Should clinical practice be taught online?


Dr. Michael A. Patchner

Dr. Michael A. Patchner has 35 years of experience in social work education as an educator and administrator. He currently serves as University Dean and Professor at the Indiana University School of Social Work. Dr. Patchner has been an avid promoter of access to social work education and has conducted research regarding off-campus education. As Dean, he has overseen IUSSW's pioneering accomplishments in online social work education and labor studies.


Dr. Nancy Smyth

Dr. Smyth is Dean at the University of Buffalo School of Social Work and a licensed clinical social worker with over 25 years of practice experience.  She has been exploring the implications of digital technologies for social work practice and education. Her vision included expanding the social work profession’s presence on the Internet through the first the first school-sponsored social work podcast, UB’s inSocialWork, interviews that feature social work research and practice. inSocialWork now has listeners in over 200 countries and all 50 states.

Dr. Debra McPhee

Dr. Debra McPhee is the Dean at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. With more than 25 years of international leadership experience in academia, professional practice and the private sector, McPhee’s expertise is unparalleled. As the former Chief Operating Officer of a health technology startup she developed curriculum and programs connecting health care and technology. Twice appointed Commissioner for the Commission on Curriculum and Educational Innovation Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) she is a proven innovative leader.


Laura W. Groshong, AM, LICSW

Laura W. Groshong, AM, LICSW, has a private practice in Seattle and is Director of Government Relations for the Clinical Social Work Association. She presents frequently on the intersection between clinical social work practice and statutory regulation. She is co-Guest Editor of the 2015 Special Edition of the Clinical Social Work Journal on cyber technology in clinical social work.

Elizabeth Alvarado

Elizabeth Alvarado has more than 20 years of clinical practice experience, working with individuals, families and groups. She is the Director of Psychosocial Services at MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care. She has taught direct practice with Individuals, families and groups as an adjunct professor at the Columbia School of Social Work and currently as an adjunct professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College where she teaches clinical issues in social work practice with the aged. Elizabeth is also a faculty advisor to social work level students enrolled in Boston University School of Social Work MSW Online Program.