School of Social Work
If you want to spark change in individuals, families, communities, and organizations, we'll give you the skills to be an effective advocate and facilitate goals for your clients.
The School of Social Work at St. Ambrose University offers a BSW Dual Degree, an MSW, and the only MSW-MBA program in Iowa. Click below to learn more!
Join Us For These October Events
- Focus on Empowerment, Social Justice, and Advocacy
- Skills to Work With Individuals, Families, Communities & Organizations
- 400+ Agencies For Field Placement
The Empowerment Method
Learn More About Our School of Social Work
The empowerment method focuses on achieving goals and changing systems by using available strengths, resilience, and resources. By focusing on competence rather than deficits in individual or social functioning, the empowerment model supports resourcefulness and the development of skills to remove social barriers for individuals and communities.
SAU established the first Master of Social Work (MSW) program with an empowerment specialization in the U.S., and in the past 20 years, we've educated more than 500 students who are now actively helping individuals, families, communities, and society.
We want our undergraduate students to have a similar impact, so we designed a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program that teaches generalist social work practice skills through an empowerment lens.
Katie Van Blair, PhD, Professor and Director of the SAU School of Social Work
Johny Augustine, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Jennifer Boedeker, MSW, Director of Field Education and Clinical Instructor
Jacquelyn Boyd, Administrative Assistant
Christie Kostichek, Administrative Assistant
Roxanne Freeman, Administrative Assistant
Kristi Law, PhD, Assoc. Professor, BSW Director
Pam Long, MS, Asst. Professor
Chris Martin, PhD, Asst. Professor
Hunhui Oh, PhD, Asst. Professor
John Thompson, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Michael O'Melia, MSW, Professor Emeritus
Anne M. McNelis, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services, Transitions Mental Health Services
Nicholas Swanson, LMSW, School Social Worker, Mississippi Bend AEA
Tesha Dobling, LMSW, Linn County Mental Health/Development Disability Central Point Coordination
Gary E. Weinstein, LCSW, CEO, Transitions Mental Health Services
Angela Moody, MSW, Retired CEO, Arrowhead Youth and Family Services
Kayla Behrens, LMSW, Case Management - Social Worker, Unity Point
Kirsten Hampton, MSW
Lupe Nache Vital
B.A. in Social Work and Spanish,Class of 2021
Social justice is tied to action, and our BSW students experience learning. Lupe will spend 400 hours on-site at community agencies and organizations, working with, and advocating for, clients. It is an experience that will elevate her confidence and amplify the impact she makes in the world.