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Kathleen McAleer

Kathleen McAleer
Instructor of Social Work
Burrill Office Complex, Room 100F

BFA, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
MSW, Boston University School of Social Work

Becoming a social worker was never part of Kathleen McAleer's life-plan. But then, as a recent art school graduate, she was offered a position teaching at a secondary school for girls in Kingston, Jamaica. In Jamaica she taught, painted and volunteered in two programs: a prison for men serving life-sentences and a “home for the destitute,” housing hundreds of developmentally disabled and medically fragile adults and children. She learned about colonialism, poverty, race, injustice and trauma but she also gained insight into the ways culture, resilience, community, faith, joy and passion can be powerful forces for change and survival. After two years, she decided this work was for her and she returned to Boston. Professor McAleer spent the next several years working with at-risk teens and earning her MSW. After graduation, she moved again, this time to the Washington, DC area where she was hired as a hospice AIDS social worker. She loved hospice work and when she moved one last time, back to Massachusetts, she continued working in the field running both pediatric palliative care and bereavement programs. During her 25-year hospice career, Professor McAleer supervised many BSU social work interns and when she was offered the opportunity to teach part-time as a field instructor she leapt at the chance. Now, as a full-time member of the faculty, she can think of no place she'd rather be.

Area of Expertise

Hospice and Palliative Care, Clinical Practice with Individual, Families and Groups, Clinical Supervision, Program Management, Traumatic Loss and Complicated Grief