College Place Faculty

Our faculty of primarily full-time professors along with supporting adjunct teachers is large enough to offer experience in a diverse range of areas, but small enough to allow students to get to know each faculty member. We strive to offer a quality program for our majors, including a wide range of class options and small class sizes.

Deisy Haid, D.S.W., M.S.W., LCSW

Dean of Social Work and Sociology 

Associate Professor of Social Work and Sociology

(509) 527-2472 

deisy.haid@wallawalla.edu

Education

  • LCSW Oregon
  • BSW Walla Walla University
  • MSW Walla Walla University

Teaching Areas
Field education

    Research/Interests

    Crisis intervention and stabilization, children psychiatric residential, juvenile justice, child welfare and adoptions, trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, child and family therapy, collaborative problem solving and wraparound 

    Hobbies
    Family time, making authentic Mexican food, reading, playing sports/exercising and binge watching Netflix

    Other

    Professional Memberships/Affiliations

    • Charter member of the National Honor Society of Social Work Students PI XI Chapter since 2009

    Faculty Awards                               

    • Community Partner of the Month Award from Clackamas County Behavioral Health Division—2016
    • Clinician of the Month Award from Clackamas County Behavioral Health Division—2012

    Service

    • Hispanic and Latino Faculty and Staff Association—2018–current
    • Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer—2017–current 
    • Hispanic Interagency Networking Team and Gang Violence Task Force—2012-2013

    Susan B. Smith, Ph.D., LICSW

    D.S.W. Program Director

    Professor of Social Work and Sociology

    (509) 527-2443

    susan.smith@wallawalla.edu 

    Education

    • BS Southern College
    • MSW Florida International University
    • PhD Andrews University
    • LICSW
    • LCSW

    Teaching Areas

    • Leadership
    • Social Work Education
    • Mental Health
    • Social Work Practice

    Research/Interests

    • Mental Health
    • Teaching and Learning
    • Assessment in Higher Learning

    Hobbies

    • Travel and Reading

    Other

    Service

    • Board of Directors and Volunteer, REACH, Tacoma, Washington
    • Board of Directors, Housing Groups Board, Walla Walla, Washington
    • Mental Health First Aid Community Training

    Professional Memberships/Affiliations

    • Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education
    • Council on Social Work Education
    • National Association of Social Workers
    • Pi Lambda Theta – Honor Society in Education
    • Phi Alpha—Honor Society in Social Work

    Faculty Awards

    • NASW-WA Social Worker of the Year Award 2019
    • National Academic Advising Association, Outstanding Faculty Advisor, 2011
    • Walla Walla University Excellence in Advising Award, 2010
    • Walla Walla University Community Service Award, 2010
    • NASW Washington Chapter, Educator of the Year Award, 2007

    Laurellé C. Warner, Ph.D., M.S.W., LCSW

    M.S.W. Program Director

    Missoula Program Coordinator

    Professor of Social Work and Sociology

    (406) 549-1050

    laurelle.warner@wallawalla.edu

    Education

    • M.S.W. University of Connecticut School of Social Work, 1989
    • Ph.D., Loma Linda University; Social Policy and Social Research
    • Certificate: Basic Mediation Training, Center for Conflict Resolution, La Sierra University, 2013 
    • Certificate: Research on Spirituality and Health, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University Medical Center, 2011 
    • Certificate: Addiction, New England Institute of Addiction Studies and Colby College, 1989
    • LCSW, State of Montana, 2016
    • LCSW, State of Connecticut, 1997

    Teaching Areas 

    • Practice with Individuals and Field Seminar
    • Practice with Groups
    • Practice with Couples and Families
    • Field Seminar

    Research/Interests

    • Resilience in the Lives of Black Women

    Hobbies

    • Knowing, understanding, and applying theories from various fields; enjoying the beauty of nature

    Other

    Faculty Awards

    • 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, National Association of Social Workers, California Inland Empire

    Service

    • Civically engaged, on a range of committees and fellowship at WWU, pro bono counseling/therapeutic services offered 
    • Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society, NASW member 

    Emily Tillotson, D.S.W., M.S.W., LCSW 

    B.S.W. Program Director

    Professor of Social Work and Sociology

    (509) 527-2705

    emily.tillotson@wallawalla.edu 

    Education

    • BSW Walla Walla University, 1997
    • MSW Walla Walla University, 2000
    • DSW University of Southern California, 2020
    • LICSW

    Teaching Areas
    Inequality, race and gender, criminal justice and social work practice

      Research/Interests
      Race and ethnicity, families and parenting and mental health

        Hobbies
        Gardening, cooking, tennis

        Other

        Professional Memberships/Affiliations

        • NASW
        • CSWE

        Faculty Awards

        • 2015 Walla Walla University Community Service Award

        Service

        • President NASW-Washington Chapter
        • Walla Walla Housing Authority Commissioner

        Kristen Coffeen-Smith, D.S.W., M.S.W., LICSW

        Field Education Director

        Assistant Professor of Social Work and Sociology

        (509) 527-2389

        kristen.coffeensmith@wallawalla.edu

        Education

        • BSW/BA Walla Walla University 
        • MSW Walla Walla University 
        • DSW Walla Walla University 
        • Addiction Studies SFCC 
        • LICSW 
        • NCACII 

        Research/Interest

        • Teaching and Learning 
        • Higher Education Pedagogy 

        Teaching Area

        • Substance Use/Chemical Dependency 
        • Addiction/Recovery/Treatment 
        • Co-Occurring Disorders 
        • Macro Social Work 

        Hobbies

        • Reading 
        • Travel 
        • Commercial/Sport Fishing 

        Other

        Service 

        • 2017-2019 W2 for Drug Free Youth- Committee Secretary  
        • 2017-2019 Suicide Prevention Work Group, Group Member  
        • 2015-2019 Human Services Advisory Board- Advisory Board Member  
        • 2012-2019 SOS Clinic- Spanish Medical Interpreter 

        Membership

        • NASW 
        • NAADAC 

         

        Jeremy A. Springer, D.S.W., M.S.W., LICSW

        M.S.W. Program Coordinator 

        Assistant Professor of Social Work and Sociology

        (509) 527-2359

        jeremy.springer@wallawalla.edu

        Education

        • BSW, Walla Walla University, 2007
        • MSW, Walla Walla University, 2009
        • DSW, Walla Walla University, anticipated August, 2022

        Teaching Areas 

        • Clinical practice with individuals, families, and groups.
        • Cognitive behavior and solution-focused therapies
        • Evaluation of clinical practice

        Research/Interests 

        • Burnout in the community mental health workforce  
        • Community mental health crisis intervention, suicide prevention and awareness 
        • Civil commitment and involuntary hospitalization processes 
        • Professional mental health support for mental health professionals. 

        Hobbies 

        Riding motorcycles, backpacking alpine wilderness, dabbling in stringed instruments, culinary mushroom cultivation, computers, and reading. 

        Other 

        Professional Memberships/Affiliations 

        • Member, Phi Alpha National Honor Society of Social Work Students, Pi Xi chapter since 2009 

         


        Cheris Current, Ph.D., M.A.

        Professor of Social Work and Sociology

        (509) 527-2903 

        cheris.current@wallawalla.edu 

        Education

        • PhD 
        • MA

        Jim Boyd, Ph.D., M.S.W.

        Professor of Social Work and Sociology

        (509) 527-2367 

        jim.boyd@wallawalla.edu

        Education

        • BA, Communication & Media
        • MSW
        • PhD, Organization and Management

        Teaching Areas

        • Practice with Individuals
        • Advanced Practice with Groups
        • Social Work, Religion and Spirituality
        • Attachment Theory
        • Marriage and Family Life

        Research/Interests

        • Attachment and Leadership
        • Pedagogy of Social Work, Religion and Spirituality

        Marriage, Family, Men’s Mental Health, Horses, Sheep and “Squirrels”

        Other

        Faculty Awards

        • Zip
        • Zero
        • Nada

        Professional Memberships/Affiliations

        • Council on Social Work Education

        Service

        • Church Music Ministry
        • Home Church Ministry
        • Men’s Ministry

        Bob Gardner, Ph.D, M.A., B.A.

        Professor of Social Work and Sociology

        (509) 527-2512

        robert.gardner@wallawalla.edu

        Education

        • PhD University of Utah, 1977

        Teaching Areas
        General sociology, sociological theory, sociology seminar, social research methods, social policy and advocacy

        Research/Interests
        The Social Transformation of Seventh-day Adventist Medicine and Health Care, Church and Sect in Postmodern America, Navajo Health Disparities

        Hobbies
        Traveling, indigenous art, reading, skiing and golf

        Other

        Professional Memberships/Affiliations  

        • Pacific Sociological Association

        Service

        • Walla Walla University Seventh-day Adventist Church

        Heather Vonderfecht, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.A., B.S.

        Associate Professor of Social Work and Sociology

        (509) 527-2584

        heather.vonderfecht@wallawalla.edu
         

        Education

        • BS Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA; Psychology
        • MA Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC; Psychology
        • MSW Walla Walla College, College Place WA; Clinical Social Work
        • PhD Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO; Clinical Psychology

        Teaching Areas

        Research and evidence based practice, direct social work practice with individuals, families, and groups, looking at how culture distinguishes physical and psychological/neurological differences from disabilities

        Research/Interests

        The medicalizing problems caused by living in a stressful environment and the willingness of our culture to label individual differences as “diseases,” leading to unnecessary and potentially harmful pharmacological intervention, rather than addressing root causes which are often socio-environmental in nature

        Hobbies

        Gardening, Healthy Cooking, Reading

        Other

        Faculty Awards

        • WWU Distinguished Teaching Award, Walla Walla University

        Idah Taruwinga, D.S.W., M.S.W., LICSW

        Assistant Professor of Social Work and Sociology

        (509) 527-2410

        idah.taruwinga@wallawalla.edu
         

        Education

        • M.S.W. Indiana University
        • D.S.W. University of Southern California
        • LICSW
        • LCSW

        Research/Interest

        • Domestic violence
        • Women and health
        • Mental health

        Teaching Area

        • Direct social work practice

        Hobbies

        • Gardening and traveling

        Other

        Professional Memberships/Affiliations

        • National Association of Social Workers

         

        Janet Ockerman, Ph.D., M.A.W., B.A.

        Professor Emeritus of Social Work
        and Sociology

        (509) 527-2447 

        janet.ockerman@wallawalla.edu 


        Staff

        Doreena Drury 

        M.S.W. Program Assistant

        Curriculum Advisor

        (509) 527-2590

        doreena.drury@wallawalla.edu
         

        Hobbies

        Crochet and embroidery, jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, Teddy bears, playing the piano (for amusement and therapy since leaving California 20 years ago), spending time with family—especially grandchildren

        Other

        Staff Awards

        • Staff Member of the Year Award, 2015

        Service

        I have been working for Walla Walla University in the School of Social Work and Sociology since 1998—when it was Walla Walla College—making lasting friends with, and helping literally hundreds of students make it to the graduation finish line with their MSW degrees.

        Message to students

        This little poem has been the mantra of my life since high school days at Gem State Academy: 

        “God has a thousand ways, where I cannot see one. When all my means have reached their end, His have just begun.” --Esther Guyot. A little longer version of “Let go and let God,” and a much older version!

        Teri Bozeman

        B.S.W. and D.S.W. Program Assistant

        Administrative Assistant

        (509) 527-2273

        teri.bozeman@wallawalla.edu
         

        Hobbies

        Collecting antiques, repurposing things, collecting various memorabilia, foraging and collecting rocks, fungi, or medicinal plants

        Other

        Message to Students

        Hello, my name is Teri Bozeman, I was born in Loma Linda California, and am a mother of three and a grandmother (currently) of two. Many of you may know, or become acquainted with, my eldest son Brandon Aberle who worked as IT Director of Client Services here at the University. It was during my frequent travels to visit him here, from Boise, Idaho that my husband and I decided to build our retirement home in Touchet. Our travel distance remains reasonably close to my daughter and two granddaughters in Coeur D' Alene and youngest son who resides still in Boise, Idaho.

        If you are an outdoor enthusiast, we may cross paths along the way, as I enjoy foraging and collecting of rocks, fungi, or medicinal plants. I also collect antiques, repurposed, and various memorabilia to maintain an antique booth here locally. Although a busy life, my main agenda is to live balanced life spiritually, physically, mentally, and in all that, I do.

        As new hire here at the University, I am enthusiastic to have joined the wonderful team in the department of Social Work as Administrative Assistant. I am proud to represent and work for those professors or students who commemorate interest in the value or integrity of all people. As an opportunist, and as God continues to bless me, I look forward toward achieving new goals and meeting each one of you.