Social Work

Professor Kunz Class illustration


The nationally accredited Social Work Program at McDaniel College prepares students for entry-level, culturally sensitive, generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups, communities and organizations. Students are provided with the knowledge, skills, values and training needed to work effectively with vulnerable and at-risk populations. We offer multiple service learning experiences throughout the Social Work curriculum. Through coursework, field education, and the learning environment we provide, students gain the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become competent generalist practitioners. Graduates can move directly into social work positions, are eligible for state licensure and qualify for advanced standing at most graduate schools of Social Work.

Hill Hall, 3rd floor

Dr. Cathy Orzolek-Kronner
Department Chair and Director of Field Education 
(410) 857-2535

Social Work Online Catalog


The foundation Social Work courses provide an understanding of the theories and dynamics of human behavior, policy development and analysis, helping roles, assessment skills, intervention techniques and research methods and evaluation. In their senior year, students are placed in a human service agency under the supervision of a master’s level social worker two days a week for a two-semester internship. By the completion of the social work major, students are capable of asserting leadership in the establishment, provision, and delivery of human services at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Social Work borrows ideas from a number of other disciplines including psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, and philosophy, thus making the liberal arts setting a perfect home for the major. Students interested in this major should consult with a social work faculty member as early as possible in their academic planning to ensure proper sequencing of courses and eligibility for the field.

Assessment of student learning outcomes (.pdf)


Associate Professor and department chair Catherine Orzolek-KronnerProfessor and department chair Catherine Orzolek-Kronner

(Ph.D., Smith College School for Social Work), teaches Social Work practice, research, human behavior and field instruction while pursuing her practice and research interests, often in collaboration with students, in disabilities, death and dying, eating disorders, women’s issues and psychodynamically-informed clinical practice.

Professor Jim KunzProfessor Jim Kunz

(Ph.D., University of Michigan), 2011 Maryland Social Work Educator of the year who helps organize McDaniel’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes team to raise funds for rape-crisis intervention, teaches policy, macro practice and research, and mentors students in his practice and research interest areas of Social Work advocacy, community organizing, cost analyses of social welfare programs and services to ex-offenders.

Senior Lecturer Michelle YoungSenior Lecturer Michelle Young

(MSW, University of Maryland School of Social Work), teaches in both the FYS and SIS programs, In addition she teaches  social work research, human behavior and family and group practice. She maintains a small clinical practice with expertise in maternal and child health,  eating disorders and couples therapy. She is the advisor of Phi Alpha, the national social work honor society.


About 75 percent of all recent graduates are employed in social work or related human service jobs.  Many also pursue graduate study at such institutions as the University of Maryland, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, and Catholic University.

McDaniel’s social work program is one of only two programs at private colleges in Maryland accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduates of the program are eligible for licensure at the baccalaureate level in Maryland and in other states that have licensure for BSW. Graduates of accredited programs in social work may receive up to one year of advanced standing in selected graduate programs in social work.

Recent Internship Placements for Social Work Majors:

  • Department of Social Services
  • Carroll Lutheran Village
  • Youth Services Bureau
  • Family and Children Services
  • Hopewell Cancer Support Center
  • Carroll County (MD) Human Services Program

Interested Social Work students have the opportunity to conduct independent research with any of our professors.

Recent student–faculty research collaboration

Student Professor Topic
Stephanie Akoto, Kautlin Atkinaon, Elise O’Meara Dr. Catherine Orzolek-Kronner Stories From the Streets: Understanding Homelessness in Westminster
Meg Roser Ms. Michelle Young Does Increased Communication with Military Spouses Decrease Anxiety


The Social Work Action Team (SWAT) gives students opportunities to organize community activities ranging from a Hunger and Homelessness Awareness campaign in the local community to the annual “Walk a Mile” fundraiser for the local Rape Crisis Intervention services. Students raised over $5,000 and won the County award in 2012.

McDaniel has a chapter of the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society. Its purpose is to provide a closer bond among students of Social Work and promote humanitarian goals and ideals. 

Capstone projects offer passports to career and grad school

Capstone projects offer passports to career and grad school
Emily Gebhart, a Social Work major from Sykesville, Md., whose capstone field placement took her to Paul’s Place, a community center providing programs, food, clothing, services and support to families and individuals in Southwest Baltimore.

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