Faculty and students from Grove City College’s Social Work program discussed their research and professional experience at the North Americans Christians in Social Work Annual Convention held Nov. 10 and 11 in Pittsburgh.
Social work professors accompanied 10 students to the NACSW convention, an ecumenical gathering of educators, professionals, and students who approach social work practice from a Christian perspective.
“The convention offered an incredible opportunity for our students to deepen their understanding of social work practice and connect and engage with social work practitioners in our community,” Dr. Jennifer C. Hollenberger, associate professor of Social Work and director of the Grove City College program, said. She and fellow faculty member Professor Dr. Lisa L. Hosack were on the convention planning committee,
Senior Lauren Miller, a Social Work major from Monroeville, Pa., and Hollenberger led a workshop on “Crisis Counseling Through Text Lines: A Student Experience.” Miller discussed her experience in the field volunteering as a crisis counselor and how it has shaped her social work education, practice, and faith.
“Having a student present her own research at this conference demonstrates the real-world impact of our program beyond our campus and our program’s commitment to academic excellence and rigor through research,” Hollenberger said.
Hollenberger and Hosack presented “Social Work Practitioner to Scholar: Exploring the Transition from Practice to Academia.” Many social work faculty members enter academia following a background in practice. Known as “pracademics,” they bring practical and educational benefits to social work education and fill essential teaching roles, particularly at faith-based colleges and universities, according to Hosack and Hollenberger.
Dr. Vannessa Vassar-Bush, lecturer and Social Work field placement director, led a presentation on “Caring for all of God’s Creatures” with Dr. Jamie Griffin ’01 discussing issues facing veterinary medicine and ways Christian social work can improve the lives of veterinary staff and pet owners.
Hosack also led a panel discussion at the convention on “Social Work with First Responders.”
Grove City’s CSWE-accredited Social Work program is distinguished by real-world experience, the opportunity to earn advanced standing in graduate school, exceptional faculty mentors, and a robust curriculum. For more about the program, visit gcc.edu/socw.