Brenda J. Barnwell, MSW

Brenda BarnwellAssociate Professor
Coordinator, Child Welfare Specialization and Addictions Training Director
School of Social Work

Building and Room Location:  Orchard Center 301A
Telephone:  630-947-8934

As a graduate of Aurora University, I was exhilarated to enter the field as a school social worker.  Providing services for children and adolescents with emotional disturbances was challenging and highly rewarding.   After several years as a school social worker and private practice clinician, I am honored to be a part of the educational staff at Aurora University.  

Assisting students as they increase critical thinking skills, acquire clinical skills and prepare for roles within the micro, mezzo and macro systems is moving for me.  My teaching objectives are met through a variety of techniques, including stimulating curriculum design, motivating group and independent work, interesting exploration of policies and research, as well as dynamic implementation and evaluation of clinical skills.  By promoting the learning process and instilling the value of life long learning, I continue to strive toward my personal and professional goals.  

C.A.D.C. Addictions Counseling - Waubonsee Community College
M.S.W.  Social Work - George Williams College, Aurora University
B.A.       English - North Central College
A.A.       Liberal Arts - Rock Valley Junior College

Areas of Specialization
Child Welfare
Substance Abuse
School Social Work

Courses Taught
SWK 3200 Psychopharmacology
SWK 4110 Social Work with Individuals and Families
SWK 4120 Generalist Social Work Practice II
SWK 5750 Substance Abuse
SWK 5750 Substance Abuse
SWK 5810 Survey of Substance Abuse Evaluation
SWK 5810 Psychopharmacology
SWK 6150 HBSE I: Theory of Human Development
SWK 6160 HBSE II: Theory of Human Development
SWK 6238 Research: Practice and Program Evaluation
SWK 6470 Advanced Social Work Practice with Children
SWK 6480 Advanced Social Work Practice with Adolescents
SWK 6500 HBSE: Social Work Perspectives and Practice on Psychopathology
SWK 6511 Social Work Practice III: Clinical I
SWK 6521 Social Work Practice IV: Clinical II
SWK 6533 Advanced Social Policy
SWK 6700 Effects of Trauma on Children
SWK 6810 Social Work Perspectives in Private Practice
SWK 6810 Divorce Mediation
SWK 6810 The Effects of Trauma in Film, Social Work Implications
SWK 6810 Psychopathology in Film
SWK 6810 Developmental Stages of Woman and the Impact of Pop Culture

Highlights of Presentations, Honors and Professional Contributions

“Steps for Effective Peer Observations for Teaching Improvement,” round table discussion with Dr. Joan Erickson, Aurora University, Aurora, Illinois, October 6, 2010.

“Double Whammy Family,” three-and-half-hour presentation at the annual Illinois Alcohol and Other Drugs Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. (IAODAPCA) conference, Itasca, Illinois, March 30, 2011.

“Ethics and Mental Health,” two two-hour presentations during Grand Rounds at Elgin Community Mental Health, Elgin, Illinois, February 8th and 22nd, 2011.

“On Second Thought,” three-hour presentation at Kendall County Special Education Cooperative, Oswego East High School, Oswego, Illinois, November 15, 2010.

“Got Relief,” three-hour presentation at the annual Illinois Alcohol and Other Drugs Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. (IAODAPCA) conference, Itasca, Illinois, March 25, 2010.

“The Process of Reciprocal Peer Observations,” poster session at the 2010 Faculty Teaching & Research Symposium with Dr. Joan Erickson at Aurora University, Aurora, Illinois, March 26, 2010.

“Got Relief,” presented during the spring field instructor’s continuing education workshop, Aurora University, Aurora, Illinois, March 19, 2010.

The Four "A's": Adolescence, Angst, Anger & Anxiety," presented at Rosary High School and Aurora University, fall of 2009.

"Substance Abuse and Family Therapy, a Training Curriculum based on Treatment Improvement Protocol 39," presented at the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA) Summer Institute, July and August, 2008.

"Adolescences, Developmental Challenges," training for Aurora University student leaders, June 24, 2008

"Ethical Considerations for School Social Workers," presented at Elgin Mental Health, September, 2009, Aurora University, April, 2008 and Kendall County Special Education Cooperative, April, 2008.

"Discipline for Paraprofessionals," presented at Oswego East High School, August, 2007.

Kendall County Volunteer of the Year, In appreciation for dedicated service and steadfast commitment to the mission of the YSB, presented by the Honorable Judge James Wilson and the Kendall County Youth Service Board, April 2005.

Debra Roberts Award, Kendall County Special Education Cooperative, Yorkville, Illinois, August of 1998.  Dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children.

National Service Award, Washington Times Foundation, Washington, D.C., April of 1996.  Who, inspired by the love of God and humanity, has given selflessly to: the peaceful resolution of conflict; the moral betterment of society, and the achievement of worthwhile goals for youth.

Earned statewide recognition third place Tiefenthal Award for research project entitled, Self Esteem & Truancy, April of 1995.  Hypothesis: there is a correlation between truancy and low self esteem; therefore increasing self esteem will improve school attendance rates.  Type of study implemented was a quasi-experimental, OXO, pretest posttest, diagnostic descriptive study assessed characteristics of truant students' self esteem.

Highlights of Campus Involvement
Director of the Bachelor’s of Social Work Program
Chair of the Child Welfare Specialization
Academic Standards and Conduct Committee
Faculty Development Committee
School of Social Work Admissions Committee
Student Leader Trainings
Field Instructor CEU events
Chair of the Child Welfare Specialization 

Other Interests
Community Involvement: Gateway Foundation of Aurora, Kendall County Multi Agency Council for Youth.
Executive Director and Clinician at Joi Counseling Center, Yorkville, Illinois