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Associate Professor/Field Director, Social Work Program



Professor Schwander is a social work educator and practitioner with over 20 years of experience in a variety of fields of practice including social work practice with women and children, housing and homelessness and medical social work.

More about Lissa Schwander

VandenBerg, T. & Schwander, L. (2020). A Short-term Study Abroad Program and Its Long-term Impact on Participants: A Perspective on Global Citizenship. Arts and Social Studies Research, Vol. 1. Submitted, Fall 2019. Accepted and forthcoming, April 2020. 

Kuilema, J., Schwander, L., Alford, K., Venema, R., & Hoeksema, S. (2019). Teaching note—Time for a teach-in? Addressing racist incidents on college campuses. Journal of Social Work Education, 1-7 

VandenBerg, T. M., & Schwander, L. (2019). The long-term impact of a short-term study abroad program: Perspectives on global citizenship. Journal of Education and Learning, 8(4), 18-31 

Schwander, L. M. (2018). The role of religion/faith in the lives of young adult refugees in West Michigan. Social   Work and Christianity, 45(3), 113-128 

Schwander, L. (2006). “Restoring urban communities”.  Christian Reflection: A Series in Faith and Ethics, Cities     and Towns. Baylor University Center for Christian Ethics, 89-93 

Schwander, L. (February/March 2003). “The Social Impact of New Urbanism: Does It Really Matter”. West Michigan’s Residential Resource for New Construction. p. 24-25 

Heffner, G., Zandee, G. & Schwander, L. (Fall 2002/Spring 2003). “Listening to community voices: Community–based research, a first step in partnership and outreach”. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. 8 (1), 127-140 

College of Liberal Arts and Social Science Maroon Excellence in Teaching Award, 2021

Qualified Administrator (QA) - Intercultural Development Inventory 

Licensed Masters of Social Work (LMSW) 

Ph.D. in Sociology (comprehensive exam areas - gender/intersections, migration, globalization), Michigan State University, 2014

Master of Social Work - Administration, Policy, and Planning, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, 1997

Bachelor's Degree with Honors in Sociology with a concentration in race, class and gender, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, 1988

Professor Schwander’s current research interest focuses on the use of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) as a tool for increasing cultural competency among social work majors. 

National Association of Social Workers 

Qualified Administrator (QA) - Intercultural Development Inventory 

Licensed Masters of Social Work - LMSW 

Courses Taught

Introduction to Social Work 

Social Welfare Policies and Services I & II 

Toolkit for Advocacy and Activism 

Professional Seminar 

We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it’s never a question of ‘critical mass’, it’s always about critical connections.