University of Vermont

Faculty Biography

Faculty Biography | Gary Widrick

Gary Widrick

Gary Widrick, Ph.D.Research Associate Professor Emeritus

Contact Information:
Waterman 439
(802) 656-8801

I am currently the Chair of the Department of Social Work. I have a Masters degree in both social work and psychology and my Ph.D. is from the UVM Department of Psychology in Experimental Psychology and Developmental Disorders.I teach research courses at both the undergraduate and grad levels.I also teach a course with the Abenaki community entitled Social Work with Indigenous Communities. My current research is on workforce development in human services and social work.I also direct the Title IV E Child Welfare grant that prepares MSW students to work in public child welfare.I have an interest in rural social work and issues related to human helping in a post welfare state political economy as well as how culture and community affects social work practice. A new scholarly interest is training social work students and other helping professionals to work together and harness human capital addressing complex social issues such as addiction and mental disorders within community settings.

Areas of Expertise:

Child and Family Welfare; Disability and Inclusion; Native American Populations; Research Methods; Rural Studies

  • Disability and Inclusion: Research on deinstituionalization of persons with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges from public instituions in the U.S. and Canada. Recent review of the literature on deinstitutionalization (Lemay, 2009) cited my 1997 study on psychopathology before and after deinstitionalization.
  • Workforce Design for Human Services: Research into workforce factors that lead to effective social work practices in human services organizations. Presently looking at retention of MSW graduates in state public child welfare programs.


Selected Publications

  • Widrick,G., Lax, L. & Cilwik,P. (2010). MSW Title IV E Retention Study (Preliminary Report). Burlington, VT, University of Vermont, Department of Social Work.  [abstract]

Selected Presentations

  • Widrick, G.C. (2008, Nov.). Reflections on Social Work Education. Invited presentation at the National Association of Social Workers-Vermont chapter annual meeting. Sheraton, South Burlington, VT.

Courses Taught in the Last 5 Years

Introduction to Social Work Research; Social Work with Indigenous Communities


  • Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from University of Vermont Department of Psychology