Associate Professor of Social Work
Director of the Gerontology Program
B.A., Psychology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
M.Div., McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
M.S.W., Loyola University, Chicago, IL
Prior to coming to Manchester in 2004, I worked over 25 years in human services, primarily in Illinois (Chicago and Champaign-Urbana) and Washington, DC. In my early 20s, it was a life-changing experience to live in the Philippines for two years, the beginning of a deeper search for social justice and a world with more compassion.
In work, I have done outpatient therapy, directed a shelter for homeless families on Chicago’s south side, worked in home-based services, as chaplain at Cook County Jail, counseled adult and adolescent sex offenders and survivors of assault, and worked as clinical supervisor and training director in a large residential treatment center for troubled teens. With elders, I’ve worked in many ways – support staff for S.U.S.I. (Seniors United for Social Improvement) on Chicago’s South Side, counselor for elders in inpatient psychiatric center after suicide attempts, facilitator of reminiscence groups for older women, counselor for elders with chronic or terminal illness, and with grandparents who were primary caregivers for their grandchildren.
Special interests in social work and gerontology are many: social and economic justice, healthcare reform, cross-cultural relations, poverty, prevention, conflict transformation, reminiscence and life review, brain health, effective counseling with challenging clients, interventions for anxiety and depression, spirituality, advocacy for elders of color and older women, intergenerational relationships, and exploring the vast potential of elders to contribute meaningfully to society. I’ve taught yoga to delinquent youth, at MU, at a nearby retreat center, and am faculty advisor to the campus Namaste Yoga Club.
Outside of work I enjoy time with my large family (mostly around Fort Wayne), swimming, gardening, yoga, weaving and spending time in nature. I did much care for my elderly father for many years before his death, which was quite meaningful. I love to travel, especially to New Mexico and northern Michigan, and loved a recent trip to Ireland to learn more about peace-building and about my own heritage. I volunteer on the boards of ECR (Education for Conflict Resolution) and the Garber Simmons Senior Center in town, where I have taught yoga since spring of 2007 (my oldest student was 91!)
I love meeting so many interesting students at this university, and helping them grow, learn, and live out their dreams. There has been much opportunity here to teach and work with colleagues about things I care about. Every day is a new adventure in growth toward more knowledge and compassion.
SOSC 102 Human Conflict
SOWK 110 Service, Empowerment, and Justice: Introduction to Social Work
SOC/SOWK 220 Social Gerontology
SOWK 274 Becoming a Skilled Helper: Social Work Practice I
SOWK 275 Practicum in Human Services (gerontology placements)
SOC/SOWK 371 Advanced Gerontology
SOWK 334 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SOWK 350 Policy and Practice Issues in Social Welfare (health care)
FYS (First Year Seminar) Body, Mind, Spirit: Insights and Practices from East and West