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.

Darold Bigger

Dean

Professor Emeritus of Social Work and Theology

(509) 527-2389

darold.bigger@wallawalla.edu

Education

  • B.A. & M.S.W Walla Walla College
  • M.Div. Andrews University 
  • Ph.D. Claremont School of Theology
  • ACSW
  • LMFT

Research/Interests

  • Forgiveness
  • Resiliency 

Hobbies

Snow skiing, boating, and horses

Service

  • Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, volunteer
  • Five Loaves Foundation, board member
  • Possibilities Ministries, mental health team
  • Rotary Club, member
  • Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, Cadre speaker

Professional Memberships/Affiliations

  • Adventist Society for Religious Studies
  • American Academy of Religion
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Phi Alpha--Honor Society in Social Work

Faculty Awards

  • NASW Blue Mountain Region Social Work Educator of the Year, 2003
  • Walla Walla University Community Service Award, 2008
  • Faculty Development Grant for studying Ministerial Personality and Outreach Style, 2011
  • Walla Walla University Honored Alumnus of the Year, 2011
  • Faculty Development Grant for developing the Forgive Now Workshop, 2011
  • Faculty Development Grant for studying Resilience Lessons from Prisoners of War, 2014

    Susan B. Smith

    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

    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

    B.S.W. Program Director
    Associate 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

        Deisy Haid

        Field Education Director
        Assistant 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

          Heather Rodriguez

          MSW Program Coordinator - College Place
          Assistant Professor of Social Work and Sociology

          (509) 527-2359

          heather.rodriguez@wallawalla.edu

          Education

          • BSW Walla Walla University, 1999
          • MSW Walla Walla University, 2000
          • LICSW

          Teaching Areas

          Psychopathology, advanced clinical practice with individuals, advanced clinical practice with couples and families, clinical treatment of trauma, clinical treatment of children and adolescents and foundational practice with couples and families 

          Hobbies

          Travel, photography, painting, antiquing, music and being a tea enthusiast

          Other

          Professional Memberships/Affiliations

          • Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work 

          Service

          • Member of Suicide Prevention Work Group (SPWG) Leadership Team/Coalition
          • Chair of Walla Walla Diversity Coalition
          • Member of Community Resilience Initiative (CRI)
          • Weekly volunteer for Triple Point Walla Walla with Children’s Home Society of Washington

          Cindee Bailey

          Professor of Social Work and Sociology

          (509) 527-2552

          cindee.bailey@wallawalla.edu

          Education

          • MSW Walla Walla University
          • MPH Loma Linda University
          • PhD Oregon State University

          Teaching Areas

          Parents and children, play therapy and spiritual development

            Research/Interests

            “Can a Christian social worker be a contemplative?”  

              Hobbies

              Family time, raising animals, reading and keeping up with God and friends

              Other

              Faculty Awards

              • Advising Award
              • multiple teaching awards

              Jim Boyd

              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

              Cheris Current 

              Professor of Social Work and Sociology

              (509) 527-2903 

              cheris.current@wallawalla.edu 

              Education

              • PhD 
              • MA

              Bob Gardner

              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

              Idah Taruwinga

              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

               

              Heather Vonderfecht

              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

              Staff

              Teri Bozeman

              B.S.W./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 works 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.

              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!


              Marianne Goltz

              Business Manager

              Recruitment Coordinator

              (509) 527-2763

              marianne.goltz@wallawalla.edu
               

              Hobbies

              Working out, stationary biking, yard work and keeping in touch with Jesus

              Other

              Service

              • Member and Recording Secretary of WWU Diversity and Inclusion Council
              • Sabbath School Periodicals Secretary
              • Song Leader at Chan Shun Sabbath School 

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