Jenny Wyatt

Jenny Wyatt, PhD, LCSW

Associate Professor
Director Widener Center for Violence Prevention

Research Interests
Mental health treatment, crisis intervention, critical incident stress, volunteerism, treatment of children and adolescents, violence and policy and program development that support the above

Courses Taught 
Advanced practice, Social Work Practice in Mental Health, Treatment of children & adolescents, HBSE, Social Theory, The Art and Science of Social Work Practice, Brief Treatment, Sociocultural Diversity.

I have been part of the social work faculty at Widener since June of 2001 and have also held various administrative positions. I am founder and Director or the Center for Violence Prevention, which was established in 2009. When I first joined the Center for Social Work Education, I served as Assistant Director of Field Instruction and from 2004-2011 was Assistant Director of the Center. Widener has a longstanding history of service and engagement with the community and I'm pleased to be able to do that in my work. I value my role as a teacher in our program and a social worker in our community.


My pedagogical approach reflects the values and methods of social work practice. I assess the students' knowledge of material, reinforce and build on existing strengths, collaborate with them on methods for mastery and integration, empower them to critically analyze material and their own perspectives, broaden their exposure to the possibilities of interpretation and application, model professional social work approaches, and work with students to evaluate progress and integration. My goal in teaching is to make the unknown accessible and to challenge what is known via critical analysis.

I believe that the parallel process in social work education provides a rich foundation for assessing one's own perspective and integrating new approaches to practice with clients. As such, I provide a model for students that both supports and challenges them. I help create a safe learning environment in collaboration with students and regularly attend to group and interpersonal process dynamics in the classroom.

I am committed to helping students integrate the various areas of social work practice, from micro to macro, and as such, regularly assess the content and assignments of their other coursework to aid in integration. I encourage students to discuss their whole learning experience to help them appreciate the necessary integration of methods and widen their view of social work practice arenas for their own professional development and practice with clients.


My practice and research interests vary between micro and macro practice. I have worked extensively with those with serious and persistent mental illness and with children, adolescents and families. I've also worked a great deal with emergency service providers via critical incident stress management and continue to volunteer on a CISM team in the region. More recently, I've worked with various disciplines and service systems on violence prevention. I've chaired a Collaborative for several years and in 2009, developed the Center for Violence Prevention which has fostered the networking and collaboration between agencies and service systems, developed work groups that focus on problem solving and program development, mapped resources throughout the county, and conducted training for a wide variety of professionals in criminal justice, social service, schools, and community agencies.


Mental Health Transition into the Community: conducting research to assess the integration of recovery principles and community inclusion in the treatment of clients discharged from the state hospital.

Social and Emotional Competence: developed a curriculum on social and emotional competence and integrated it into a Freshman Seminar. Research is measuring whether that curriculum affected retention and a positive transition into college.

Regional mental health programs: As part of a regional work group, developed a tool to assess recovery and community integration in regional mental health programs. Current research is in validating that tool and assessing programs.

Program evaluation: Assist with the development and evaluation of violence prevention programs in the region.

Volunteer Firefighting, Research describing volunteer firefighting, the organizational culture and factors effecting volunteer recruitment and retention.


Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College Dissertation: Volunteer Firefighting
MSS, Bryn Mawr College. Clinical concentration.
BA, University of California, Davis. Psychology major; sociology and education minors.


Wyatt, J. & Bloemker, G. (2013) Social and emotional learning in a freshman seminar. Higher Education Studies. 3(1). 106-114.

Wang N., Wilhite, S., Wyatt, J., Young, T., Bloemker, G., & Wilhite, E. (2012). Impact of a college freshman social and emotional learning curriculum on student learning outcomes: An exploratory study. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice. 9(2). 1-20.

Wyatt, J. (2011) Violence prevention initiatives with communities and organizations: The Center for Violence Prevention In Ledoux, M., Wilhite, S., & Silver, P. (Eds.), Civic Engagement and Service Learning Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


Wyatt, J. & McKay, K. (2012) Juvenile diversion. Poster presentation. Widener University Graduate Research Symposium. 

Wyatt, J., Bright, T., & Gladstone, R. (2011) Innovative policies: Community integration

a guide to residential systems transformation. Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, International Conference on Community Integration, Philadelphia, PA. 

Wyatt, J. (2011) Regional recovery measurement and implementation. Regional Mental Health Provider Forum. Regional Mental Health Office.

Wyatt, J., & Kauffman, S. (2011) Services for persons with serious mental illness: Opportunities for enhancing community participation. Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, International Conference on Community Integration, Philadelphia, PA.

Wyatt, J. (2010, November) Conflict resolution-presentation for students in the Institute for Physical Therapy, Widener University.

Wyatt, J. (2010, October) Brief treatment-workshop for Social Work Counseling Services.

Wyatt, J. (2009, October), Violence prevention collaborative, workshop presented at CUMU annual conference, Philadelphia, PA

Wyatt, J. (2009, October), Engaging clients-workshop for Social Work Counseling Services.

Wyatt, J. (2008, June) Crisis intervention: 3 modules, delivered via videoconference to China.

Wyatt, J. and Bloemker, G. (2008, October) Social and emotional learning in freshman seminars, Poster session presented at the International Symposium of Emotional Intelligence in Higher Education, Washington, D.C.

Wyatt, J. and Kauffman, S. (2008, November) Macro practice and civic engagement in mental health services: A course model, workshop presented at the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Philadelphia, PA.

Wyatt, J. (2008, October) Crisis intervention, workshop presented for Social Work Counseling Services, Chester, PA.

Wyatt, J. (2008, November) Conflict resolution, presentation for Center for Physical Therapy, Widener University, Chester, PA.


Department of Justice: Office of Juvenile Justice Programs Earmark Program for Center for Violence Prevention: Awarded $200,000. FY 2010-2013

Provost Grant: Mental Health Transition into the Community. Awarded $1400. FY 2010-2011.

Department of Justice: Office of Juvenile Justice Programs Earmark Program for Center for Violence Prevention: Awarded $250,000. FY 2009-2012.

PA Department of Community and Economic Development for (State Earmark) for Violence Prevention Collaborative: Awarded $100,000. FY 2009-2011.

Provost Grant: Mental Health Transition into the Community. Awarded $1600. FY 2009-2010.