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 rapidly diversifying world, bilingual skills are a plus for school social workers. Criminal Justice & Corrections Across the criminal justice system, social workers make a difference: They’re domestic violence prevention advocates, corrections social workers, and dedicated practitioners helping young people rehabilitate… Read More >

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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 MSW Informational Brochure

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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 of a rigorous self-study and comprehensive site visit, the UNE School of Social Work was recently reaccredited for an additional eight-year period. What is CSWE accreditation? Accreditation is a process of reflection, self-study and peer evaluation; a process that requires… 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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Meet our Team: Laurie Boland

Laurie Boland, Enrollment Counselor, Master of Social Work Online

Meet Laurie Boland, an Enrollment Counselor for the Master of Social Work degree program. Laurie joined UNE in the fall of 2014 and has a background in various marketing roles, is a former collegiate athlete, recruiter, and coach, and earned her BS in Marketing and MBA from Southern New Hampshire 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 program. I talk with students about how the Social Work program can help them reach their professional goals, and I assist them through the application process. Where are you from? I am from Worcester, Massachusetts. I moved to Maine a couple of years ago. What’s your favorite… 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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Meet our Team: Kaitlin Cole

Kaitlin Cole, Student Support Specialist for the Master of Social Work degree program

Meet Kaitlin Cole, a Student Support Specialist for the Master of Social Work degree program. Katie joined UNE in in the spring of 2017 after earning her BA in Political Science with a minor in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Maine in 2015. 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 program. Where are you from? I was born and raised in Portland, Maine but my whole family is from northern Maine so I spend a lot of time up there. It is fairly diverse here in Portland compared to the rest of the state and I think a lot of… 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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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, which follows six students during a school year at Lincoln High School in WA, the first trauma-informed high school in the U.S. Paper Tigers has been screening to sold-out audiences around the U.S. since it premiered at the Seattle Film Festival last… 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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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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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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