University of Vermont

The Department of Social Work

Untitled Document

Faculty and Staff


All the members of the faculty are available to speak with prospective students.
Please feel free to call the department at (802)656-8800 to obtain further information or to make an appointment.

The Department of Social Work is located at:
443 Waterman Building
85 So. Prospect St.
University of Vermont,
Burlington, VT 05405-0160

Full Time Social Work Faculty

JB Barna, M.S.W.

B.A. Psychology – Dickinson College
M.S.W. – California State University, Long Beach

Coordinator of Field Education
Office: 438B Waterman
Phone: 656-8409

Scholarly Interests: Social justice, children/families social services, supervision as social work practice, organizational cultures


Gale Burford, Ph.D.

M.S.W. – University of Washington
Ph.D. – University of Stirling, Scotland

Emeritus Professor
Office: 439 Waterman
Phone: 656-9661

Scholarly Interests: Social development, program planning and evaluation, supervision, social work practice in child and family welfare and youth justice, restorative justice, family group decision making.


Susan Comerford, Ph.D.

M.S.W. - Fordham University
Ph.D. - Case Western Reserve University

Associate Professor, Graduate Program Coordinator
Associate Dean, College of Education and Social Services
Office: 435A Waterman
Phone: 656-2487

Scholarly interests: Multi-cultural education, participatory action research, supporting asian refugees, global human rights, women’s issues.


Marty Dewees, Ph.D.

B.A. – University of Wisconsin
M.Ed. – West Chester State University
M.S.W. – Adelphi University
Ph.D. – State University of New York at Albany

Associate Professor, Emerita
Office: 442B Waterman
Phone: 656-1343

Scholarly Interests: Mental health; intersections of mental health, domestic and sexual violence, and human rights; interdisciplinary practice


George Leibowitz, Ph.D

M.S.W. - University of Denver
Ph.D. - University of Denver

Department Chair/Associate Professor
Office: 437B Waterman
Phone: 656-5576

Scholarly interests: Childhood and adolescent trauma and co-occurring mental health conditions, dissociation, social work practice with sexually abusive juveniles, and international social work.


Phyllis Paolucci-Whitcomb, Ed.D.

B.S. – Castleton State College
M.Ed. – University of Vermont
C.A.S. – University of Vermont
Ed.D. – Boston University

Professor - Emerita
Office: 437A Waterman
Phone: 656-8591

Scholarly Interests: Collaboration, leadership, human rights, equity issues, strengths perspective


Fiona Patterson, D.S.W.

M.S.W. – University of Pennsylvania
D.S.W. – University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professor
Office: 438A Waterman
Phone: 656-9657

Scholarly Interests: Immigrant women, multi-cultural aging, social work ethics, aging women, social work policy and history, literature of immigration, gender in social work


Ann Pugh, M.S.W.

M.S.W. – George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington
C.A.S. in Administration and Planning - University of Vermont

Senior Lecturer and Faculty Field Liaison
Office: 442B Waterman
Phone: 656-8842
Scholarly interests: Advocacy and social policy; children and family
social services; social change; supervision.


Julie Richards, M.S.W.

M.S.W. – McGill University, Canada

Senior Lecturer, Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Office: 443 Waterman
Phone: 656-3169

Scholarly Interests: School social work, emotional and behavioral disabilities, family strengths-based assessments and global citizenship


Susan Roche, Ph.D.

B.A. – University Without Walls Program, Northeastern Illinois University
M.S.S.W. – University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Ph.D. – Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Associate Professor
Office: 436A Waterman
Phone: 656-1200

Scholarly Interests: Keeping human rights and social and economic justice at the center of social work practice, research, and education; special emphases on multicultural feminist and post-structural practices, peace and anti-violence work, global-local connections, social movement and grassroots organizational development, expressive methods, collaborative and co-learning


Brenda Solomon, Ph.D.

M.S.W. and Ph.D. – Syracuse University

Associate Professor
Office: 443 Waterman
Phone: 656-1337

Scholarly Interests: Using institutional ethnography and discourse analysis to study social institutions and the production of social difference and exclusion; research is focused on welfare, child welfare, and schools


Jessica Strolin, Ph.D.

M.S.W. and Ph.D. – State University of New York at Albany

Associate Professor
Office: 443 Waterman
Phone: 656-2173

Scholarly Interests: Trans-disciplinary evaluation and intervention research in child welfare, substance abuse and school based services. Organizational change in child welfare settings; school-based health services research; adolescent substance abuse intervention research; cross-section of social work and neuroscience.


Gary Widrick, Ph.D.

B.A. – Syracuse University
M.S.W. – SUNY at Albany
M.A. – University of Vermont
Ph.D. – University of Vermont

Emeritus Professor
Office: 441 Waterman
Phone: 656-8801

Scholarly Interests: Community practice, rural social work, cultural competence and native peoples, research and history of social work


Stanley Witkin, Ph.D.

B.A. – University of Minnesota
M.S.S.W. – University of Wisconsin
Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin

Office: 434 Waterman
Phone: 656-8134

Scholarly Interests: Social construction, international social work education, social work inquiry, postmodern expressions of social work


Part Time Social Work Faculty and Field Liaisons

Celia Cuddy
Lecturer/Faculty Field Liaison
M.S.W., University of Vermont

Carol Johnson
Faculty Field Liason
M.S.W., George Warren Brown School of Social Work
Washington University

Laurie Larson
M.A., Goddard College

Mary Skidmore Taylor
Faculty Field Liaison
M.S.W., Rutgers University



Kate Clem
Office & Financial Manager

Ken Bechtel
Graduate Program Support

Susan Haggerty
Undergraduate Support


Child Welfare Education Partnership (Credit Programs)

Kate Clem
Program Support

Gary Widrick
Project Director – Child Welfare Education Partnership (Credit Programs)

VT-AHEC (Vermont Area Health Education Center)Project

JB Barna
Liaison for Social Work to the College of Medicine

VT-ILEHP (Vermont Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for Health Professional) Project Staff

To Be Announced



Last modified September 23 2014 10:52 AM

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