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Passionate about people

Our faculty and staff are great examples of the kind of individuals who are made for the field of social work. They are compassionate, dedicated, knowledgeable, and helpful. Our students develop a close working relationship with our faculty members through coursework, internships, and research opportunities. These relationships allow for our students to gain valuable knowledge and experience.

I love how accessible and friendly all of the staff of this department are. Having a relationship with my professors of the Social Work Department is an inextricable part of my experience at UWEC.

Alex DeLakis | Social Work Student

Meet our amazing faculty and staff

Leah Olson-McBride, MSW, PhD
  • Ph.D., Louisiana State University (Social Work)
  • M.S.W., Loyola University Chicago (Social Work) 
  • B.S.W., University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Social Work)
Teaching Interests
  • Research methods
  • Social work with groups
Research Interests
  • Poetry Therapy
  • Group work with adolescents
Lisa Quinn-Lee, PhD, MSSW, LICSW
  • PhD, University of Minnesota (Social Work)
  • MSSW, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Social Work) 
  • BSW, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Social Work)
  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
  • QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Instructor Certification Program Certified  
  • Music and Memories Certified
Teaching Interests
  • Death and Bereavement
  • Social Work Internship Seminar 
  • Introduction to Social Work 
  • Ethical Problems in Health Care 
  • Psychology of Death and Dying 
  • Interpersonal Skills 
  • Social Work with Communities and Organizations  
  • Aging and the Aged 
  • Generalist Social Work Practice 
  • Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Education 
  • Ethics and Boundaries
Research Interests
  • Grief and loss
  • Death and bereavement
  • Children’s grief
  • Hospice and palliative care
  • End-of-life issues 
  • Health care 
  • High impact practices 
  • Resilience 
  • Burnout 
  • Spirituality 
  • Domestic immersion 
  • Interdisciplinary/interprofessional research and teaching 
  • University-community partnerships 
  • Using personalized music with persons with dementia/Music and Memories Program

 Dr. Quinn-Lee has spent over 10 years as a clinical social worker in the areas of grief, loss, and end-of-life care, especially related to children's grief. She has worked as both a hospice social worker and grief therapist. She has always felt honored and privileged to have the opportunity to work with people during their difficult times in life. Dr. Quinn-Lee has given many presentations about grief and loss and is passionate about the field. Prior to coming to UW - Eau Claire, she spent most of her social work and teaching career working in the Twin Cities.
In her free time, Dr. Quinn-Lee enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, traveling (especially near the ocean), running, listening to music, attending orchestra concerts, going to museums and listening to National Public Radio.

Jamie Tester, MSW, J.D.
  • J.D., Hamline University School of Law
  • MSW, University of Minnesota-Duluth 
  • B.A., College of Saint Scholastica-Duluth
  • Advocacy and Problem Solving Certificate
Teaching Interests
  • SW 100 Introduction to Social Welfare
  • SW 383 Social Welfare Policy 
  • SW 385 Child Welfare 
  • SW 481 Field Placement

As the Field Director, Jamie works with social work students to help them identify the areas of social work practice they are interested in and current placement settings that will challenge them to think outside the box. Jamie coordinates opportunities to bring community social workers to campus to provide panel discussions in order to expose students to different areas of practice. Jamie works closely with community agencies and university partners to develop internship opportunities for UWEC social work students that will prepare them for the profession of social work upon graduation. Each year, Jamie works closely with the 6-10 students who complete their internship requirement by spending a semester with the department's partners in South Africa (fall) and Costa Rica (spring). / / In addition, Jamie primarily teaches Introduction to Social Work, Social Welfare Policy, Field Placement, and Child Welfare. By teaching this combination of courses, it allows Jamie the opportunity to interact with UWEC social work students all along their educational journey to social work practice.


 Jamie has been in the field of social work for approximately 10 years in both non-profit and government settings. Her practice areas have included direct practice with juveniles and at risk families, policy development and analysis, and within the court system with children and families impacted by allegations of abuse and neglect or extreme custody disputes.
When not teaching, Jamie enjoys spending time with friends, family and her dogs. She loves traveling, from a simple road trip to flying around the world. She appreciates being outdoors, good food and laughing.

Shelly Statz, MSW, LCSW
  • MSW, University of Maryland-Baltimore
  • BSW, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
  •  LCSW
Teaching Interests
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Human Behavior
  • Mental Health
  • Addictions
Mary Nienow-Headshot 2017.JPG
  • PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (Social Work)
  • MSW, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (Social Work)
  • BSW, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Social Work)
Research Interests
  • Professional Socialization
  • Policy and Program Development
  • Decolonized Social Work

Mary is currently completing her dissertational work: The Professional Socialization of Macro Practice Social Workers. She is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Mary has over a decade of experience in research, teaching, advocacy, program coordination, policy development and analysis in early childhood and community service organizations. Mary was the co-founder of Grasstops, a nonprofit advocacy organization that assisted nonprofits and small community groups with their policy and advocacy goals. Her extensive practice experience also includes Policy Consultant for Hennepin County Medical Center, Field Director at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Executive Director at Child Care WORKS, and lead researcher on Health and Human Services for the Minnesota Senate DFL Caucus.

Maria Bergevin
  • B.S., Cardinal Stritch University (Business Administration)
Donald Mowry, MSW, PhD
  • BA, Mississippi State University (General Business)
  • BS, Metropolitan University Denver, CO (Psychology) 
  • MSW, University of Wisconsin (Social Work) 
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin (Social Welfare)
Joshua Potter-Efron-Headshot 2017
  • MSW, Smith College School of Social Work
  • BA, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Teaching Interests
  • Narrative Intersections
  • Training and Leadership
  • Qualities of Being
  • PhD, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago (Social work)
  • MSW, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago (Social work) 
  • M.A., The Divinity School, The University of Chicago (church history, theology)
  • A.B., St. Meinrad College (Classical Languages, Philosophy)
  • CISW (Certified Independent Social Worker, Wisconsin)
  • ACSW (Academy of Certified Social Workers)
Teaching Interests
  • International social work and child & youth care work
  • Social welfare history 
  • Social welfare policy 
  • Classical languages (Greek, Latin) 
  • Theology and church history 
  • World religions
Research Interests
  • Social welfare policy and advocacy

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