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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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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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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Policy - An Interprofessional Approach

A series of illustrated, intertwined gears to depict how How our online, interprofessional public policy course works
Have you ever wondered what people mean when they talk about policy? What is it? Who needs it? How does it work? Why should I care about it? UNE Online’s new public policy course, Policy: An Interprofessional Approach (GPH 702) is a great way to find out answers to these questions. You will work with students from other disciplines to better understand how policy impacts individuals, communities and populations and the importance of cross-sector collaboration and partnerships. What is Policy? Public policy refers to any federal, state, or local government action that influences individual or agency behavior. It can be laws, executive orders, regulations, ordinances, court rulings, appropriations, or board and committee decisions. Government decision-making impacts all of us personally…

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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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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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Free Community Event: Screening of the Documentary Resilience

Resilience movie screening free community event
UNE Online and the Junior League of Portland have teamed up again this year and are proud to present the documentary Resilience: The Biology of Stress & Science of Hope. The event will begin 5:30 pm with opening remarks from Arabella Perez, LCSW of UNE’s Master of Social Work program, to discuss her work with trauma-informed care. The screening will follow. About the documentary Resilience This 68-minute documentary delves into the science of ACEs and the birth of a new worldwide movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. The movie premiered at Sundance Film Festival to sold-out houses. Resilience is the second documentary by director James Redford (son of Robert Redford) that addresses ACEs. The first was Paper Tigers,…

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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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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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