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LaMart Hightower

LaMart Hightower

Department Head and Associate Professor

lhightow@nmu.edu 906-227-2197
Office Location:

2405 Jamrich Hall

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Ann Crandell-Williams

Ann Crandell-Williams

BSW Program Director and Assistant Professor

acrandel@nmu.edu 906-227-1115
Office Location:

2408 Jamrich Hall

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Sarah Carlson

Sarah Carlson

MSW Program Director and Assistant Professor

sarahcar@nmu.edu 906-227-2726
Office Location:

2406 Jamrich Hall

Office Hours:

Please contact Sarah to schedule a meeting in-person, or via Zoom or phone.

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Caroline Cheng

Caroline Cheng

MSW Field Director and Assistant Professor

ccheng@nmu.edu 906-227-1116
Office Location:

3220 Jamrich Hall

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Elissa Kent

Elissa Kent

BSW Field Director and Assistant Professor

ekent@nmu.edu 906-227-1105
Office Location:

2403 Jamrich Hall

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Karl Johnson

Karl Johnson

Associate Professor

karjohns@nmu.edu 906-227-1117
Office Location:

2407 Jamrich Hall

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Vikash profile pic

Vikash Kumar

Assistant Professor

vkumar@nmu.edu
Office Location:

2402 Jamrich Hall

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Ashley Provost

Ashley Provost

Assistant Professor

asprovos@nmu.edu 906-226-1105
Office Location:

2417 Jamrich Hall

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Peter Felsman

Peter Felsman

Assistant Professor

pfelsman@nmu.edu 906-227-1105
Office Location:

2418 Jamich Hall

Naima Hasan-Jones

Assistant Professor

naijones@nmu.edu

Rachel Holman

Assistant Professor

rholman@nmu.edu
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Patricia Cianciolo

Patricia Cianciolo

Professor Emeritus of Social Work

pciancio@nmu.edu

Mino-bimose'idiwag Program (Walking the Path Together)

Adjunct Faculty

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LVedin

Lynne Vedin

Assistant Professor

lvedin@nmu.edu 906-227-1413
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JKupper

Jean Kupper

Associate Professor

jkupper@nmu.edu

Administrative Staff

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Image of Alanis Obando-Graduate administrative assistant of the department

Alanis Obando

MSW Graduate Assistant

aobando@nmu.edu 906-227-3219
Office Location:

Jamrich 3219

Michelle Converse

Department Secretary

mconvers@nmu.edu 906-227-1105
Office Location:

2400 Jamrich Hall

Fax:

906-227-1212

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Tara Schafer

Tara Schafer

Student Success Specialist

taschafe@nmu.edu

Adjunct Faculty Opportunities

The Social Work department has a need for adjunct faculty from time to time and we are interested in identifying potential instructors. 

For social work courses, please send vita to:

Sarah Carlson LMSW-C,  Assistant Department Head
Department of Social Work
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Avenue
Marquette, MI 49855

or send an e-mail attachment to sarahcar@nmu.edu

The minimum academic requirement to teach social work courses is the MSW degree. Generally, a minimum of two years of post-MSW practice experience is also expected.

Research

An Exploratory Study of Coping Strategies of Homeless Adults in the Upper Peninsula

tent in woods during winter covered in snow

Caption: A homeless man called this tent home in woods near Marquette during the winter of 2008

Social Work faculty members Tim Hilton and Cornell DeJong are completing a qualitative study on coping and survival strategies of homeless adults in the Upper Peninsula. During the data collection phase in 2008, former sociology student Francois Vachon participated in interviewing about 60 homeless adults throughout the U.P.  Although the homeless may not be as obvious to the public in the relatively small communities of the U.P. as they are in larger metropolitan area, they are still present.  Informal contact with area homeless and experience with a local, volunteer homeless program, Room at the Inn, led the researchers to initiate the study. 

According to Dr. Hilton, this project examines coping mechanisms among homeless adults in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The goal is to understand how adults find shelter and food in different seasons and to identify patterns of accessing various forms of assistance from families, friends and social service providers.  Anecdotal evidence suggests homeless adults within rural areas and small towns, especially those who are chronically homeless, develop unique survival tactics, including: camping during warmer months and moving between friends' and families' residences during other times, living out of cars, and frequenting retail stores that are open all night during especially cold nights, and, for those receiving disability benefits, living in hotel rooms when their checks arrive and then living outdoors or in "drop-in" shelters (often run by churches) when their money runs out at the end of each month.  Still, coping mechanisms are not well documented or fully understood by policymakers, social service providers, and social science researchers.

The participants in the project were recruited from area homeless shelters and through the use of a technique known as “snowball sampling” whereby participants help locate other participants through their informal networks.  Subjects were recruited from several areas across the Upper Peninsula, including Marquette, Escanaba, and Iron Mountain.  Understanding more about this growing population may help social service providers and policymakers better understand the unique needs of this population and design appropriate interventions.  Two foci of this research are individuals' ongoing relationships with family members and others within their social networks, and their patterns of social service usage.

Participants shared their experiences related to their methods of coping with homelessness.  Specific topics include income they receive, methods of finding shelter (whether with family and friends, shelters, living in automobiles, squatting, or camping outside), ways of securing food, and social service utilization.  A particular interest is the relationship of the homeless with family and friends.  Although it is often assumed that the homeless have exhausted their informal networks, this study finds that family and friends are crucial to the survival of the homeless, but are limited in the amount of support that they can provide.

The researchers made several local presentations of preliminary findings and are now delivering papers in national and international venues, including the 6th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, May 2010 and the 2010 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development in Hong Kong.   A presentation on using the homeless research data to teach social work students about human behavior and the social environment has been accepted for presentation at the Council on Social Work Education APM in Portland Oregon in October, 2010.  The researchers are also in the process of submitting articles for publication based on the findings of this study.