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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Congratulations Class of 2020!

Graduation video for the Class of 2020
Hooray to the class of 2020 – you made it!!  We love graduation because it’s the one time of year that we get to physically see the depth of beauty that we’re helping bring to our students’ lives. Because we can’t see you in person this year, we asked our faculty and staff to submit short video messages for you. The first video is a compilation of short clips from these messages.  4-minute video (get tissues)   This 27-minute video features full-length messages to the Class of 2020 from our faculty and staff. You’ll see messages from some of the instructors and Student Support staff that you’ve come to know during your program. Throughout each of the video messages, one…

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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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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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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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Faculty Spotlight: Judith Boudman, MSW – Social Work Program

Judith Boudman and her dogs
Community service has been part of Judith Boudman’s family for centuries. “Most of my ancestors were doctors,” she explained. “I feel as though community service is in my genes.” Her intrinsic passion for improving public welfare has translated to a number of roles within the realm of social work, proving that not only does one have the power to make a difference in people’s lives, but there are innumerable ways to do it. A dynamic journey As a college student during the ‘60s, Judith was affected by many events that sparked discussion about social issues: the Women’s Movement, the Kent State shooting, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. – just to name a few. “The…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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The 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work

12 grand challenges of social work
Make the most impact in the areas of greatest need The profession of social work aims to help people and advance the values of self-determination, diversity, human dignity, and social justice. But given today’s changing priorities and social issues, how can you focus your social work career on the areas of greatest need—with opportunity for professional growth? In fall 2016, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare released its 12 Grand Challenges. It’s a “dynamic social agenda” for our profession’s work with individuals, families, and society. Learn how your current skills and interests fit in—and where to focus for future growth. And link through to delve deeper into a specific Academy challenge. The 12 Grand Challenges for…

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

Jennifer O’Neil, MSW, LCSW
Jennifer O’Neil, MSW, LCSW, is the Program Director 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…

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