Paula T. Silver PhD, MSW
Dean, School of Human Service Professions
I was appointed Dean of the School of Human Service Professions in May 2011 after
serving as interim dean for one year. Prior to this appointment, I was director of
Widener University's Center for Social Work Education since 1998, and I've been in
academic social work since 1992.
Under my leadership, the Center's MSW program enrollment doubled, and a PhD program was established. As Dean of the School of Human Service Professions, I oversee the Center for Social Work Education, Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, the Center for Human Sexuality Studies, and the Institute for Physical Therapy Education. I also oversee the Widener Partnership Charter School, our university-sponsored K-8 charter school, and I serve as chair of the school's Board of Trustees.
I served on the university's strategic planning committee and was instrumental in framing the university integration of service learning and civic engagement, particularly with regard to the local region. I have also spearheaded the university's efforts to establish academic and cultural exchange programs with partner institutions in China and have led a group of faculty and students to Chongqing, China, for the last seven years.
My service to my profession includes six years as a reaffirmation site visitor for the Council on Social Work Education Commission on Accreditation, consultation on child welfare assessment for the Pennsylvania Department of Children and Family Services, and service on the boards of directors of a number of human service organizations. Prior to embarking on an academic career, I worked in public and private child welfare services for 15 years. I received a BA from the University of Chicago, MSW from University of Pennsylvania, and PhD from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.
PhD Social Work 1992
Bryn Mawr College (PA)
MSW Social Work 1974
University of Pennsylvania (PA)
BA Psychology 1965
University of Chicago (IL)
SW 288 Special Topics in Social Work
SW 505 Generalist Social Work Practice
SW 506 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families and Small Groups
My recent research activities have focused on the pedagogy of civic engagement and service learning, public child welfare practice and policy, and the integration of international content in social work curriculum.
Poulin, J.E., Silver, P.T., & Kauffman, S.E. (2008). An integrated approach to program conceptualization, curriculum analyses, outcome assessment. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work.
Ledoux, M., Wilhite, S., & Silver, P. (2011). Civic engagement and service learning in a metropolitan university: Multiple approaches and perspectives. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Silver, P.T., Poulin, J.E., & Wilhite, S.C. (2006). From rogue department to poster child: A department's shaping of a university's agenda. In K. Kecskes (Ed)., Engaging departments: Moving faculty culture from private to public, individual to collective focus for the common good. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Co.
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)