Insights into Social Work

On, we are dedicated to providing students free and comprehensive information about the field of social work. For our Insights into Social Work series, we conducted interviews with key faculty members from different universities and institutions. The interviews focus on the different teaching interests, social work specializations, and career experiences from each faculty member. All interviewees were compensated to participate in these interviews.

We created Insights into Social Work to give a first-hand account into all aspects of social work and the unique problems and challenges that social workers experience. As social work is a dynamic field, experiences may differ depending on specializations and even geographic locations (urban vs. rural environments).

Interview with Dr. Gwendolyn Perry-Burney , Ph.D. - Professor at California University of Pennsylvania | Youth Empowerment Social Justice & Policy
Dr. Gwendolyn Perry-Burney received her Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh and also holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from California University of Pennsylvania. Some of her areas of interest include macro practice, empowerment, social justice, policy, and community transformation, especially with the youth.

Interview with Dr. William J. Koehler, Ph.D., LCSW - Professor at Edinboro University | Mental Health in Children and Adults, Trauma-informed Practice, and the LGBT Community.
Dr. William J. Koehler, Ph.D., LCSW recently earned his doctorate in Social Welfare from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is currently a full-time instructor of Social Work at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania after serving as an adjunct professor in 2011. In addition to his role at the university, Dr. Koehler serves as the president of the board of directors for Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE).

Interview with Dr. David McCarty-Caplan, Ph. D. - Assistant Professor at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) | Research and Teaching & Macro and Micro Level
Dr. David McCarty-Caplan received his Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Illinois, Chicago and his M.A. in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. Dr. McCarty-Caplan specializes in research and teaching related to intersections of macro and micro-level social work education and practice, with a special focus on the health of at-risk youth, support of LGBT populations, social policy, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Interview with Dr. Wendy Ashley, Psy. D., LCSW - Assistant Professor at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) | Community Mental Health & Urban Child Welfare
Dr. Wendy Ashley earned her Psy. D. in clinical psychology from Ryokan College, her MSW from the University of Southern California, and her BA in psychology from UC Riverside. She currently works as an assistant professor at Cal State University Northridge, maintains a private practice, and provides consultation and training for multiple community agencies.

Interview with Steven Sherry, LCSW - Full-Time Lecturer at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) | Field Education in an Urban Setting
Steven Sherry earned his MSW from the University of Southern California. He is a licensed clinical social worker and began his career at a residential treatment center working with children placed by the Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Probation, and Department of Mental Health.

Interview with Dr. Susan Love, Ph.D., LCSW - Professor at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) | Social Work & Evidence-based Practice
Susan Love received a MSW and PhD from the University of Washington and a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley. She practiced in community health, hospital and hospice social work, and independent community practice for nearly 30 years

Interview with Dr. Ijeoma Ogbonnaya, Ph.D., MSW - Assistant Professor at San Diego State (SDSU) | Macro Practice, Child Welfare & Racial Disparities
Dr. Ijeoma Ogbonnaya is an assistant professor at SDSU. Her primary research interests are domestic violence, mental health, and racial/ethnic disparities among child welfare populations.

Interview with Amy O'Connor, LCSW - Lecturer and Admissions Coordinator at Humboldt State University (HSU) | Wilderness Therapy & Indigenous Social Services
Amy O'Connor earned her MSW at the University of Pennsylvania, where she concentrated on direct clinical practice - specifically trauma-focused psychotherapy. She now teaches at the Humboldt State University Department of Social work and coordinates BSW and MSW Admissions.

Interview with Sheila Vakharia, Ph.D., MSW - Assistant Professor at Long Island University | Substance Abuse & Ethics
Sheila Vakharia earned her doctorate at Florida International University’s School of Social Work. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Binghamton University and a Post-Master’s Certificate in the Addictions from New York University. She was most recently employed as a social worker at a grassroots HIV/AIDS and homelessness advocacy organization in Manhattan.

Interview with Stephen Burghardt, PhD - Professor at Silberman School of Social Work (CUNY-Hunter) | Social Justice & Urban Policy
Stephen Burghardt earned his MSW and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and has worked as a community organizer, consultant, and trainer in nonprofit and public-sector organizations. His commitments have included social justice, anti-oppression, and democratic leadership models of work and activism.

Interview with Carole Cox, MSW, PhD - Professor at Fordham University | Gerontology, Social Policy, and Social Work Abroad
Carole Cox earned her Master of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University and her Ph.D. at the University of maryland in Baltimore. Currently, she is interested in the area of human rights and aging, and the ways in which social policies impact the rights of older adults

Interview with Elizabeth Palley, Ph.D., JD, MSW - Professor at Adelphi University | Social Policy
Elizabeth Palley attended a joint MSW and JD program at the University of Maryland. Following graduation, she worked at a nonprofit that addressed issues related to childhood lead poisoning and then as an attorney practicing special education and family law for a year. She is now a full time professor at Adelphi University School of Social Work.

Interview with Roni Berger, Ph.D., LCSW - Professor at Adelphi University | Psychotherapy & Trauma in Cross-Cultural Contexts
Roni Berger was born and raised in Israel where she earned her BSW, MSW and PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her diploma in psychotherapy from Tel Aviv University Medical School. She is a licensed clinical social worker in New York, as well as a certified family therapist in both Jerusalem and New York.

Interview with Jim Baumohl, Ph.D., MSW - Professor at Bryn Mawr College | Social Policy & Social Welfare
Jim Baumohl earned his undergraduate, MSW, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a professor at Bryn Mawr College, where he has been teaching since 1990. Prior to Bryn Mawr, he assisted in the development of Canada’s first joint degree in law and social work at McGill University.

Interview with Mandy Fauble, Ph.D., LCSW - Assistant Professor at Edinboro University | Online Learning, Behavioral Health, and Task Forces
Mandy Fauble earned her MSW from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and became a LCSW prior to completing her Ph.D. in Social Welfare in 2009 at Case Western Reserve university. Currently, she is the vice president of clinical operations at Safe Harbor Behavioral Health of UPMC hamot and also an Assistant Professor at Edinboro.

Last updated: April 2020