Social Work Degree Program Interviews from MasterofSocialWork.com

The field of social work is broad, diverse, and ever-evolving, encompassing everything from clinical and psychiatric social work to policy advocacy, research, and program development. As the social work discipline has expanded, so have students’ options for Master of Social Work (MSW) programs that meet their specific career goals and interests. There are now MSW programs with concentrations not only in clinical social work and advanced generalist social work, but also in military social work, school social work, community engagement and leadership, political advocacy, and social entrepreneurship, among other areas. Additionally, with the advancements in online education, many schools of social work have begun offering online and hybrid MSW programs that give students the flexibility to take classes from anywhere, as long as they have a secure Internet connection.

With an increase in program options for students, choosing an MSW program can seem overwhelming. Moreover, regardless of the mode of instruction (online or in-person), MSW programs are highly rigorous, including intensive coursework as well as required field education. To help prospective students get an accurate idea of what an MSW program involves, and to empower them to choose the best MSW program for their career goals, MasterofSocialWork.com developed this Faculty Interview Series, featuring extremely detailed interviews with faculty members of MSW programs across the nation. Through this Interview Series, students can learn about:

  • The curriculum structure and course content for MSW programs across different specializations, and the expectations that faculty have in terms of students’ learning outcomes
  • Faculty mentorship opportunities in MSW programs and how to leverage them during one’s enrollment
  • Thorough explanations of the field education experience, including finding field practicum sites, establishing learning goals for practicum, and connecting with supervisors, faculty members, and peers for support
  • Valuable advice on optimizing one’s application to an MSW program
  • Details on the learning technologies that are integrated into online MSW programs and hybrid MSW programs to facilitate learning and student engagement

Filter School interviews by state:

Connecticut

Interview with Janelle K. Bryan, MSW, PhD – Sacred Heart University

Janelle K. Bryan, MSW, PhD is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Sacred Heart University, where she teaches courses in the online Master of Social Work program. As a scholar, she has researched the intersection of health care access, quality of care, gender-based violence, and anti-oppression practices.

Interview with Jill Manit, Ph.D., MSW – Sacred Heart University

Dr. Jill Manit is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Online Education Coordinator for Sacred Heart University’s School of Social Work, where she oversees student admissions and advising, curriculum development, and field education support.

Florida

Interview with Joseph Herzog, Ph.D. – University of West Florida

Dr. Joseph Herzog is the Chair of the Department of Social Work at the University of West Florida, where he oversees curriculum development for the Department’s undergraduate and graduate programs, manages student advising and recruitment, and hires and mentors faculty.

Illinois

Interview with Alison Arendt, MSW, LCSW – Aurora University (MSW Program)

Alison Arendt, MSW, LCSW is the Program Chair for the MSW program at Aurora University’s School of Social Work, where she oversees student advising, recruitment, and admissions, and also teaches numerous courses.

Interview with Alison Arendt, MSW, LCSW – Aurora University (BSW Program)

Alison Arendt, MSW, LCSW is the BSW Program Chair at Aurora University’s School of Social Work, where she oversees student advising, recruitment, and admissions, and also manages curriculum development.

Iowa

Interview with Katherine Van Blair, MSW, Ph.D. – St. Ambrose University

Dr. Katherine Van Blair is the Director of the School of Social Work at St. Ambrose University, where she oversees student admissions and advising, curriculum development for the School’s programs, and faculty support and hiring.

Kentucky

Interview with Kalea Benner, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW – University of Kentucky

Dr. Kalea Benner is the Associate Dean for the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky, where she oversees program and curriculum development, student advising and admissions, faculty hiring, and field practicum partnerships.

Interview with Michelle Tucker, Ph.D., MSW – Campbellsville University

Dr. Michelle Tucker is the Associate Dean and MSW Program Director for the Carver School of Social Work at Campbellsville University, where she oversees curriculum development, student advising, faculty support, and program quality assurance.

Minnesota

Interview with Suzanne Shatila, MSW – Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Suzanne Shatila is the Program Director for the Master of Social Work program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where she oversees curriculum development, student advising and admissions, field education, and faculty hiring and support.

Texas

Interview with Kimberly Gallegos, Ph.D., LCSW – Our Lady of the Lake University (BSW Program)

Dr. Kimberly Gallegos is the Program Director for the Bachelor of Social Work program at Our Lady of the Lake University, where she oversees curriculum development, student advising and admissions, and BSW program policies and procedures.

Interview with Tiffany Garcia, LMSW – Our Lady of the Lake University

Tiffany Garcia is the Director of the Master of Social Work program at Our Lady of the Lake University, where she oversees the MSW’s curriculum development, field practicum program, student advising and admissions, and faculty hiring and support.

Virginia

Interview with Emily Ihara, Ph.D., MSW, FGSA – George Mason University

Dr. Emily Ihara is the Chair of the Department of Social Work at George Mason University, where she provides leadership for the department’s academic, research, practice, and service mission, while managing fiscal resources.