Dr. John Poulin appointed Director and Associate Dean at Widener University

Dr. John E. Poulin has accepted the position of director of the Center for Social Work Education and associate dean of the School of Human Service Professions at Widener University.

Poulin, who joined the faculty at Widener in 1984, previously served as associate dean and director of the Center for Social Work Education from 1984 to 1997 during which time the program expanded from an undergraduate program to include a master’s-level program in agency-based clinical social work practice. He stepped down to focus on establishing the Center’s Social Work Counseling Services (SWCS), Widener’s first university-based pro bono clinic offering a wide range of clinical and capacity-building services for Chester residents and organizations. 

Under his leadership, SWCS served more than 4,000 Chester residents and families, provided services for more than 25 Chester-based organizations, and served as an internship site for more than 145 students, who delivered more than 130,000 hours of direct service to the Chester community.

The St. David’s, Pa., resident received the first Faculty Award for Civic Engagement for his work with SWCS at Widener in 2010 and was a finalist for the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award in 2011.

During the past five years Poulin has collaborated with social work faculty in China to conduct comparative studies of African American and mainland Chinese elderly community residents, which focused on older adults informal support systems, use of formal services and psychological well-being. He has been published widely in the area of gerontology, service-learning, and social work practice, and his text, Strengths-based Generalist Practice: A Collaborative Approach, in its 3rd edition, is widely used in social work education. 

Poulin was recently named chief editor of the Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work Education and was appointed to the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education, the U.S. accrediting body for social work education.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine, his master’s of social work from University of Michigan, and his doctor of philosophy from the University of Chicago. 

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,700 students. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.


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