teaching in Social Work, June, 1997.
Concerned in Concert, copyright 1995. A compact disc and audio cassette recording of music to be used across the social work curriculum. Published by the Council on Social Work Education.
Association Memberships & Affiliations:
Member, National Association of Social Workers
Member, Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups
Member, Society for Spirituality and Social Work
Licensed Independent Social Worker, Minnesota Board of Social Work