(Updated  8/15/16)

Drs. Belinda Bruster & Loureen Downes led an inter-professional group of 16 students (Social Work & Nursing) to Ghana this summer- July 11-27, 2016.

The students had the chance to live for two weeks in Ghana learning from NGOs, participating cultural excursions in addition to lectures and assignments in the fields of social work, nursing, human rights, and HIV/AIDS. The course explored issues on health, human rights, poverty (environmental sustainability) and social justice. 

The students worked with the Department of Social Welfare, and evaluated their Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty Program (LEAPP). The school system was also visited with a focus on exploring human rights issues within the system. Dr. Bruster and the social work students led a community discussion the subject of destigmatizing homosexuality. 

Welcome New Faculty!

Julie Kuhns, MSW, LCSW, comes to FGCU as the Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend Program Coordinator/Instructor. Professor Kuhns brings with her a wealth of knowledge, and over 22 years of experience. For the first 15 years of her career, she has worked on the front lines of domestic violence and sexual violence. Since 2004, she has worked as adjunct faculty for FGCU in the Department of Social Work. Professor Kuhns is an active member of NASW and currently serves at the Vice Chair for the South West Florida Unit.

We are happy to report the Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend Program at FGCU is off to a great start! We have accepted and placed nine students with our community partners.   

Lirio K. Negroni, Ph.D., MSW, comes to FGCU with 22 years of experience as a social work educator.  She served as a faculty member in the Schools of Social Work at the University of Connecticut, Springfield College in Massachusetts, and InterAmerican University in Puerto Rico. Dr. Negroni’s scholarship and service focuses on Puerto Rican and Latino Studies: Latinos/as and culturally competent social work practice, parenting, leadership development, mentoring, recruitment and retention of Latinos/as in higher education and Latin@ elders’ well-being.  She served as a Director and member of the Puerto Rican and Latino Studies Project at the UCONN School of Social Work guiding the faculty team into the conceptualization of their leadership development model. She has taught theory and practice courses and content on Puerto Rican and Latina women.  Dr. Negroni has 14 years of practice experience in various clinical settings in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico and has supervised clinical social workers and graduate-level social work students.

She earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from Boston College and her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Social Work from the University of Puerto Rico.  She has served as co-investigator in several federally funded research projects and as sole investigator in multiple studies. Her participation in the National Association of Social workers started in 1985 in Massachusetts and Connecticut. She has served in different leadership positions and lately as chair and active participant in the NASW CT Latino Social Workers’ Network and co-creator of the Network’s Mentoring Program for MSW Latino/a graduates.  Lirio Negroni is known as an international consultant and speaker presenting in México, Chile, Jamaica and nationally throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. She is an active member of the Council on Social Work Education where she has also served in several leadership positions.

Dr. Douglas Crews is a new faculty member in the Department of Social Work at FGCU this year.  Dr. Crews received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from Belmont University in Nashville, TN; a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, TN, a Master of Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL, and a PhD in Social Work from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. 

Dr. Crews work experience include youth minister, program director, group facilitator, social work clinician, working with diverse populations (homeless, LGBTQ, college students, adolescents, older adults, those impacted by sexual assault), curriculum and education specialist, community organizer, training specialist, online teaching, and university teaching and research. 

Dr. Crews’ research interests involve topics such as self-compassion, mindfulness, identity development, program evaluation, spirituality/religion, and multiple life transitions.  He worked and provided practical research for such populations as the LGBTQ community, those impacted by sexual assault, and social work professional identity.  He regularly speaks and trains on the use of self-compassion and mindfulness and the role these play in social work practice. 

Dr. Crews has many teaching interests.  He enjoys teaching such classes as mindfulness and compassion in social work practice, clinical courses (individuals, families, groups), community organizing, program evaluation, and grant writing.  His passion in the classroom is to ensure the students are prepared to be strong social work professionals. 

An Update on the BSW and MSW Field Education Programs:
We are happy to report the field placement process for the fall semester has been completed! The Department of Social Work currently has 40 BSW students, and 27 MSW students ready to report to their field experience on Wednesday, August 17th.  At this time we have students placed throughout SW Florida.

As our programs grow, we will continue to look for settings that will offer our students rich learning opportunities. If you are a social worker interested in joining us as an educational partner, or have colleagues who are interested, please feel free to contact us directly. For more information on becoming a field instructor please contact Professor Lori D. Carroll, LCSW at
lcarroll@fgcu.edu or (239) 590-7726.

Join NASW today! 1-800-742-4089


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