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Social Work

Department of Social Work - Undergraduate Program
Center for Health Education 
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069

Department of Social Work - M.S.W. Program
USD-Sioux Falls
4801 N Career Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57107

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Welcome to the Department of Social Work

Professional social workers are uniquely trained to maximize the opportunity for change in both individual and environmental situations. Social workers are focused on empowerment; by assessing the barriers that individuals and communities are facing, developing programs and interventions, and advocating on behalf of clients, social workers are actively improving the lives of others.

At USD, our faculty are leaders in social work practice, education and research. They bring real-world experience to the classroom to provide our students with the highest quality education and mentorship. In the classroom, we emphasize ethics, compassion and evidence-based practice; this enables our students to gain the person-centered skills and practical knowledge they need to be thoughtful and responsive leaders. Students bring this foundation to their field education, applying what they've learned in the practice setting under the supervision of expert, licensed social workers. This is a crucial element to social work education, giving students the hands-on learning experiences and confidence to thrive in their future careers. Our students graduate as trustworthy professionals committed to addressing community challenges and improving lives for a wide range of populations.

Join our community of compassionate leaders in the USD Department of Social Work.




Meet the Department

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Department of Social Work. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in financial literacy, systematic policy analysis, rural health, telemedicine intervention, interventions affecting vulnerable populations in the criminal justice and welfare systems, clinical license supervision and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kelly Bass

Kelly Bass

Chair SocWork/Chair Add Coun&Prev/Assoc Prof
Bio Image for Faculty Member Tallie Cassanova

Tallie Cassanova

Instructor, BSSW Prog Dir
Bio Image for Faculty Member Erna Dinata

Erna Dinata

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Megan Grode Wolters

Megan Grode Wolters

Instructor, MSW Program Director
Bio Image for Faculty Member Chabli Hodge

Chabli Hodge

Instructor, BSSW Field Education Director
Bio Image for Faculty Member Natalie Lecy

Natalie Lecy

Assistant Professor


Clinical work, RCT research, mindfulness.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Soon Hee Roh

Soon Hee Roh


Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.


Explore the variety of opportunities and resources available to social work students.


Explore the departments, facilities and centers housed in the Department of Social Work.

A counselor working with two students.

Social Work

Our department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work, preparing students to be empathetic, trustworthy and capable social workers. Our faculty bring years of social work experience to the classroom and to their research, and they work to build and improve the field as they develop our future leaders here at USD.

Exterior of Lee Medical Building during the day.

Interprofessional Health Education Center

Learn to become an interprofessional team in real-world settings.

A person working with a USD student physical therapist.

The Region's Leader in Health Care Education

USD is home to the only comprehensive health sciences school and medical school in the state. This advantage offers our students the unique opportunity to learn and train alongside peers in a variety of disciplines, equipping them with the collaborative experiences they need to be effective members of their future patients' care teams.


We are also proud to have strong relationships with the region's leading health care providers. These partnerships offer our students invaluable opportunities for developing professional connections, getting hands-on experiences and serving their communities early in their education.

Female Professor Lecturing

Mentorship and Advising

In the Department of Social Work, our faculty, staff and students work closely together to ensure students are well-positioned to achieve their goals. Our class sizes are small, allowing students and faculty members the opportunity to pursue mentorship connections and work together on research projects.

Alum success story

Success story Dawn Marie Johnson smiling.
My first experience having an Indigenous woman in my academic career was my advisor and Social Work 101 professor at USD. Inspired by their powerful presence and history of positive community-wide impact, I majored in social work. I was accepted into advanced standings for the Master's level program six years later. Through my BSW and MSW, I had the best support from faculty who I now consider great friends.

Dawn Marie Johnson

M.S. Social Work '20
B.S. Social Work '12
CTE and Community Outreach Coordinator, Sioux Falls School District
Sioux Falls, SD

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