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Alumni Spotlight: Sheri Hamamoto Boyle '14

sheri hamamoto boyle '14

PhD Social Work

Other Degrees

MSW, University of Pennsylvania
BA Political Science, UCLA


Greensburg, PA

Current Position

Department Chair/Associate Professor
California University of Pennsylvania 

My Widener Experience

why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in social work?

I wanted to apply for a tenure faculty position at California University of Pennsylvania. I was the field coordinator in the social work department, and I enjoyed my position and teaching at the BSW level. CalU, however,  required a PhD to move to a permanent, tenure position. The part-time program, one-day-a-week class schedule, and focus on research AND teaching is what appealed to me. I applied, interviewed, and was accepted. It was a perfect match.

what made you choose widener?

I chose Widener because it had a part-time program. The part-time PhD in social work was ideal for me. I was working professionally in the field and did not want to leave my current job. The part-time program allowed me the opportunity to continue my work and pursue the PhD degree. The program also focused on research and teaching. Teaching was just as important; not all PhD programs offer teaching preparation. This was a great program for me personally and professionally.

My Professional Experience

what advice would you give a prospective student considering your graduate program?

Apply now to the program and don’t wait! The PhD in social work program is excellent; it prepares you for a future in academia. It is worth the financial, emotional, and personal sacrifice you will make to complete the program. You will always have the support and guidance of the social work faculty and your new colleagues. Don’t wait to start the program – do it now!

what do you like most about your current position?

I love teaching social work and being with students. The best part of my day is when I am in the classroom helping students understand their role as social workers and helping them understand how policy impacts their work, their future clients, and their community. It is also a thrill to work with students for two to four years and see their professional and personal growth.