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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Meet our Team: Maria Theisen

Maria Theisen, Student Support Specialist, MSW Program

Meet Maria Theisen, a Student Support Specialist for the Master of Social Work degree program. Maria joined UNE in the Fall of 2016 and has a background in event planning and college admissions, as well as extensive volunteer work with Girls on the Run International. Maria earned her BA in Psychology from Hamline University and her M.Ed. in Sport Coaching from The Defiance College. 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 one of the people who is 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 Program. Where are you from? I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I moved to Maine after completing graduate school in 2016. What’s your favorite dessert? Anything coffee related—coffee ice… Read More >

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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 time as a camp counselor in a program for children from low-income families and as a resident advisor at Syracuse University, Susan switched to social work and earned her MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her first placement out of graduate school… Read More >

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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 teaching field for a few years. I am also the mother of two – I have a five-year-old, and a nine-year-old. What really influenced me to enter the social work field was the Sandy Hook incident. I had just had… Read More >

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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 children in underprivileged communities. “Social work had a limited, ‘office-bound’ approach to the needs kids had,” Stephen explained. “The bigger problem was helping communities survive — decent housing, access to health care, education, and jobs.” Lending a hand where it’s… Read More >

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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 decade was really traumatic, and it ignited a passion in me that I wanted to do something,” Judith said. After earning her degree in anthropology, she started on what would make for a rich resume years later: she sailed Southeast… 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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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 Social Work 1. Close the health gap More than 60 million Americans are hindered by inadequate access to care and the higher illness rates that come with poverty, discrimination, and dangerous environments. To close the health gap, America needs strategists to… 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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Five Cross-cutting Social Work Skills that Put you Ahead

5 cross cutting skills in social work

Transferrable Social Work Skills Earning your MSW prepares you with a set of in-demand abilities and social work skills that nearly every organization needs, and puts you in an exclusive pool of candidates, opening a world of career possibilities. With these adaptable skills, you’re more than hirable – you’re invaluable. Government relations personnel are hired for their policy knowledge and ability to make things happen. HR professionals thrive because of their knack for anticipating needs and understanding human motivation. Researchers bring to the table their affinity for data and analysis. FEMA seeks employees who can stay calm under pressure. Journalists excel with their ability to paint a vivid narrative. With an MSW, you have a royal flush. Team management No matter the organization, company, or mission, when you bring in a hodgepodge of individuals and personalities to work together, an empathetic and intuitive leader is needed to manage their efficiency. Your grasp on human behavior, as well as your experience… 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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Careers in Social Work: Now is the Time to Earn an MSW

MSW Careers

Now is the time to earn an MSW. The future is bright for social workers as the field of social work evolves to accommodate the ever-changing needs of vulnerable populations. Political turbulence, climate disasters, widening class divides, an increasing emphasis on mental health—these have all combined to open and solidify, a promising job market for social workers. As different populations across the world face unique struggles, social workers are primed to improve their conditions, health, and wellbeing. Despite global unrest, it’s a good time to be a social worker. Opportunities abound The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects social work employment to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026—faster than the average of all other professions. Although those entering the field of social work have strong prospects, an advanced degree prepares students for 21st-century issues and is a powerful step toward helping people create meaningful outcomes in their lives. To help individuals and communities cope with a wide array of vulnerabilities,… 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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Social Work and Human Trafficking – Spotting the Signs, Ending the Crisis

Social Work and Human Trafficking

Social work and human trafficking are linked in that social workers have a unique and valuable role in the fight against human trafficking, helping victims and fostering a greater understanding around the issue. Victims of human trafficking A 15-year-old runaway in a rural roadside motel. A middle-aged man picking tomatoes in a Georgia field. A twenty-something woman babysitting children at a New York City playground. These seemingly disparate individuals have one thing in common: They’re among the estimated 27 million people in the world who are victims of human trafficking, in which vulnerable individuals are brought into sexual acts, labor, or other forms of exploitation through fraud, coercion, or the use or threat of force. Social workers are in a unique position to make a difference in this crisis, and many are already doing so through education, advocacy, and more targeted, informed, in-the-field interventions. Get Our Free Guide to Earning your Social Work Degree Online An elusive and growing crisis… Read More >

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Private: Social Workers Help with Independence and Reintegration after Abus

help for sex trafficking

What are the next steps after sex trafficking or domestic violence? Social workers help people regain their independence and reintegrate into society after escaping domestic violence or sex trafficking. How social workers help those who’ve escaped domestic violence or sex trafficking make the transition and heal For people who have experienced sex trafficking or domestic violence, escaping their dangerous circumstances is only the first step. Fresh challenges await in the struggle to heal and create stable lives afterward. Yet rehabilitation and reintegration resources for these victims are often limited, stretched thin, or nonexistent. Enter social workers. With their knowledge of trauma-based therapies, connections to community resources, awareness of intersectionality (including race, class, gender, and ethnicity), and passion for social justice, social workers play a much-needed role: They fill the gaps between institutional resources and help people develop the skills they need to transition to independent, thriving lives. Easing the transition to a shelter After escape from domestic violence or sex… Read More >

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Meet Our Team: Laura Schulz

Laura Schulz, MSW Student Support Specialist

Meet Laura Schulz, a Student Support Specialist at UNE Online. Laura earned her BA in Education and Psychology from Stonehill College and her M.Ed. in School Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Laura joined UNE Online in the spring of 2017 and is dedicated to supporting the students of the Master of Social Work program. Laura is also enrolled in UNE Online’s Master of Public Health program, and heads up the College’s Green Team! 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 a Student Support Specialist working with students in our online Master of Social Work program. Where are you from? I grew up in New Jersey, then went to college in… 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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The MSW Fieldwork 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 fieldwork 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. It 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 fieldwork placement Field placements are required to complete the UNE Online MSW program, and enrolled students often use the opportunity to serve their community. It’s up to each student individually to find a placement, but they take a field planning course in preparation for the placement process. Each student also has a dedicated field planner, and they work closely with their field planner to explore their interests and skills, practice interviewing, determine where their community needs are, and how to reach out to those locations…. Read More >

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Children of Abuse - How Social Workers Help Them Heal 

Children of Abuse

Abuse takes many forms, and child victims may experience it differently. Whether they are victims of violence themselves or witnesses, even audibly, the effects can last a lifetime. There are many reasons that parents stay in abusive relationships— and it’s often mothers, who represent up to 85% of the victims of domestic abuse, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The reasons for staying in an abusive relationship include a fear of retribution, the inability to provide for children alone, the belief that abuse is normal or deserved, lack of resources, and simply nowhere to go. But even if they flee, the damage of domestic violence may already be done, posing a serious threat to children’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. The effects of domestic violence on children Living in constant fear of being harmed or witnessing violence can cause generalized and severe anxiety. Starved for attention and affection, children of abuse may suffer from low self-esteem, act out in school,… Read More >

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Tackling Three Misconceptions of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Cycle Infographic

Master of Social Work Requirements for Admission While applications are reviewed and admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete and submit their applications early in the cycle. Program Prerequisites Applicants are encouraged to review the Master of Social Work requirements for admission for each track prior to beginning their application, as the admission requirements vary for each track option.  Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited institution or equivalent. See our International Admissions page for additional admissions requirements including details regarding the evaluation of international degrees for grade and degree equivalency 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA Computer with internet connection, including the hardware and software requirements described on the Technical Requirements page. Must also possess sufficient computer skills to navigate the Internet as all classes are accessed 100% online Graduation from CSWE accredited BSW program within the last 7 years preferred Equivalent coursework at the undergraduate level to UNE’s Foundation courses completed with a “B” of better strongly preferred… Read More >

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