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Walla Walla University—Billings

Wilma Hepker School of Social Work and Sociology

Our mission is to train competent and ethical professionals who: embody integrity, value all people, serve their communities, and pursue social justice. Our program is designed for commuter students with one day a week classes. This makes it easy to complete your degree while still managing the demands of life.  An MSW can be earned in six quarters.  A four quarter advanced standing program is also available to BSW graduates who have graduated from a CSWE accredited institution.

The focus of the program is advanced clinical practice. Students may take electives in areas such as addictions, aging, child welfare, children and families, mental health, medical social work, and school social work. 

The Master of Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).



Meet the faculty

Our faculty of full-time professors and supporting contract 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

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

    Pam Bing Perry, Ph.D., B.S., M.B.A., M.S., LMFT

    Billings M.S.W. Program Coordinator

    Professor of Social Work and Sociology

    (509) 527-2558

    pamela.bingperry@wallawalla.edu

    Education

    • MBA
    • MS in Marriage and Family Therapy
    • Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT)

    Teaching Areas

    • Families
    • Beginning Practice
    • Introduction to Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
    • Practicum Groups

    Research/Interests
    The effects of Emotion Coaching training on parents with Adverse Childhood Experiences – title: “Parenting from the Heart: Nurturing Your Child’s Emotional World”. 

    Emotions and trauma, trauma-informed care, EFT, Gottman model, couples therapy 

    Other

    Professional Memberships/Affiliations

    • NASW

    • AAMFT

    Service
    MAMFT board member, board president elect, Big Sky CISM clinical team member, ACE presentations, suicide prevention walk, The Festival of Trees, member of St. Vincent advisory board

     

    Kayleith Pellandini, M.S.W., LMSW

    Billings Field Education Coordinator

    Assistant Professor of Social Work and Sociology

    (509) 527-2779

    kayleith.pellandini@wallawalla.edu

    Education

    • MSW Andrews University, 1998

    Teaching Areas

    • Field Education
    • Connecting students with a field placement that aligns with their goals and aspirations

    Research/Interests

    End of quarter student evaluations are a big part of what I do as a Field Education Coordinator. Analyzing the best way to measure student growth requires constant observation and critique. Though I am not formally researching this topic I am constantly monitoring and revising the processes in addition to assessing for outcomes.

    Hobbies

    Design and decor, oil painting, photography, reading, family time, hiking in the woods, building and maintaining positive friendships, and recognizing and drawing out the best in others

    Other

    Professional Memberships/ Affiliations

    • NASW
    • CSWE

    Service

    The mission of Dress for Success is to “Empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” Suiting women at Dress for Success has been a blessing to me. With a trauma informed approach, I am able to help women feel great from the inside out.

    Understanding how to captivate our youth in the church also piques my passion. I currently serve as a deaconess as well as the youth activities coordinator. In these areas, I strive to be a difference maker.

    Family

    The year 1998 was a big one! I graduated with my MSW from Andrews University and the very next week, married the love of my life.


    Amanda Lewis, D.S.W., M.S.W., B.S., LCSW, LMFT

    Assistant Professor of Social Work and Sociology

    (509) 527-2797

    amanda.lewis@wallawalla.edu

    Education

    • BSW Montana State University-Billings
    • MSW Walla Walla University
    • LCSW 
    • LMFT

    Teaching Areas

    • Individual
    • Family and Group Practice
    • Psychopathology
    • Policy and Advocacy

    Research/Interests

    Amanda is currently researching the influence of social media and technology on adolescent development. 

    Hobbies

    Spending time with family, hiking, swimming and being outdoors

    Other

    History

    Amanda was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Southeastern Montana. She has a private practice and she has operated since 2008 in the small community in which she reside. She is married, with 3 children; two boys and a girl.  

    Professional Memberships/Affiliations

    • NASW 

    Service

    Amanda provides service in her small community in the form of coaching, teaching, and volunteering.  

    Message to students

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

    Cody Portwine-Kinzer, LCSW

    Assistant Professor of Social Work and Sociology 

    (406) 254-9907 Ext. 6

    cody.portwine-kinzer@wallawalla.edu

    Education

    • B.A. Psychology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

    • M.S.S.W. University of Texas, Austin, TX

    Teaching Areas

    • Practice with Individuals

    • HBSE I/II

    • Privilege and Oppression

    • Comparative Theories

    • Self-Care

    Research/Interests

    • Neuroscience and Trauma including the effects of trauma on the developing brain as well as best practice treatments for trauma across a variety of populations.
    • Teaching and supervision of future Social Workers.

    Hobbies

    Following my children’s activities and accomplishments, camping, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, adventuring, spending time at our family cabin, learning about my cultural history, reading, and listening to great music.

    Other

    History

    Cody is a 4th generation Montanan and while her roots here run deep, she recognizes that she is living on the ancestral land of the following people: Apsáalooke (Crow), Tséstho’e (Cheyenne), and Očhéthi Šakówin. Cody had lived in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Texas, and Washington. She is a clinical lead with a large community mental health center and provide services in the very small town in which we reside. Cody's husband and her have 8 children, both biological and adopted.

    Professional Memberships/Affiliations

    • NASW

    • CSWE

    Service

    Cody volunteer with AAU volleyball and wrestling, 4-H, and Girl Scouts in her local community.


    Staff

    Nicole Helgeson

    Mental Health Clinic Coordinator

    (406) 254-0308

    (509) 527-2595

    wwu-billingsmhc@wallawalla.edu

    Tori Bauer-Koch

    Library Research Consultant

    (509) 527-2745

    victoria.bauer-koch@wallawalla.edu


    Heather Lang, B.B.A.

    Administrative Assistant

    (406) 254-9907

    heather.lang@wallawalla.edu

    Education

    • Bachelor's in business administration, emphasis in management, Union College, 2011

    Research/Interests

     My interests are raising my kids, going on camping and dirt bike riding adventures with my family.

    Hobbies

    Love to watch and play basketball. 

    Other

    Service
    I volunteer at our SDA elementary school.