Student 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 community service through scouting helped me develop my passion for helping those who are marginalized, and this engagement is ultimately what led me to the field of social work. In 2012, I earned my undergraduate degree in social work at… Read More >

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Ambassador Spotlight: Melina Paiewonsky, MSW Program

Melina Paiewonsky

Melina Paiewonsky is a student in the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. Since last fall her family has endured two category five hurricanes and has been evacuated and relocated three times. Through it all, she was able to face these challenges and still stay on track with her education. Here, Melina discusses her experience with the MSW program, her thoughts about getting feedback from her instructors, and imparts some words of wisdom for students entering the program. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Social Work? I am from the United States Virgin Islands, St. Thomas. I’ve worked as a teacher for a few years on the island, but I always had the desire to do more work to help the community. One day as I was volunteering with one of my community projects, my husband said to me, “Melina, you’re always helping people – maybe… Read More >

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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Amy Storch, BSW, MSW, Ph.D., LCSW – Social Work Prog

Dr. Amy Storch, BSW, MSW, PhD, LCSW

Broadening perspectives. Fostering community. These missions have guided Dr. Amy Storch for nearly a decade as she’s taught foundational and practical courses, created landmark programs, and has advised hundreds of future social workers throughout their academic journeys and into their careers. She approaches her work from the rich vantage point of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, global traveler, nationally Certified American Sign Language Interpreter and lifelong helper. The next step in a helpful path Assisting others has always been a way of life for Amy. She grew up as a child of two Deaf parents. As the only one in the family who could hear, “they depended on me for a lot of things,” she said. Even today, she continues to take on projects like video relay interpretation. Social work happened “just by happenstance,” Amy said. “I knew I wanted to go to college but didn’t know what I wanted to do.” Her dissertation analyzed the effectiveness of therapy for… Read More >

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Ambassador Spotlight: Jacqueta Miles, MSW Program

Jacqueta Miles MSW Student

Jacqueta Miles is a student in the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. Despite a number of challenges, she never gave up on the pursuit of her Master’s degree and her commitment to the field of social work. Read her story, and see what advice she has for incoming students. What encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Social Work? Growing up, I lived between my mom’s and my grandmother’s houses. My grandmother took me, my sisters, and my cousins in – we all grew up pretty much like sisters. She’s was always teaching us to help, and so growing up, I discovered that I have a heart for people. I love to help. I was in the healthcare field for a long time working as a CNA and PCA, and during that time I found myself drawn to the families that I worked with. I enjoyed helping them with their needs and connecting them with the social services… Read More >

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Program Manager Spotlight: Jennifer O’Neil, MSW, LCSW – Social Work Program

Jennifer O’Neil, MSW, LCSW, is the Program Manager for the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online.  We spoke to her about the program, how she came to the field of social work, and her thoughts on preparing students for life after graduation. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what drew you to UNE Online? My background is in social work. I earned my undergraduate degree in my late 30’s as an adult learner, and then was accepted and went directly into a Master’s of Social Work program. After I graduated with my MSW, I practiced at an agency that worked with substance users and people who are HIV positive. While I was practicing in the field, I was asked by a former professor of mine to teach. I accepted a position as a part-time faculty and eventually transitioned into a full-time classroom instruction role, teaching online classes whenever possible. When I enrolled in… Read More >

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Meet our Team: Whitney Hutchinson

Whitney Hutchinson. MSW Student Support Specialist

Meet Whitney Hutchinson, a Student Support Specialist II for the Master of Social Work degree program. Whitney joined UNE Online in March of 2016 and has a background in counseling and higher education. Whitney earned her M.S. in Counseling from the University of Southern Maine and holds National Certified Counselor (NCC) credentials. She is passionate about assisting UNE Online’s MSW students and helping them stay on track in their programs. At UNE Online students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do. We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen every day. What do you do at UNE Online? I am a Student Support Specialist for the Master of Social Work Online program. Where are you from? I’m a Mainer! I grew up in the small town Buckfield, Maine which is in the Western mountains. What’s your favorite dessert?… Read More >

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Meet our Team: Mollie Kaubrys

Mollie Kaubrys, MSW Enrollment Counselor at UNE Online

Meet Mollie Kaubrys, an Enrollment Counselor for the Master of Social Work degree program. Mollie joined UNE in the spring of 2017 and has a background in higher education and a degree in International Studies from American University. At UNE Online, students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do. We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen every day. What do you do at UNE Online? I am an Enrollment Counselor for the Master of Social Work Online program. Where are you from? I grew up in Rumford, Maine. I attended college in Washington DC, and then spent the next five years living in Massachusetts, Barcelona, New Orleans, and Houston. I finally made my way back to Maine this past March! What’s your favorite dessert? I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I won’t say… Read More >

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Alumni Spotlight: Dee Manatowa, MSW

Dee Manatowa, Student, MSW program

You could say it’s in her DNA. An Oklahoma Sauk Native, Dee Manatowa inherited her passion for social work along with a devotion to environmental justice. Her father—the late Chief Elmer Manatowa Jr. of the Sac and Fox Nation in Stroud, Oklahoma—instilled in her a love for all people and the Earth. As a tribal member, Dee knows all too well the intergenerational trauma that comes with finding your place in a society that is not your own. “I was born into a world that was foreign to me,” she explains. To add to the emotional burden, she says, “I’m not full blood, so I was rejected by both my tribe and greater society.” Like her father, Dee turned to higher education in pursuit of healing, solace, and strength. “I chose social work because its values and standards lined up with my personal beliefs,” she says. In 2014, Dee graduated from Northeastern State University with a BSW, specializing in child… Read More >

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Faculty Spotlight: Christine Rogerson, LCSW – Social Work Program

Christine Rogerson, Practicum Coordinator

Christine Rogerson, LCSW, is the Practicum Coordinator for the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. She graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of Maine and went on to earn her Master of Social Work right here at the University of New England. Prior to teaching at UNE, Christine spent several years working in multiple clinical social work capacities, including work within the crisis system, inpatient hospitalization with children and adults, foster care, school social work and social work within the medical setting. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what drew you to teaching at UNE Online? I’m actually an MSW grad from the University of New England! I really enjoyed the program as a student, especially its social inclusion focus. When I was a student, social justice and ethics were integral parts of the curriculum; these themes are still encompassed in our School of Social Work values and mission today…. Read More >

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Faculty Spotlight: Mary White, LCSW – Social Work Program

Mary White, MSW Clinical Assistant Professor

Mary White, LCSW, is a Field Planner and Clinical Assistant Professor for the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. She graduated with a BA in Behavioral Science from the University of Maine in Presque Isle and earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Maine at Orono. For 18 years Mary was employed at a community mental health center working in both clinical and administrative social work, in charge of a staff of 100+ people. She also worked for four years at a high school, providing support and social work services to approximately 500 students. She has been working full-time for UNE since June of 2011. Prior to her full-time position with the University, she was an adjunct faculty member and had the opportunity to teach many courses in the social work curriculum. Her particular areas of interest are poverty, women and children issues, and trauma. Can you tell me a little bit about your background?… Read More >

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Faculty Spotlight: Wanda Anderson, LCSW – Social Work Program

Wanda Anderson, MSW Professor

Farming is not for the faint of heart. Growing up poor on a small potato farm in northern Maine, Wanda Anderson and five siblings started working in the field at age 7. Now a clinical professor of social work at UNE Online, Wanda would carry that agrarian work ethic throughout college and her 26-year career. Potatoes may not have been her passion, but helping people—particularly struggling families like her own—was. Finding her passion As a first-generation college student at the University of Maine, Wanda had a truly eye-opening experience learning from peers and professors from across the country—further broadened during an exchange program in Reno, Nevada her second year. But graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she had trouble finding work and purpose. Adrift, she joined the Army, only to receive a disability discharge. Wanda saw this as an opportunity to return to the familiarity of academia—where she would discover her passion for social work. But it took some… Read More >

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Meet Our Team: Maria Lorello

Maria Lorello, Enrollment Counselor

Meet Maria Lorello, an Enrollment Counselor at UNE. Maria earned her BA in Communication from the University of Southern Maine. After college, she started her career in public relations before joining UNE’s enrollment team in 2013. At UNE Online students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do. We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen every day. What do you do at UNE Online? I’m an Enrollment Counselor for our Master of Social Work program. I am usually the first point of contact for someone who is interested in the MSW program. I answer any questions they may have, assist them throughout the application process and help them transition from applicant to student. Where are you from? I grew up right across the bridge in South Portland. I moved out of state for college and spent a… Read More >

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Meet Our Team: Lisa Shaker

Lisa Shaker, Senior Student Support Specialist

At UNE Online students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do.  We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen every day. Meet Lisa Shaker Lisa is a Senior Student Support Specialist at UNE. Sometimes Lisa feels like she never left college; after graduating from the University of New Hampshire with her BA in Communication, Lisa immediately started a career in higher education, working at Dartmouth College, the University of Maine School of Law, and Southern New Hampshire University before joining UNE in 2014. Lisa even went on to earn her MS in Higher Education Administration from New England College. What do you do at UNE Online? I am a Senior Student Support Specialist here at UNE Online! Until March, I supported students in the Graduate Programs in Public Health. I was recently promoted to a new role… Read More >

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