Theresa Palmer, MSW, has been named director of UNC School of Social Work’s 3-Year Winston-Salem MSW Program. Palmer, who joined the School as an adjunct faculty member in 2007, had served as clinical associate professor and coordinator for field education in Winston-Salem since 2010.
As director, she succeeds Tina Souders, Ph.D., who led the program for 17 years. Souders is transitioning full time into her role as the School’s director of digital learning and instruction, a newly created position she was appointed to in a part-time capacity last year. Moving forward, Souders will work exclusively to advance the digital learning and instruction needs of the School, including coordinating trainings for faculty.
With the fall semester around the corner, Palmer is working to ensure that the Winston-Salem program continues to foster a “strong sense of community, connection and support between students and faculty.”
“I’m excited to build on the program’s many strengths while continuing to innovate to best serve our incredible students,” she said.
Throughout her career, Palmer has focused her teaching and research interests as well as community service on the areas of implicit bias and microaggression, effective pedagogy related to issues of diversity and disparity, child development and family systems, quality clinical supervision, interprofessional education, and environmental justice. She is currently completing her Ph.D in Social Work with a dissertation focused on the race-related experiences of Black MSW students at historically White institutions of higher education.As a long-time faculty member, Palmer has been recognized consistently for her teaching, earning her numerous awards, including the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence and the School’s Excellence in MSW Advising. Most recently, she was among four university faculty to receive the University’s prestigious 2022 Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction.
In addition to helping establish a Clinical Lecture Series for Winston Salem field instructors and area practitioners, Palmer has provided ongoing training on topics such as microaggression as an ethical issue and aspects of clinical supervision for the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers, Behavioral Health Springboard, the National Association of Social Workers and for local agencies.
Palmer is a licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, and an approved supervisor by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.