West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
701 Market Street, Concourse Level
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Dr. Bean is a practitioner, researcher and teacher. Her commitment to underserved populations is best exemplified by her work in New Orleans' devastated Lower Ninth Ward, where she has set up a drop-in center for emotional, social, and spiritual support services. She is a disaster mental health services volunteer with the American Red Cross and has served on a number of disasters. Dr. Bean is also a trainer for the Red Cross in psychological first aid for military families and was president of the NASW-Pennsylvania Chapter between 2005 and 2007. Supporting her work in disaster settings is Dr. Bean's experience both in child welfare and in the use of a narrative approach to understand diverse populations.
Dr. Buck's primary research and advocacy work focuses on the experiences of mild traumatic brain injury among both survivors and practitioners. She is currently working with two MSW students on a qualitative study of the experience of rehabilitation workers in the mTBI field and recently had an essay published in the journal Neurology Now. Dr. Buck is also collaborating with West Chester University colleagues on the development of a model of field education in social work programs from a systems perspective.
Dr. Chen focuses on social work research related to children and adolescents. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, her work has documented the long-term effect of childhood neglect and personal victimization on individual developmental outcomes. Dr. Chen also evaluates innovative child welfare service delivery models and service outcomes and investigates organizational factors associated with social work research grant success.
Dr. Ello's work focuses on gerontology and research. She has an extensive and varied range of clinical experiences. Dr. Ello worked as a licensed clinical social worker for many years in a private psychiatric hospital, a community mental health center, and in private practice. She provided inpatient and outpatient services to individuals, couples, and families. Dr. Ello has been the chair of the research content area in the MSW Program for the past 11 years. She is currently working on a research initiative regarding infusing gerontology content into all MSW foundation courses.
Dr. Holbrook’s clinical practice has focused on trauma, mental health, and intimate partner violence. She has served in supervisory and administrative roles in human service and advocacy organizations where her skills in program and policy development, grant writing, and participation in county and state task forces have improved services for individuals with mental illness and victims of intimate partner violence. Dr. Holbrook received her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College and her research has focused on substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders in pregnant and parenting women. She has published several articles on the treatment of opioid dependence during pregnancy, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and co-occurring mental health disorders in substance using women.
Dr. O'Neal's areas of interest include community mental health services, multicultural resources, and universal design to enhance student and consumer engagement and participation. She has worked professionally and volunteered for various organizations focusing on educational, mental health, and community issues, in Georgia, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Pfeiffer has taught at Bryn Mawr College and West Chester University in human behavior theory, human development, critical psychopathology, and social work practice, and has been a field liaison for 10 years. His clinical practice has focused on individual, couples, and family therapy, informed by structural family therapy, Imago Relationship Therapy, and narrative/deconstructive approaches. His current research investigates the role of psychiatric diagnosis in the reproduction of stigma for gender nonconforming people. Mr. Pfeiffer is especially interested in fostering the development of robust understandings of professional ethics among social work students and in the field.
Dr. Tennille has taught advanced clinical social work practice at the University of Pennsylvania since 2003 and also at Temple University in 2012 and 2013. Her research focuses on developing effective models for teaching evidence-based practice in social work, HIV prevention, and the role of intimacy in mental health recovery. She has worked in direct practice, services research, and administration in public mental health and HIV/AIDS services for more than 25 years. In recent years she has been part of a research team of therapists expertly trained to provide Motivational Interviewing to women in emergency room settings. Dr. Tennille is passionate about social justice, teaching, and continuing her lines of research and scholarship. She received her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Robb has more than 30 years of direct service and administrative experience in child welfare in public and not-for-profit organizations. She has extensive knowledge of child development and has taught infant, toddler, and pre-school caregivers about social and emotional skill-building with young children. She has taught as an adjunct at Delaware Technical and Community College, Widener University and West Chester University. Ms. Robb is the former president of the National Association of Social Workers-Delaware Chapter, regional representative, and former member of the NASW National Board of Directors. She currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the West Chester Communities That Care.
Ms. VanderMeulen was a full-time freelance writer, specializing in higher education and business, before coming to West Chester. She volunteers with Chester County Futures and the undergraduate admissions office at American University. Ms. VanderMeulen continues her freelance writing on a part-time basis.
Dr. Bohrman has worked throughout the mental health system in a variety of capacities. Her research interests include the intersections between the criminal justice and mental health systems, neighborhood effects, and access to mental health services for hard-to-reach populations. Her current research focuses on police interactions with people who have co-occurring disorders. She has taught in a variety of content areas, including introduction to research, the history of social work and social welfare, modern social policy, the history of American racism, and addressing oppression through institutional change. She received her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Bowen has spent more than 30 years in direct practice, community development and supervision in the field of social work. He is the director of clinical supervision at the Institute for Development of African American Youth. Additionally, he has received awards from the Philadelphia Urban League and the Pennsylvania Black United Fund for civic engagement and outstanding community service. In 1998, he became the first African-American elected to serve on the borough council in Chalfont, Pa. Mr. Bowen has a strong background in social work education, having taught bachelors- and masters-level social work courses at Temple University and Widener University. He is completing his doctoral degree at the Center for Social Work Education at Widener University while serving as the director of clinical supervision at the Institute for Development of African American Youth.
Dr. LaFortune is a licensed social worker with extensive experience in community mental health services, inpatient treatment, individualized treatment planning, case management, and discharge planning. Additionally, she provides individual, family, and group therapy with adults in various settings. Her areas of expertise include crisis intervention, major mental illness, correctional services, inpatient treatment, psychoeducation, and community social service.Her primary research interest includes the reintegration of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom into their communities after sustaining traumatic brain injuries in combat. Dr. LaFortune's dissertation topic explored the continued effect of traumatic brain injury on the daily lives of an OIF/OEF veteran and a civilian several years post-injury. She received her DSW from the University of Pennsylvania and her MSW from Simmons College.
Ms. Mertz has been program director for the Delaware County Court Appointed Special Advocates Youth Advocates since 2007. CASA recruits, trains, and supervises volunteers to advocate for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. She has spent most of her professional career in the child welfare arena, including employment with the Allegheny County CASA program and work experience in wrap-around mental health services and residential facilities. She has served a faculty field liaison for the MSW Program since 2011, as well as an adjunct professor at Eastern University. Ms. Mertz has an MSW, with a certification in Child Welfare, from the University of Pittsburgh.
Ms. Myers is an outpatient therapist in a non-profit mental health agency in Wilmington, Del. Most of her professional experience has been working with at-risk youth as a family therapist in a dual diagnosis partial hospitalization program. She has also worked as a custody mediator for the Chester County court system. She is also trained as a yoga instructor and has taught yoga, meditation, and mindfulness skills in clinical practice to offer clients alternative ways to self-soothe, self-regulate, and find alternatives to substance use. Ms. Myers is interested in clinical work with trauma survivors, especially with regard to chronic childhood trauma. She earned her MSW from West Chester University and is working toward her DSW at the University of Pennsylvania. For her doctoral dissertation, Ms. Myers is working on a qualitative study exploring the impact of clinical work with traumatized clients on social workers.
Ms. Owens has more than 14 years of experience rich in direct practice, program development and implementation on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of service delivery. She brings a wealth of experience in working with culturally diverse populations. Since 2007, Ms. Owens has been the clinical supervisor of the Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. She also conducts psychosocial evaluations for the Philadelphia Prison System. Her areas of interest are policies and programming that affect community re-entry among women with co-occurring disorders. Ms. Owens has an MSW from Temple University and is a doctoral candidate in the Social Work program at Widener University. She has served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Social Work and Gerontology at Shippensburg University and the Center for Social Work Education graduate program at Widener University.
Dr. Surbeck has extensive experience in child welfare and mental health services. In addition to her teaching, she is currently working on several research projects including a study of how personal narratives of positive coping strategies impact the coping strategies individuals use in stressful situations. Her other work involves the integration of the social work values of social justice, integrity, dignity, and worth of the person in the social work practicum through an examination of social workers as moral agents. She is in the process of developing a research agenda to study patterns of healing and narratives approach to health.