Dr. Nancy Humphreys

An interview with Dr. Nancy Humphreys, MSW as she discusses her work in social work education, professional associations, and influence on policy.

Interviewed by Ellen Dunbar, PhD. Date of interview: 10-10-15. Length of interview: 39 minutes.

Interview Topics

(1:15) – Her start in social work, Occidental College. (3:02) – MSW at USC School of Social Work. (4:45) – Experience as a child with polio knowing a social worker. (5:15) – Her mother’s work in the relief department as a social worker. (6:09) – Political, social, economic climate in the 1960s. (7:30) – Civil Rights Act of 1964. (8:09) – Career Development, work for the Welfare Department, organizing welfare rights groups. (10:45) – PhD at UCLA; teaching at Cal Poly Pomona, USC, and UCLA. (12:00) – Leaving California for Rutgers University, social work in policy practice. (13:20) – President of National Association of Social Workers (NASW), first president of CA chapter. (15:30) –Director at Montana State University, headed policy practice institute at UCONN, created Nancy A. Humphreys Political Social Work Institute at UCONN. (17:55) – Changes in MSW and BSW programs from 1960 to 2015. (18:32) – Founding BSW and MSW in Armenia after the earthquake in 1988, during the collapse of the USSR. (20:30) – Political social work as a career, running for political office as a social worker. (22:03) – Difficulties as a young woman president of NASW. (23:00) – Regrets for not being a stronger proponent for the gay and lesbian community as president of NASW. (24:45) – Increase in Affirmative Action target for women in the social work profession in leadership positions within NASW. (26:40) – Social work under presidents Nixon and Reagan. (28:20) – Change in political, social and economic climate during her career, denial of healthcare in some states. (29:15) – Balancing micro and macro practice in MSW programs. (30:15) – Preparing students better for policy change on behalf of their field, and getting people to vote and advocate for themselves politically. (35:40) – Political Social Work. (38:20) – Millennials’ creative use of technology and not joining traditional social work/professional groups. (40:00) – “Black Lives Matter” movement, NASW involvement in Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Gay Rights movements. (43:10) – Closing.

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