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Faculty

Paula M. Nieman

Professional Educator of Social Work
Education:
Licensed Certified Social Worker, Massachusetts,
B.A. in Psychology, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME
M.S. Social Work, Columbia University, New York, NY
Currently in PhD program (ABD), University of Connecticut School of Social Work, West Hartford, CT
Office: Emerson G 100B
413-782-1554

Paula Nieman has an extensive background in professional social work practice.  She has worked with people experiencing a range of challenges, from homelessness and mental illness to child abuse and neglect.  Her professional experience includes opening and managing a shelter for homeless families, providing individual and family counseling, leading groups for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral challenges, training and overseeing foster parents, and supervising direct-service social workers.  Paula joined the WNE faculty in 2005 and currently serves as the Coordinator of Field Instruction.  In this role, she oversees students’ internships in social service and community-based organizations.  She also teaches courses in which students integrate the skills they are gaining in their internships with the knowledge they have learned in the classroom.  

INTERESTS

Professional identity development in early-career social workers

Field education in social work

Services for children and adolescents in foster care

Social work values and ethics

Role of empathy in provision of effective social work services

COURSES TAUGHT

Intro to Social Work

Pre-practicum Seminar

Social Work Interventive Methods I

Social Work Interventive Methods II (Interviewing skills)

Helping Relationship Seminar

Social Work Interventive Methods IV (Practice with groups and families)

Macro-Practice Field Instruction

Senior Field Instruction

Social Work Research

Social Work Research Seminar

Seminar for Field Instruction

PUBLICATIONS

Conference Proceedings

(2015 ). Ostrander, J., Nieman, P., & Sandler, A. (2015, October). Increasing the Political Participation of Social Work Students: Classroom and Fieldwork Approaches. The Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting. Denver, CO. .

(2015 ). Nieman, P. (2015, May). Becoming a supervisor: Anticipating and managing the challenges of a new job role. Workshop presented at 33rd Regional Social Work Conference, Western New England University, Springfield, MA. .

"Professional Ethics and Boundaries in the Era of Facebook." Presentation at Annual Supervisors Conference, Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, MA July 2012 and Workshop at 30th Regional Social Work Conference, Western New England University, May 2012.

"Maintaining Boundaries in Professional Relationships: Ethical and Practical Challenges." Workshop presented at 29th Regional Social Work Conference, Western New England University, May 2011.

"Challenges in Communication: Delivering Difficult Messages." Workshop presented to Head Start Program, Westfield, MA, October 2010.

"Skills for Engaging Clients." Workshop presented as part of Basic Human Service Skills for Paraprofessionals, Certificate Program, Head Start Program, Southbridge, MA. October 2009.

"Give me strength! How to use the strengths perspective in assessment and goal-setting with clients. Workshop presented at 26th Regional Social Work Conference, Western New England College, Springfield, MA, May 2008.

"Basic Interviewing Skills and Using Clients Strengths and Resources." Workshops developed for Basic Human Service Skills for Paraprofessionals, Certificate Program, Western New England University, Springfield, MA, (presented 2-3 times/year since 2008).

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