Experience Day 2021

We look forward to meeting you at Experience Day on April 14 from 3-6 p.m. MST & April 15 from 3-5 p.m. MST. Experience Day is a great opportunity to get to know the people who will support, encourage and inspire you on your social work career journey.

If you have any questions, please reach out.

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Craig Hall

Experience Day Agenda

We have a full lineup of engaging content that includes informative panels from faculty, alumni, and students, mini-classes, and opportunities to learn more about the GSSW program.


April 14, 3:00-6:00 p.m. MST 

3:00 p.m. — GSSW Welcome & Q&A with Dean Amanda Moore-McBride and Kate Ross

3:45 p.m. — 15 Minute Break with Jenae McCarty

4:00 p.m. — Faculty Panel

4:45 p.m. — 15 Minute Break

5:00 p.m. — Mini Classes 

5:45 p.m.— Closing Remarks given by Kate Ross


April 15, 3:00-5:00 p.m. MST

3:00 p.m. — Student Services Panel

3:45 p.m.  — 15 Minute Break with Jenae McCarty

4:00 p.m.  — Alumni Panel – additional alumni panelist bios are forthcoming

4:45 p.m.  — Closing Remarks given by Jenae McCarty

Faculty Panel

Heather Renicker

Heather Arnold-Renicker

Clinical Assistant Professor; Equity Labs Curriculum Dir

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Aneesha Bharwani

Aneesha Bharwani

Assistant Dean for Field Education and Community Partnerships, Associate Professor of the Practice

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Julianne Mitchell

Clinical Associate Professor

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Michael Talamantes

Michael Talamantes

Clinical Professor

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N. Eugene Walls

Eugene Walls


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Mini Classes

  • Resilience or resistance: How to think about social work within a humanization context

    This mini course will focus on the differences between the concepts of resilience and resistance and their impact on social workers’ understanding of social problems and interventions.

    Taught by Professor Debora Ortega.

  • Weighing our Worth: An introduction to Weight Discrimination and Weight-Inclusive Practice

    This mini class will introduce students to what weight discrimination is, how it occurs, and where it arises in our practice as social workers. We will participate in a brief embodiment exercise, critique public health paradigms around weight, learn some of the science about the connection between weight and health, and discuss ethical ways to treat people all across the weight spectrum. We will end with a discussion of how this knowledge can improve our approach to our work with social work clients and our relationships to our own bodies. 

    Taught by Assistant Professor Erin Harrop

  • The Restorative Approaches

    A brief introduction to restorative justice – a philosophy and set of practices focusing on how people repair harm together in the wake of crime or violence. Learn the basic principles of restorative dialogue and imagine how restorative practices can be used for peacekeeping and conflict transformation in communities, schools, workplaces, and prisons.

    Taught by Assistant Professor Shannon Sliva

  • Ecological Justice

    This may be a term unfamiliar to you. We often hear of environmental justice, but what is ecological justice? In this mini-course you will meet the concentration leads for GSSW's new Ecological Justice concentration and learn how you as a social worker will be activated into ensuring a healthy and flourishing future for people, all other species, and Earth.

    Taught by Clinical Associate Professor Sarah Bexell and Associate Professor Lisa Reyes-Mason

  • Experiential Therapy

    Experiential Therapy can be a guided activity, a game, a mental puzzle to work out, time in nature, or a physical challenge. Through Experiential Therapy, the client often moves out of their comfort zone and into a place of new insights of self-discovery, confidence building, self-awareness, and new methods of how to cope with issues in their life. 

    Taught by Associate Professor Julie Laser.

Student Services Panel

Kathryn Ross

Kate Ross

Associate Professor of the Practice of Social Work; Director Denver Campus MSW Program

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Deana Ahmad

Deana Ahmad

Assistant Dean for Students

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Krislyn O'Sullivan

Krislyn O'Sullivan

Manager of Professional Advising

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Victoria Veres

Victoria Veres

Associate Director of Enrollment & Financial Aid

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Erin Clark

Erin Clark

Field Education Coordinator

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Stacy Said

Stacy Said

Career Development Advisor

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Adela Smith

Adela Smith


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Alumni Panel

  • Bradley Jackson

    Director of Counseling

    Mental Health & Trauma Concentration | MSW '20

    Born and raised in Denver, Bradley is an educator and social worker who graduated from GSSW in May 2020. He holds a bachelor's degree in History and French as well as a master's degree in education. While working as a high school teacher and administrator for several years, Bradley quickly realized that schools are a critical access point for adolescents & families when it comes to mental health. Bradley now leads a team of school counselors in providing support to students and families as well as in creating community-wide initiatives to promote health and wellness. He also serves as a phone intake counselor with a local community mental health agency.

  • Marisa Santarella

    School Social Worker at Colorado High School Charter

    Children and Youth | MSW '20

    Marisa grew up in Littleton, Colorado where she spent most of her time playing soccer and being outside. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College, and her Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Children and Youth from the University of Denver. Her passion is working with young people in schools and communities to help them develop skills that promote self-empowerment and healing. Marisa is thankful for all of the young people, professors, colleagues, friends, and family who have shared their knowledge and stories shaping her mind and understanding of the world.

  • Kayln Zita

    Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Specialist, STRIVE Prep

    Sustainable Development and Global Practice (SDGP) | MSW '20

    “Striving to create intentional communities where positive and progressive change can be made. Fluent in Portuguese with extensive experience in trauma-informed care, working side-by-side with children, youth, and families, both domestically and abroad in medical, educational, and community settings. Passionate about working with individuals and groups in direct-practice settings, while also talented at viewing challenges at a bird's eye, macro view.”


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