- BA, Psychology and Sociology, Clark University
- Ph.D, Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Project: Getting By: Home-based Work in Two Rural Communities
I joined the faculty of the College of Social Work in 1990, and teach in the areas of social policy, community and organizational practice, and qualitative methods. I am passionate about all levels of social work education, especially doctoral studies, and have had the privilege of directing the program since November 2015.
In my research, I focus on the working lives of low income women, examining the nexus of social support and quality of life. Recently, as an extension of this work, I have begun to examine the nexus of adverse childhood experiences, adult social support, and quality of health and mental health. An ongoing narrative project examines the intersection of spirituality, social change and patriarchy in women's ministry. All of these projects utilize various qualitative data collection and analysis methods, principally from critical, feminist and constructivist perspectives. Another project I am involved with bridges my teaching area of community or macro practice and MSW field instruction, examining ways we can link field and classroom more explicitly for developing professionals.
Social justice is central to social work history and practice; here at the College of Social Work, one way we foreground and practice our values for justice is through the Initiative for Transformative Social Work, a project I founded and currently Co-direct with Irene Ota and several experiential social work scholars.. The ITSW works for change in the College of Social Work by seeking to increase our awareness of privilege, power dynamics and oppression, and harness our collective energies toward inclusive and constructive solutions.