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Associate Dean's Welcome

Dr. Carol Bonner smiling with short curly brown hair and wearing a long sleeve blue button down top while leaning against a brick building with grass and trees in background

I am pleased to introduce myself and the Bridgewater State University School of Social Work (BSUSSW) where we educate students as leaders who excel in justice-informed professional social work practice. Our students come from our geographic region and beyond and we graduate professional social workers in Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs, many of whom make up the social work workforce in the Southeast Region of Massachusetts.

The School of Social Work website is where you will find the information you seek about our faculty, staff, students and programs. We want you to be familiar with the credentials that our faculty and staff bring to the school, we also want to introduce you to us in a more personal way by sharing in our bios who we are and our journeys into the field of social work and social work education.

I am honored to be the associate dean of this school, serving alongside a great group of faculty and staff. We are all here with one specific goal in mind—teaching our students in a learner-centered environment designed to help each of our students reach their maximum potentials.

I have worked in the field of social work education for over three decades, serving at first as a field advisor and liaison to social work students and, eventually moving into administration in several different schools of social work. Joining Bridgewater State University School of Social Work (BSUSSW) as associate dean in July 2019 has provided me with the privilege of working within a University with a deep commitment to educating students for justice-informed social work practice. Students, faculty and staff represent diverse backgrounds, broadly defined. The faculty and staff bios on our website, provide you with a glimpse as to who we are, areas of interest and scholarship and, in some cases, the path that has led many of us into the profession. We think you will find similarities between our faculty and staff and many of your own personal experiences.

The threads that run through my professional career include a passion for leadership development, a commitment to helping others to meet their potentials and a life-long focus on inclusive excellence, the seeds of which were planted early in my life. As an African American, preferred pronouns she, her and hers, raised in a predominately white community, my early experiences of prejudice, bias, difference, equity and inclusion shaped the person I am today. The importance of education and helping others was imparted from my parents, both physicians, and an extended family of educators, administrators, missionaries and clergy. They were strong role models.

Later in my life, I came to recognize that I was always destined to a career influenced by early life experiences and the values taught and reinforced from childhood. Social work became my first love, and my identity as a social worker has grounded me in all of the different positions I have had in higher education. My academic background in social work, business and higher education have led me to appreciate what social work brings to other disciplines and the power of interprofessional lenses on understanding the challenges of today.

At the School of Social Work, we set high standards for our students while providing support to their learning. Bridgewater State University School of Social Work is the place where our students grow and flourish. Come learn with us and join our profession where our skills for practice and leadership are more needed today, than ever.

Feel free to contact us for further information regarding our BSW and MSW programs. You will find your purpose here.

Carol E. Bonner, MSW, MBA, EdD
Associate Dean