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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.


Pam Bing Perry

Program Coordinator
Professor of Social Work and Sociology

(406) 254-2558

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) and 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

Billings Field Education Coordinator
Instructor of Social Work and Sociology

(406) 254-9907

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

Assistant Professor of Social Work and Sociology

(406) 254-2797

amanda.lewis@wallawalla.edu

Education

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

Teaching Areas

Individual, family and group practice

 Psychopathology and Policy and Advocacy

Research/Interests

I am currently researching the influence of social media and technology on adolescent development. 

Hobbies

Spending time with family, hiking, swimming and being outdoors

Other

History

I was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Southeastern Montana. I have a private practice I have operated since 2008 in the small community in which I reside.  I am married, with 3 children; two boys and a girl.  

Professional Memberships/Affiliations

  • NASW 

Service

I provide service in my 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

Dan Yazak

Professor of Social Work and Sociology

(406) 254-2594

dan.yazak@wallawalla.edu

Education

  • BS Baylor University-Waco Campus
  • MUP Texas A&M University-College Station Campus
  • DED Texas A&M University-College Station Campus      

Teaching Areas

Research, Human Behavior and the Environment, Religion & Spirituality, CBT, Privilege and Oppression and Thesis

Research/Interests

Research: Financial Foundations and Prison Transition

Interests: Quantitative and Qualitative applications

Other

Faculty Awards

  • Peer Reviewer-CSWE Journal

Professional Memberships/Affiliations

  • NASW

Service

Habitat for Humanity, Riverstone Health Hospice, CASA, Montana Women’s Prison Volunteer


Staff

Sandy Pena

Library Research Consultant

(406) 254-2745

sandy.pena@wallawalla.edu

Education

MEd University of Arizona, 1986

BS Walla Walla College, 1972

Interests

Geriatric health

Hobbies

Reading and container gardening

Other

Message to Students

As a long-time librarian and having been part of the MSW program in Billings for over a decade my advice is: when your professor suggests you should ask a librarian for help do so. 

Sheila Dockter

Program Assistant

(406) 254-2286

sheila.dockter@wallawalla.edu

Education

BLS, 2010; Communications

MHS Liberty University, 2012; Emphasis in Marriage & Family Counseling

Teaching Areas

Self-Care for Social Workers

Hobbies

Spending time with family, being a realtor, hiking, SUPing, kayaking and playing with my beautiful dog Koda

Other

Services

  •  Executive Director of Neil Nedley Depression Clinic
  • Certified Facilitator of PrePare Enrich Relationship Counseling
  • Head Deaconess & Deaconess of The Billings Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Health Ministries – Billings Seventh-day Adventist Church

Message to Students

I have been working for Walla Walla University, Billings Campus since 2004 as the Administrative Assistant. My role here is to provide students support from application to graduation. I welcome you each to this program and am happy to take this journey with you!


Jan Soelter

Receptionist

(406) 254-2287

Hobbies

Spending time with family and friends, participating in prayer group, playing with Benji (my pet) and taking care of plants

Other

Job Description

Receptionist; I am proud to be part of the Walla Walla University-Billings team and strive to facilitate and support each student’s success. If you need help with your practicum paperwork, please stop by!

Most of my time is spent doing clerical support in the practicum office. I also fill in when needed in the main office.

Experience

I started working at WWU-Billings in 2008.

Last update on February 5, 2019