In the School of Social Work, we prepare students for professional careers in social services administration and counseling for underserved and/or vulnerable individuals and groups. Students focus on public policy and regulations, counseling and intervention, case work planning and specialized services.
Bridgewater has been providing social work education for more than 30 years. Our faculty, staff and students are deeply engaged in community service, and they make a difference in someone’s life every day.
Master of Social Work (MSW) Program Field Education
Agency and Supervisor Forms:
Dr. Alcon's practice and research have been at the organizational and community levels with a particular focus on services provided by agencies serving older persons and their families. She has worked extensively with volunteers and community groups on programming, advocacy and evaluation in the areas of family economic security and aging services.
As the current chair of the School of Social Work she has been fortunate to be able to work with students, staff and faculty on the academic and organizational development of the BSW and MSW programs. It is her particular pleasure to support students who wish to expand their research skills and to introduce students to the rich opportunities for social work practice in the field of aging.
Introduction to Social Welfare, Social Welfare Policy, Data Analysis for Social Work, Research Methods
Introduction to Social Policy, Social Policy (Health and Mental Health)
BA, Amherst College
MSW & Louis Lowy Certificate in Gerontology, Boston University, School of Social Work
PhD, Brandeis University, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Kathy Bailey, PhD, LMSW, joined the School of Social Work faculty at Bridgewater State University in 2009. Dr. Bailey teaches courses in both the MSW and BSW programs including direct practice, policy, macro practice, and field. Dr. Bailey's research interests include long term care quality improvement, coordination of care, and elder issues. In that regard Dr. Bailey has presented her work at national, regional, and local conferences. Dr. Bailey has also been an active mentor of student projects and participated annually in the Undergraduate Research Symposiums held on campus.
Dr. Bailey serves as the Honors Chair for the School of Social work, is faculty co-sponsor for the Phi Alpha, Beta Chi Chapter, of the National Social Work honor Society, and is Co-Chair of the Pride Coalition at Bridgewater. The mission of the Pride Coalition is to help create a more welcoming, inclusive, and safe campus for the GLBTA community. In addition, Dr. Bailey sits on the advisory board for Undergraduate Research and is a faculty mentor for the Graduate Writing Fellows program in the School of Social Work.
Long term care quality improvement
Coordination of care
Social Work Practice I
Policy III: Mental and Physical Health
Field Practice & Seminar I and II
Human Behavior and Social Environment II
Introduction to Social Welfare
Social Work Practice: Community and Organization
BS, Frostburg State University, Psychology
MSW, PhD, Arizona State University, Social Work
BA, Pennsylvania State University
MS, Ohio State University
MSW, Smith College School for Social Work
EdD, Boston University
Laura Boutwell serves as a Faculty Associate in Bridgewater State University's newly formed Institute for Social Justice. In this capacity, Dr. Boutwell helps to coordinate Friends and Mentors for Change, an intensive mentoring and academic success program for high school students. Dr. Boutwell's fifteen years of community-based engagement with LGBT youth, youth of color, and refugee and immigrant youth deeply informs her understanding of and commitment to social justice work.
Dr. Boutwell's research interests include refugee and immigrant youth, participatory action and arts-based research, mentoring, and girls' studies. Her current qualitative, participatory-action research explores identity construction and refugee resettlement with a group of African, Muslim youth researchers living in the South. She has presented this research at multiple regional and national conferences and has a forthcoming methodology chapter in an edited book about girls' studies. In addition to her own scholarship, Dr. Boutwell has co-presented with refugee youth and Bridgewater students at national and regional conferences and has mentored multiple social work students as they pursued their own scholarship. Dr. Boutwell is the Faculty Advisor for the Bridgewater chapter of the Student Immigrant Movement, a statewide, youth-led organization advancing the rights of immigrant youth.
Dr. Boutwell identifies as a scholar-activist and primarily teaches courses in diversity and macro practice social work. Research interests include refugee and immigrant youth, participatory action and arts-based research, mentoring, and girls' studies.
Social Work Issues of Diversity and Oppression
Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations
Directed Study in Social Work
BA, Hollins University
MSW, Radford University
PhD, Virginia Tech, Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies
Mark J. Brenner, PhD, ASCW, LISCW joined the social work faculty in 2003. He serves as the Coordinator of the MSW program in addition to working with students and teaching courses in the MSW program. Prior to his appointment at Bridgewater State University, Dr. Brenner was a Project Director and Instructor of Psychiatry at the Commonwealth Research Center at Harvard Medical School where he directed studies in the areas of schizophrenia, suicide and substance abuse. Dr. Brenner was trained as a family therapist and has over 20 years of experience providing psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults in both out-patient and in-patient settings.
During the 2010-2011 academic year, Dr. Brenner was invited to Hong Kong to collaborate with faculty at the Center for Behavioral Health, University of Hong Kong on integrative body-mind-spirit social work. He has published in the area of mental illness as well as Buddhist meditation and serves as a consulting editor and member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. His current research interests are in the areas of contemplative practices, Buddhism, and the integration of Eastern philosophies into Western psychotherapeutic models. In addition to presenting his work locally, Dr. Brenner has presented at national social work conferences as well as internationally in China and Japan.
SCWK 512 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment III: The DSM-IV TR
SCWK 540 - Research: Evaluating Practice
SCWK 550 - Intergenerational Family Focused Direct Practice
SCWK 551 - Advanced Clinical Practice with Individuals
SCWK 355/559 - Study Tour of Tailand: Buddhism and South East Asian Culture
SCWK 570 - Integrative Seminar
SCWK 580 - Integrative Body-Mind-Spirit Social Work
SCWK 580 - Spirituality and Social Work Practice
SCWK 590 - Field Practice and Seminar I
SCWK 591 - Field Practice and Seminar II
SCWK 592 - Field Practice and Seminar III
SCWK 593 - Field Practice and Seminar IV
BA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Human Services
MSW, Boston University, Clinical Practice
PhD, Simmons College, Clinical Social Work
Emily M. Douglas, PhD came to Bridgewater State University in 2006. Her areas of expertise address child and family well-being, and programs and policies that promote positive outcomes. Specifically, her areas of expertise include fatal child maltreatment, corporal punishment, partner violence, divorced families, and the connection between research and public policy. Dr. Douglas and her colleague, Dr. Denise Hines (Clark University), are among the first researchers to conduct NIH-supported, large-scale research projects on men who sustain female-to-male partner violence and seek help, and the potential effects on their children.
Dr. Douglas has an undergraduate degree in psychology and graduate degrees in public policy. She also completed an NIMH-supported post-doctoral research fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Murray Straus at the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire and has served on a legislative committee concerned with father involvement. Dr. Douglas is the founder and director of the National Research Conference on Child and Family Programs and Policy which is held at Bridgewater State University. Dr. Douglas is the author of two books on family policy and authored or co-authored 30 peer-reviewed publications, and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. She is the co-author (with Drs. Murray Straus and Rose Medeiros) of a forthcoming book on corporal punishment entitled, The Primordial Violence. During the 2010-2011 academic year, Dr. Douglas was named the Presidential Fellow at Bridgewater State University, allowing her a full academic year to focus on her research on maltreatment fatalities and the child welfare system. Her next major piece of scholarship is a book which will focus on fatal child maltreatment.
BA, Clark University
MS, PhD, University of Massachusetts at Boston
BA, William Woods College
MSW, University of Michigan
PhD, State University of New York at Albany
The primary focus of Jonghyun Lee's scholarship is to examine the psychological ramifications of immigration experiences using a culturally specific psychiatric illness. By drawing on theoretical insights from the fields of medical anthropology, sociology, and psychology, he conceptualizes mental illnes as a cultural construct that is created by the dialectic interactions between individuals and their social world. His research interest in the narrowing mental health disparities among culturally and ethnically diverse immigrant groups drew the attention of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) which awarded him a fellowship to participate in a 2010 Global Mental Health Research Careers Forum.
He has published and presented papers related to older adults, women, LGBT community, and culture-bound syndromes. In spring 2012, he was invited to teach in China and provided undergraduate seminars on social welfare policy and social work practice theories in the United States. Currently, Dr. Lee serves as a lead person for the Human Behavior and the Social Environment and undergraduate Social Welfare Policy courses.
Cross-cultural variations of mental illness and the coping behaviors, particularly the impact of depressive symptoms and culture bound syndromes on the daily functioning of diverse immigrant and refugee populations in the United States.
Issues related to socially just and culturally sensitive social work practice.
Human Behavior in the Social Environment I & II
Culture, Illness, and Coping
Policy Advocacy, Development, and Analysis
Human Behavior in the Social Environment I & II
Social Welfare Policy
BS, Kangnam University
MEd, Myongj University
MSW, PhD, Simmons College
BS, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
MSW, Simmons College School of Social Work
DSW, Tulane University
BA, Ohio Dominican College
MSW, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Professor Nyiransekuye's philosophy of teaching is rooted in a strong belief in interactive learning; clarity of expectations but openness to multiple perspectives, questioning of assumptions, and support for developing multicultural evidence-based practice. Her scholarly and practice interests include International Social Work; Forced Migration (Refugee Systems and Refugee Issues); Sub Saharan African women and Cross-cultural Research and Practice, Indigenous Narratives and Healing Practices; War trauma recovery; Social Justice Issues including Genocide and Mass Extermination.
SCWK 510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SCWK 270 - Issues of Diversity and Oppression
Dr. O'Malley's educational and professional background includes having worked with community and faith-based organizations which were engaged in inter-faith and interreligious work in education, housing, health and human services work. His experience in having worked in a variety of settings and with a diverse set of people has prepared him to respond to the issues he faced in his career as a social worker and now as a social work educator. His particular commitments are in helping students develop their knowledge, skills and self-awareness so that they are prepared to be life-long learners. A changing work environment with emerging issues requires students to be adaptable to working in a variety of settings with different populations and issues. Another element of Dr. O'Malley's professional activity is in designing and providing on-going staff development for local agencies and field education instructors.
Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation
Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Religion and Spirituality as critical elements of cultural competency
Contemplative Practices in social work education and social work practice
Substance Abuse and Sexual Assault Education and Prevention
SCWK 250 - Introduction to Social Work
SCWK 270 - Social Work Issues of Diversity and Oppression
SCWK 338 - Introduction to Social Work Practice
SCWK 498 - Senior Field Experience and Seminar
Electives on issues of religion and spirituality in social work practice
BS, University of Connecticut
MDiv, Yale University Divinity School
MSW, Southern Connecticut State University
PhD, Case Western Reserve University
Dr. Jing Tan received her PhD degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, including Data Analysis/Statistics, Research Methods, and Social Welfare Policy. Her research focus is aging and immigration, racial/ethnic minority elders, and health and mental health service utilization among the older population.
Dr. Tan is a research fellow of the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she is working on the project of health and mental health disparities of older Asian Americans. In addition, she received faculty grants from Bridgewater State University for her projects on health status and health service utilization among older immigrants to the United States. She also served as a consulate for the Asian American Center for Cancer Education and Research of Tufts Medical Center. Her previous research includes health insurance, health and mental health service use among minority elders and older immigrants, older drivers' issues, and methodological issues related to research on older adults. Dr. Tan has strong quantitative and qualitative skills, ranging from data collection to data analysis. She has published several peer reviewed journal articles in the field of aging and social work.
Aging and immigration
Racial/ethnic minority elders
Health and mental health service utilization among the older population
Social Welfare Policy
Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees
LLB, China Youth College for Political Science
MM, Peking University
PhD, Washington University of St. Louis, Social Work
Judith S. Willison, PhD, MSW, LICSW, joined the School of Social Work faculty at Bridgewater State University in 2011. Dr. Willison completed her MSW at Boston College and PhD at Simmons School of Social Work and her scholarship is focused on contextualizing "criminalized" behavior within systems of social inequity. Dr. Willison also serves as Faculty Associate in Bridgewater's Institute for Social Justice where she helped to launch Bridgewater's first Social Justice Residential Learning Community and works with faculty to explore future curricular innovations related to social justice. Her current qualitative, feminist participatory action research seeks to contextualize significant individual and structural risk correlates for women's incarceration for crimes labeled as violent.
Dr. Willison has over twenty years of experience in the field of forensic mental health as a clinician, supervisor, administrator, and trainer and has expertise in forensic mental health and violence prevention. She teaches social work practice courses in the MSW and BSW programs, as well as the Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression course and an elective focused on a multisystemic approach to addressing violence. Dr. Willison's ongoing research and teaching interests include analyses of the implications of institutionalized White supremacy and its relation to the workings of the justice systems; the relationship between trauma and violence; and successfully collaborating with clients who are mandated to treatment. Dr. Willison's community work focuses on the re-politicization of mass incarceration and its far-reaching effects of social exile, with special regard to the disproportionate representation of impoverished persons of color in these systems.
Dr. Willison enjoys mentoring social work students in their own research and has co-presented with students at national conferences.
Feminist participatory action research
Mental health as a clinician, supervisor, administrator and trainer
Forensic mental health
Social Work Practice
Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression
Social Work Practice
BS, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
MSW, Boston College
PhD, Simmons College
Carol Masshardt, LICSW has been the Director of Field Education for the Bridgewater State University School of Social Work since 2009. She has had a rich clinical and leadership background at McLean Hospital, North Suffolk Mental Health, DCF in adoption and protective services, and most recently as the Director of Social Services at Travelers Aid Family Services. She also had a private practice in Boston and saw children, adolescents, adults and families. She was the recipient of the research and practice awards at McLean Hospital, and was recognized by the Department of Mental Health for services to homeless mentally ill clients. Prior to coming to Bridgewater, Ms. Masshardt worked part-time in field education at Boston College School of Social Work and supervised students from Smith, Simmons, Boston University, and Boston College. She is a graduate of Boston College of Social Work.
The school offers a BS in Social Work, a minor in social welfare, and a graduate Master of Social Work degree. Our undergraduates learn current social work methods, skills, theories, values and ethics for practice with various communities – in particular, our region’s diverse and vulnerable populations. Our graduates prepare for an advanced level of practice. The programs build on a liberal arts perspective and foster critical thinking, effective communication and ethical behavior.
At every level of practice, social workers promote social justice, address regional needs, and enhance the lives of individuals, families and communities. Our graduates are eligible to sit for the LSW exam and have been placed in more than 200 agencies throughout New England.
Office hours: Monday 8 am - 4 pm Tuesday through Friday, 8 am - 6 pm