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Walla Walla University—College Place

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.

Susan B. Smith

Dean, Professor of Social Work and Sociology

(509) 527-2443

Susan.Smith@wallawalla.edu 

Education

  • PhD
  • MSW
  • LICSW

Jim Boyd

MSW Program Director 
Professor of Social Work and Sociology

(509) 527-2367 

Jim.Boyd@wallawalla.edu

Education

  • PhD
  • MSW

Emily Tillotson

BSW Program Director
Assistant 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 (expected completion 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 Elect NASW-Washington Chapter
      • Walla Walla Housing Authority Commissioner

      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

          Sherrice Croft

          Instructor in Social Work and Sociology

          (509) 527-2884

          Sherrice.Croft@wallawalla.edu

          Cheris Current 

          Professor of Social Work and Sociology

          (509) 527-2903 

          Cheris.Current@wallawalla.edu 

          Education

          • PhD 
          • MA

          Doreena Drury 

          Program Assistant
          Curriculum Advisor

          (509) 527-2590

          Doreena.Drury@wallawalla.edu

          Education

          • MSW

          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!

          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

          Marianne Goltz

          Business Manager and 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 Diversity Council
          • Sabbath School Periodicals Secretary
          • Song Leader at Chan Shun Sabbath School 

          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

            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

            Heather Vonderfecht

            Associate Professor of Social Work and Sociology

            (509) 527-2584

            Heather.Vonderfecht@wallawalla.edu

            Last update on December 3, 2018