As a teenage Israeli soldier stationed in south Lebanon, colleague Oren Shtayermman, PhD, MSW, professor of the Chamberlain University Master of Social Work (MSW) program, met and bunked with people from different cultures, learning discipline and life lessons very quickly. He vividly remembers the day when a social worker “swooped in and started chatting with us in a social manner – casual but methodical” after two comrades had taken their lives. “It had a huge impact on all of us because of the way she was able to contain, assess, process, support and take care of all of us.” She was his inspiration and she lit the path for his lifelong career.
Oren earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate – all in social work. “It made me feel like a kid in a candy store. The skills are so transferable and flexible and can be used in so many populations and settings.” Moving to the U.S. almost two decades ago, Oren has taught for 15 years, conducting extensive research on risk factors for suicidal ideation among adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Life at Chamberlain
He just celebrated his first-year anniversary with Chamberlain, attracted to the university’s well-rounded portfolio of nursing, medicine and health professions plus the opportunity to work online as a social-work educator. “It’s such an organic and evolving environment. We are moving ahead for the 21st century and learning what it means for higher education in an online capacity in 2020. That’s exciting.”
Oren said he approaches every day with a sense of curiosity and thrives on guiding students through the robust MSW program that requires critical thinking and assessment. “Students are learning with us,” he said, adding that the student body is not traditional because they are saddled with additional commitments such as parenting, caregiver duties and full-time employment. “We have a significant number of support systems for students because they are an integral part of the program – we need to learn and build everything together.”
Now living in Rhode Island with his partner Nicholas and their twin toddler boys, Oren loves to cook and participate in outdoor activities with his family. And he admits they all love to “rock out” to 1980s music. The family is still building community connections as they recently moved to the area, but Oren does find time to Step Forward at his boys’ book fairs and other school-related activities. “I’m very hands on. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Chamberlain's MSW Program
One year ago, Chamberlain University launched its MSW program within the College of Health Professions, debuting the first round of classes in September 2019. The degree program offers two tracks – traditional and advanced standing – and prepares students for both generalist and specialized practice. Highlights of the program include:
- Small class sizes to foster faculty-student relationships
- Online coursework available 24/7
- Opportunity to complete in as few as one to two years, depending on prior preparation
- Engagement through video, podcast, case studies and simulations taught by expert faculty
- Nurturing faculty who understand it takes a special person to pursue a career in the social-work field
- Customized fieldwork practicum opportunities based on interests and goals
- Tracks in:
- Medical Social Work
- Crisis and Response Interventions
The MSW program is led by a diverse group of colleagues who serve as thought leaders and experts in the social-work field including Stacey Borasky Ferguson, EdD, MSW, dean; Amanda Morgan-Henry, MSW, LCSW-C, director; Linda Quast, MS, MBA, PMP, faculty manager; and Oren Shtayermman, PhD, MSW, professor.
By Heather L Hurtado
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