Paula T. Silver, PhD
Dean, School of Human Service Professions
Child welfare, service learning pedagogy, occupational and environment health
Social work practice, sociocultural diversity, group work
I became a member of Widener University's Center for Social Work Education in 1992. When I began my faculty appointment at the Center, I had great expectations for both professional and personal challenges and growth. I have not been disappointed.
I had the privilege of getting to know and interacting with interesting and committed students; I have benefited intellectually from working with a group of stimulating and gifted colleagues; and I have had the opportunity to contribute to the development of a high quality training program for social work professionals.
With the help of my students and colleagues, I hope to continue to refine my teaching skills and continue to help our program become "the first choice" for clinical social work training.
In May 1997, I was appointed acting Director of the Center for Social Work Education, and in July, 1998 the appointment became permanent. The transition, over the last two years, from faculty member to acting Director, and now to Director had my head spinning for a while. I have finally recovered my balance, and as I look around me, I feel quite excited about the tasks that I face. We are at that "heady" stage in the life of our organization.
We can begin to generate new ideas about our educational programs as well as the role of our Center in the life our geographic and professional communities. At the same time, we face the reality of a national crisis. Our profession and the consumers of our services are confronting critical times as the social safety net continues to unravel and the nation's "compassion fatigue"shows no sign of abating.
Our challenge, as I see it, is to develop meaningful ways to contribute to social solutions while providing the best social work training possible. My challenge, as I see it, is to facilitate a process for identifying and implementing new ideas while maintaining our accomplishments.
As a social worker, I am committed to making this a collective process to which faculty, students, alumni, field instructors, service consumers, and staff all contribute. My task will be to nurture and sustain that process so that we might benefit from our collective energy and remain focused on our priorities.
I feel both privileged and daunted to have this opportunity to lead the Center into the 21st Century. When my anxiety heightens, I gain reassurance by thinking about the competency of our faculty and staff, the talent and intellectual curiosity of our students, the loyalty and interest of our alumni, and the resiliency and strength of our service consumers. I will look to all of you to participate in this stage of our development.
1992 Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College
1972 M.S.W., University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work
1965 B.A., University of Chicago, College of Liberal Arts
Chicago, Il. Psychology Major
Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
Bryn Mawr, PA
Dissertation: "Occupational Disease and the Low-wage Worker: A Case Study of Lead-poisoning Among Secondary Lead Smelter Workers"
Silver, Paula, John Poulin, and Rebecca C. Manning. (in press) Surviving the bureaucracy:
The predictors of job satisfaction for the public agency supervisor. The Clinical Supervisor.
Hoopes, Janet L., Leslie B. Alexander, and Paula T. Silver. (in press) Formal adoption of the developmentally vulnerable African American child: Ten Year Outcomes. Marriage and Family Review.
Kauffman, Steven, Paula Silver, and John Poulin. 1997. Gender differences in ATOD use and abuse. Social Work. 42(3):231-241.
Silver, Paula. 1994. Occupational disease and the low-wage worker: A mandate for social work. in Social Dimensions of the Environmental Crisis: Challenges for the Social Work Profession. (John McNutt and Marie Hoff, eds.). Gower House, England, Avebury.
Alexander, Leslie and Paula Silver. 1991. Developmentally vulnerable infants and toddlers and their adoptive parents: A follow-up study. Research project funded by the Children's Aid Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Philadelphia Citizen's for Children and Youth. 1984. The status of children and youth: Philadelphia, Volume II. Philadelphia, PA. Report funded by a grant from the Samuel B. Fels Foundation.
June, 1998 - Communicating across difference at the end of life. Workshop presented at the 4th Annual Conference of the Center on Ethnic and Minority
March, 1996 - Affirmative action, debate, Panel leader for Widener University Center for Social Work Education Diversity Days
June, July 1995 - Techniques of group treatment, Workshop series presented at Crozer Chester Medical Center Substance Abuse Treatment Program
May, 1995 - Collaborative learning, Panel participant for Widener University Center for Social Work Education Bridge Week
March, 1995 - Critique, the bell curve, Panel discussant for Widener University Center for Social Work Education Diversity Days
March, 1993 - Diversity in the workplace, Workshop presented for Hahneman Hospital Department of Social Work Annual Conference
November, 1992 - Out of the frying pan, Workshop presented for Widener University Center for Social Work Education continuing education program