Infographic: PTSD and Trauma in Veterans

Social Work PTSD infographic
This PTSD infographic illustrates that that trauma can occur anywhere, for anyone – and sometimes in unexpected places. Almost anyone can suffer – and almost all can be helped. We hear a lot today about trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. A National Association of Social Workers newsletter article recently made the case for trauma as “the new public health crisis.” Some believe PTSD is a problem only for those who have experienced war or violence. Others say they’re seeing references to it everywhere, and wondering: Can it really be that prevalent? The truth rests somewhere in between. We’re learning more about trauma and PTSD every day, and social workers are responsible for some of the cutting-edge research and…

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Meet Our Team: Lynn Keating

Lynn Keating Enrollment Counselor
‘Meet our Team’ spotlights are just one way we like to share a little bit about the people who are dedicated to UNE Online’s signature student-centric experience. What do you do here at UNE Online? I am an enrollment counselor for CGPS. I was hired in November 2020, and have been helping potential Social Work students complete their applications. What stands out to you in the Social Work program that you work within? The Social Work program is filled with faculty and staff that are very personable, highly interactive, and immensely caring. The department’s goal is to help students succeed and get their MSW. The program might be 100% online, but it’s definitely a wonderful community making it feel like…

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Spotlight: Darryl Vincent, MSW '14

Darryl Vincent, MSW '14
We previously interviewed Darryl Vincent, MSW ’14, about the power of integration in his social work practice – here’s an update on what he’s up to, how he is using his MSW in his work, and how his MSW has helped him with career advancement. Could you give us an overview of what you’ve been up to since graduation? Initially, I decided to attend UNE Online to get my MSW, because I was supervising a team of clinical social workers who all had a higher degree of education than I did. I was Vice President of Programs at U.S.VETS, the largest non-profit homeless service provider in the nation, in charge of all the programming and all the locations that…

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Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Oran, MSW

Melissa Oran, MSW, with her two children
Melissa Oran, MSW, is a recent graduate of the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. In this interview, she discusses why she decided to pursue her MSW, some of the standout experiences she has had in the program, and words of wisdom for future MSW students in the program. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? My undergraduate degree is in psychology and criminal justice. Originally, I wanted to be a police officer, but that’s not how things worked out. After graduation, I got a job working at the Children’s Bureau in Indianapolis working with at-risk youth – and I loved it. After that, I started another job…

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Student Spotlight: Kenneth Palmer, MSW Program

Kenneth Palmer, MSW student, stands in his Navy Uniform
Kenneth Palmer is a former Navy Independent Duty Corpsman who is using the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon status to change careers. Here, he talks about his experience with UNE Online, the community among MSW students, and how he intends to move forward in his career as a clinical social worker focused on trauma treatment. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master of Social Work? I was in Navy medicine for 15 years, During that time I deployed to Iraq once, twice to Afghanistan, and then deployed to Sicily. For the majority of my career, I was an Independent Duty Corpsman. An Independent Duty Corpsman functions similarly to a Physician

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CSWE Accreditation for the UNE Online Master of Social Work Program

CSWE Council on Social Work Education logo
We are excited to announce that the MSW program has once again earned CSWE accreditation, making this the 30th year the MSW program has been continuously accredited by CSWE! In acknowledgment of the 2020 CSWE re-accreditation of the Graduate Programs in Social Work, we would like to share this blog post that covers the benefits, process, and rigors of the accreditation process and specifically how it relates to our program here at UNE. What is CSWE? The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the governing body that oversees all of the social work education programs throughout the United States. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social

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The COVID Diaries: A Discussion on Self-Care

The COVID Diaries: A Discussion on Grief hosted by the MSW program at UNE Online
This is the second video in the COVID Diaries video series. Program Director for the Graduate Programs in Social Work Online Jennifer O’Neil facilitates a discussion centered around the role of self-care in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists include Dr. Pat Coccoma, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, and Susan Osofsky, LSW, LCSW – each of whom is a UNE faculty member who teaches in the online Master of Social Work program and is a practicing therapist.  This video builds on the topic of grief during the time of COVID and goes one step further. The panel does a deep dive into self-care and coping strategies – and emphasizes the importance of self-care for both clients and practitioners. When properly integrated, self-care…

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The COVID Diaries: A Discussion on Grief

The COVID Diaries: A Discussion on Grief hosted by the MSW program at UNE Online
Program Director for the Graduate Programs in Social Work Online Jennifer O’Neil facilitates a discussion centered around the role of grief in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists are UNE faculty members who teach in the online Master of Social Work program, and each is a practicing therapist. Panelists include Dr. Pat Coccoma, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, and Susan Osofsky, LSW, LCSW. This informative discussion encompasses the different types of grief as well as the different stages of grief and provides an overview of the role that grief is now playing in everyday life. Learn about the online MSW at UNE

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Student Spotlight: Amber Huff, Master's in Social Work Online

Student Spotlight: Amber Silva, MSW
Amber Huff has overcome great obstacles to get her Master’s in Social Work online. Not only will she be the first in her family with an advanced degree, but this Mom of three will also be graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. A major source of her inspiration was to be a positive role model for her children, particularly her 11-year old daughter. Here, she talks about her experience entering the MSW program as an Advanced Standing student, and what she plans to do with her degree once she graduates! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Social Work online? Sure! I’m 30 with three kids; I have an…

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Meet our Team: Kendall Croteau

Kendall Croteau, Student Support Specialist
Meet Kendall Croteau, a Student Support Specialist for the Master of Social Work program here at UNE Online. Kendall joined UNE in the winter of 2019 as an Enrollment Counselor for the Social Work program, and since then, has transitioned into a Support role. Here, she talks about her experience supporting online social work students, the best professional advice she’s received, and how she came to be a Maine transplant. At UNE Online, students are our top priority – and our students’ success is what drives each and every one of us. These ‘Meet our Team’ spotlights are just one way we like to share a little bit about the people who are dedicated to UNE Online’s signature student-centric experience.…

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UNE Online integrates interactive branching scenarios and video roleplaying

Counseling session in the online MSW program
Two new course formats for today’s social work student.  As a part of our commitment to continuing excellence in online education, the Online Master of Social Work program at the University of New England is happy to announce that we have introduced two new course delivery elements: interactive branching scenarios and live video roleplaying. Social Work is a singularly demanding field, and as the field evolves, so must the learning process. Feedback from our course evaluations and student surveys has shown that students excel when presented with interactive elements. We have taken our student surveys and their anonymous course eval feedback to heart, and we have worked diligently over the past year to bring new elements into our courses that…

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Meet Our Team: Tessa Hathaway

Tessa Hathaway, Student Support Specialist
What do you do at UNE Online? I’m a Student Support Specialist for the Master of Social Work program. Where are you from? I grew up in Pittsfield, Maine, and I’ve lived in the Bangor area for the past 4 years. What’s your favorite dessert? Anything chocolate – preferably something involving frosting or peanut butter. What is the best professional advice you’ve received? It’s not my responsibility to make others responsible. Read more: Confessions of a Student Support Specialist – The Top 3 Issues that Online Students Face What’s your favorite thing about living in Maine? The seasons! And the accessibility – it’s easy enough to get to other states, and also easy to go to another country! What’s…

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What is the role of a school social worker?

A school social worker in her role gesturing to a student to assist him with his issue
Have you ever been asked, or ever wondered, what it is that a school social worker does? The question is understandable; it’s an incredibly diverse position. The role of a school social worker involves communicating and collaborating with students, parents, teachers, administrators, government officials, and anyone else who can help them encourage students’ success. With the increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide rates in children, school social workers are also at the forefront of a movement to understand and address the stresses in students’ lives from a young age. Due in part to this need and other rising issues, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the social work field will grow by 14 percent by 2026.…

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Course Spotlight: Master of Social Work Electives

Student in Sweater on Laptop Taking a Online Social Work Course
Trying to decide how to customize your degree or pick a professional development course from our more than 20 online social work course electives? We hear you—there are a lot of options to consider! We prepared a closer look at three of our popular MSW electives, including feedback from students who have taken the courses, to help guide your unique educational journey. A quick reminder: While these courses are electives for the Master of Social Work program, they can also be taken individually (without enrolling in a degree or certificate program) for personal or professional development.  Feel free to jump ahead to the course that interests you most (or explore all three): Contemporary Controversies Narrative Therapy Social Work Practice in

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The MSW Field Experience at UNE Online

MSW Fieldwork
Field experience is at the heart of any social work education. The field of social work is one of interaction, and the field experience is where students apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in order to tackle challenges they’ll only encounter outside of the classroom.  Field experience enables students to explore different settings, issues, and communities to better identify their strengths. And it fosters collaboration with a diverse group of social work professionals. Finding a field placement Field placements are required to complete the UNE Online Master of Social Work (MSW) program. It’s up to each student individually to find a placement, but each student takes a field planning orientation in preparation for the placement process. Each student also…

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Student Spotlight: Frank Myers, MSW Program

Frank Myers Master of Social Work
Frank Myers is a student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of New England. We spoke with Frank recently about what attracted him to the field of social work, his experience in the UNE Online program, and what drove him to create and host an outreach event for homeless people in his area. What got you interested in becoming a social worker? I was homeless and on my own when I was 11, so the homeless population has always been in my heart. For the past three years now I’ve been working full time with the homeless, but really I’ve been working with the homeless for pretty much all my life. I try to help out…

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Faculty Spotlight: Autumn Straw, Social Work Program

Autumn Straw, MSW, Assistant Director for the Graduate Programs in Social Work Online at UNE
Autumn Straw is the Assistant Director for the Graduate Programs in Social Work in the College of Graduate and Professional Studies here at the University of New England. In this post, she talks about the importance of mentors, her experience with changing careers within the field of social work, and what skills are most important for a social work career.  Can you tell me a little about your background and what drew you to UNE Online? I attended Simmons for both my BA and my MSW, and left inspired to work with children. Soon after graduation, I took a job at a local hospital in their Community Based Acute Treatment Unit, which is a step-down psychiatric unit designed specifically for…

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Social Workers Are All Around Us [Infographic]

Infographic: Social Workers Everywhere
Social workers are indeed all around us. The following infographic shows six key fields in which social workers have a dramatic and positive impact on the community. The six fields outlined include private practice, schools, criminal justice and corrections, hospitals, community organizations, corporations, and nonprofits. Private Practice Whether as mental health counselors, LCSWs, couples or family therapists, or other clinical practitioners, social workers are ever-present in private practice. They treat mental illnesses and help people cope with life’s tribulations. Some specialize and work with certain populations. Schools Like working with children? Social workers in schools collaborate with students, parents, and staff to help ensure that students thrive. They provide direct and indirect services and organize community resources. In today’s…

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Infographic: Measuring the Impact of an MSW

MSW Education in Social Work Impact Infographic
An education in social work gives you an extraordinary set of in-demand, future-friendly skills, coupled with the credentials to make you eligible for professional advancement. How do you measure the impact of an MSW? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, Master of Social Work graduates on average made $11,000 more than social workers holding only their BSW. Here are four career paths in which an MSW gives you a distinct advantage: Learn more about getting an education in social work Interested in pursuing your Master’s in Social Work? Instantly download more information here: Download our MSW Program Guide

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CSWE Accreditation for the UNE Online Master of Social Work Program

CSWE accreditation square logo
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the governing body that oversees all social work education programs throughout the United States, is dedicated to advancing quality social work education. It is critical that social workers are equipped to play a central role in achieving the profession’s goals of social and economic justice. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States and its territories. Why is CSWE accreditation important? Accreditation ensures that all students receive the same foundational knowledge that encompasses all essential areas of social work, on both a clinical and macro level, based upon a set series of standards. Upon completion…

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Alumni Spotlight: Nicole Petrin, MSW Program

Nicole Petrin, social work mentor, with penguins
Nicole Petrin is a student in the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. She has her undergraduate degree in social work, works in the field, and is also very active as a mentor for rising social workers. She just recently returned from an international social work conference in South Africa, and she shares her experiences with us here. Can you tell me a bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Social Work? I am originally from Rhode Island, where during my childhood and adolescence I was a very active member of Girl Scouts, even going on to earn the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, the Girl Scout Gold Award. My early exposure to…

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Faculty Spotlight: Susan Osofsky, MSW, LCSW

Faculty Spotlight: Susan Osofsky, MSW, LCSW
By her own account, Susan Osofsky has never been one to plan too far ahead, so it seems fitting that an inherent characteristic of social work perfectly complements her agile approach: “One of the reasons I love this field is you can do all sorts of jobs and try things out,” she said. And that’s exactly what she did as she found her way to UNE Online. A spectrum of experiences Susan began by studying speech pathology and audiology but quickly learned that it wasn’t for her. “When I did my field placements and career counseling, I found I had little in common with speech pathologists,” she said, discovering that her passion was in social work. Inspired by her…

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Student Spotlight: Angsana (Angie) Spiller, MSW Program

Angie Spiller, MSW
Angie Spiller is a student in the Master of Social Work program here at UNE Online. We spoke to her recently about what led her to earn her MSW, and how she applies her knowledge of the field on a daily basis. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Social Work? I am originally from Thailand, where I was a marine in a skydiving unit. When I got married we moved to the United States, and I was not able to speak or understand English at all. After some time, I decided to pursue a Master of Psychology, and when I earned that master’s degree, I went into the…

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Faculty Spotlight: Stephen Dougherty, LMSW, Ph.D. – Social Work Program

Stephen Dougherty, LMSW, Ph.D.
Stephen Dougherty didn’t always intend to have a career in social work, but his propensity to help others in times of need made him a natural fit as both a practitioner and a professor. His involvement in human services began in the late ‘60s as a medic in the Air Force, when he tended to wounded or sick patients during the Vietnam War. By the time he made his way to working in foster care a few years later, he had begun to recognize how he could meet community-wide needs — especially through social work. While social work as a field at that time prioritized behavioral science, Freudian concepts didn’t appear to have much practical application to Stephen’s work with…

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