Faculty Profiles

Our faculty are active researchers, writers and speakers; many of them internationally known for their contributions toward the advancement of their fields of study. But, most of all, they're passionate, caring teachers.

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    Allison Scheel, MSW, LGSW

    MSW Director of Field Education and Assistant Professor

    Allison Scheel earned her undergraduate BA degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and her MSW from Augsburg College. She joined the St. Catherine University BSW Social Work Department in 2019 as the BSW Director of Field Education and in 2020, she stepped into the MSW Field Director. Allison currently teaches field seminar courses and has taught a MSW diversity and inequality course at Augsburg College. She has over 25 years of experience in the social work sector engaging in community practice work as a program manager at Goodwill Easter Seals and Neighborhood House agencies.

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    Carey Winkler, MSW, DSW, LICSW

    Assistant Professor, Social Work

    I am passionate about co-creating transformative learning experiences that engage us all in growing, leading, and healing. Inspired by the words of the late Senator Paul Wellstone who said, "We all do better when we all do better," I am called to work towards all people being seen, heard, and felt in the world.
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    Habiba Ibrahim, MSW, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Social Work

    Habiba Ibrahim joined St. Kates Social Work Department in August 2021. She earned Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and PhD in Public Policy Analysis from Saint Louis University. Her scholarship focuses on immigrants and refugees in the area of economic mobility and financial inclusion, health practices and health care services utilization, resettlement experiences, and international Social Work. Dr. Ibrahim's work examines the role of institutions and policies in enabling low-income households gain self-reliance through structured support. She has over 15 years of Social Work research and practice in community development, policy analysis and school social work.

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    Kia Lee, MSW, LICSW, MBA

    BSW Director of Field Education, Assistant Professor

    I'm passionate about educating, coaching, and guiding students to become social workers who are ready and prepared to take on the world! As a practicing social worker, I understand the importance of preparation and experiences! I enjoy meeting with students and taking on their goals and interests. As a female Hmong social worker, I'm interested in cross-cultural best practices through critical and radical social work from integrated approaches.

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  • Lisa Borneman, DSW, MSW, LICSW

    Assistant Professor, Social Work

  • Marcy Mears, DSW

    Assistant Professor, Social Work

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    Mari Ann Graham, MSW, PhD, LISW

    MSW Program Director, Associate Professor

    Mari Ann Graham, MSW, PhD, LISW, joined the St. Catherine University faculty fall 2019 as MSW Program Director and as tenured associate professor. She completed a PhD in Social Welfare from Case Western in 1999, her MSW from the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO) in 1983 and her BSW also from UNO in 1979. She also served as MSW Program Director for 6 years and as Interim Chief Diversity Officer while on faculty of the joint program with the University of St. Thomas for 25 years. She taught MSW practice, policy and research courses as well as courses in the DSW Program she helped develop and launch, summer of 2014.

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    Mary Nienow, PhD, LGSW

    BSW Program Director and Assistant Professor

    Dr. Mary Nienow earned her BSW from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1997, her MSW from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, in 2003, and her PhD in Social Work from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, in 2018. Dr. Nienow has over twenty years of experience in research, teaching, advocacy, program coordination, policy development and analysis and community organizing. Dr. Nienow was the co-founder of Grasstops, a nonprofit advocacy organization that assisted nonprofits and small community groups with their policy and advocacy goals. Her extensive practice experience also includes Policy Consultant for Hennepin County Medical Center, Field Director at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Executive Director at Child Care WORKS, and lead researcher on Health and Human Services for the Minnesota Senate DFL Caucus.

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    Pa Der Vang, PhD, MSW, LICSW

    Associate Professor, Social Work, Mission Chair for the Liberal Arts

    I am currently serving as the Endowed Mission Chair for the Liberal Arts. In this role, I am focused on promoting the liberal arts at St. Kates through professional development, community engagement, and student engagement.

    My teaching centers on the use of theory in generalist social work practice with an emphasis on social justice and empowerment. My research is on the experience of Hmong American immigrants and the acculturation process, especially Hmong Women. I am the editor of Staring Down the Tiger: Stories of Hmong American Women published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2020.

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    Sharyn DeZelar, PhD, MSW, LICSW

    Assistant Professor, Social Work

    Sharyn DeZelar, PhD, MSW, LICSW, joined the St. Catherine University faculty in fall 2019 as a full-time Assistant Professor.  Dr. DeZelar earned a PhD in Social Work in 2018 from the University of MN (Twin Cities) along with a certificate in Disability Policy and Services. She earned her MSW in 2006 from St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas School of Social Work, and her BSW from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1998.  Dr. DeZelar’s research focus is largely related to disabilities, and its intersection with family support, parenting, poverty and child welfare.  Dr. DeZelar also has been working on several projects related to diversifying the social work profession via inclusion and equity for students with disabilities.

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    Stacy M. Husebo, MSW, LICSW

    MSW Director of Field Education, Assistant Professor, Social Work

    Stacy M. Husebo, Assistant Professor, MSW, LICSW, earned her MSW from St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas in 2002 and her BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 1989. Husebo joined the joint Social Work program in 2007 as a Clinical Faculty/Instructor, and primarily teaches foundation and clinical field seminars, History and Philosophy of Social Work (MSW), Social Policy (BSW), and MSW clinical electives. She is deeply committed to student-centered learning, as well as, committed to social work practice and field education with a focus on reflective practice, critical questioning, social justice, and the flourishing of human and social well-being.