Widener Alumna Hired as Director of Social Work Counseling Services

Shanna Williams, LCSW, MEd, of Drexel Hill, PA was recently named director of Social Work Counseling Services (SWCS) at Widener University. Williams is a Widener alumna. She received her bachelors of social work in 2006 and both her masters of social work and of human sexuality education in 2010.

Founded by the Center for Social Work Education at Widener University in collaboration with the Chester Education Foundation in 2000, SWCS has partnered with over 20 community organizations to provide internship opportunities to students.

As director of SWCS, Williams is responsible for the overall operations of the program and will manage all community agency collaborations and the overall supervision of the SWCS interns. This position holds a special place in Williams' heart as she interned with SWCS during her time as a student.

Dr. John Poulin, director of the Center for Social Work Education and former director of SWCS, is excited to have Williams back leading the pro-bono community clinic. "Shanna's clinical and leadership skills are a perfect match for the position," he said. "I am confident that she will expand the internship opportunities for our graduate social work students and our civic engagement mission."

Williams is looking forward to using her diverse experiences to do just that. "I'm most excited to participate in shaping the experience of the interns," she said. "My experience started with SWCS as a student, and now I get to bring that along with my field work together to provide a well-rounded social work experience. SWCS molded me into the therapist and clinician that I am today."

Williams is eager to take SWCS to the next level. A lot of her attention will be focused on the work at the Widener Partnership Charter School, as there will be about 12 interns there this year. "Our students will be doing more group work this year as means to bring more creativity into the classroom," she said. There will also be extra attention at the kindergarten level to lend additional support for the transitional period. "Our interns provide social, emotional, and behavioral support in the classroom."

At the school, the SWCS interns will also introduce a violence prevention curriculum in every grade that will help the children identify way to deal with interactions, and become more mindful.

Other SWCS interns will lend support at the College Access Center, Vulnerable Adult Clinic, and Veterans Law Clinic at the School of Law.

Before being named director, Williams served as the interim supervisor at the Widener Partnership Charter School. Prior to that, Williams was a family-based clinician for Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems. She worked in homes of families and provided support for those dealing with sexual trauma.

Williams has served on the advisory board for the Center for Social Work Education, as well as the alumni board.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, 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 and professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate's, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, PA, and Wilmington, DE, serve approximately 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free university. Visit the university's website, www.widener.edu, for more information.