Contact: Harold Waters
Written by: Kavi Vu
Posted August 17, 2012
Dr. Sandra Murphy is the new Director of Field Education at the University Of Georgia School Of Social Work. Prior to assuming her new role, Dr. Murphy worked as an instructor and member of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Program administered at the School. As Director, she oversees both the MSW and BSW Field Education programs and ensures that UGA field programs are in compliance with standards set by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a national association governing educational and professional institutions. Dr. Murphy has a wealth of experience and is eager to bring her exciting new ideas to the position.
Dr. Murphy received her Master of Social Work from University of Michigan with a major in interpersonal practice with individuals and families and a minor in administration. She continued her education at the University of Georgia, receiving her Ph.D. in 2007, along with a Doctoral Student of the Year award.
Prior to joining the faculty at the UGA School of Social Work, Dr. Murphy was the Director of Field Education at the Western Michigan University School of Social Work for three years. There, she implemented new programs and policies for field instruction as well as clarified and updated existing ones for greater efficiency. She developed learning contract templates based on CSWE standards for field placements and coordinated them with field instructor evaluation forms to enable collection of aggregate evaluation results. Throughout her 25 years as a practicing social worker, she has worked with a variety of populations, including children, adolescents, individuals, couples and families.
At UGA, Murphy has taught both BSW and MSW practice courses. She specializes in field education, mental health, marriage and family therapy, and child welfare. As an instructor, she aims to have her students “learn practice skills in the context of case studies,” many which she developed based on her own practice experiences.
While she enjoys the administrative portion of her job, Dr. Murphy relishes her role as an instructor. Her teaching strategy focuses on student experience and directly correlates to her social work background. In 2010, she was named MSW Teacher of the Year for the Gwinnett campus, by the UGA School of Social Work.
Ultimately, Murphy strives to make sure her students are well-prepared for their careers in social work.
“I want to create opportunities where students are able to incorporate everything learned in classes with real-life work experience,” says Murphy.