Aurora University

Faculty

Alison Arendt
Alison Arendt, MSW, LCSW

Associate Professor of Social Work, Director of Graduate Studies Office Phone: 630-844-5793
Email: aarendt@aurora.edu Areas of expertise: Clinical social work, adult mental health, LGBT+ community needs Education: MSW, Aurora University
BA, Northern Illinois University Favorite thing about AU: "The student-centered atmosphere. On all campuses, in all departments, we are dedicated to creating the best student centered experiences."

Brenda J. Barnwell
Brenda J. Barnwell, DSW

Dean of the School of Social Work and Education Office Phone: 630-947-8933
Email: bbarnwell@aurora.edu Education: DSW, Aurora University
MSW, Aurora University
BA, North Central College
AA, Rock Valley College
CADC, Waubonsee Community College Favorite thing about AU: "I value the diversity of our learners, environments, opinions, experiences, faculty and expressions." View LinkedIn Profile

Kristin Brendel
Kristen Esposito Brendel, PhD, LCSW

Associate Professor of Social Work Office Phone: 630-947-8934
Email: kbrendel@aurora.edu Education: PhD, Social Work, Loyola University Chicago
MSW, Aurora University
BA, Psychology, Benedictine University Favorite thing about AU: "Hearing back from students post-graduation that they have not only met but have exceeded their own expectations." View LinkedIn Profile

Christina Bruhn
Christina Bruhn, PhD

Associate Professor of Social Work/Co-Director of Assessment Office Phone: 630-947-8915
Email: cbruhn@aurora.edu Education: PhD, Social Work, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago
MSW, Social Work, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago
BA, Biology, Kenyon College Favorite thing about AU: "The sense of community here and the clear commitment of all members of the community to work together to advance student learning."

Laura Carlson
Laura Carlson

MSW Graduate Advisor and Registration Coordinator Office Phone: 630-844-8931
Email: lcarlson@aurora.edu Education:

BA, Lewis University

Favorite thing about AU: "The tremendous support from the staff and faculty to students and to each other."

Laura Donavon
Laura Donavon, LCSW

Assistant Professor of Social Work, Coordinator of Addictions and Forensics Specializations Office Phone: 630-947-8943
Email: ldonavon@aurora.edu Education: MSW, George Williams College, Aurora University
BSW, George Williams College, Aurora University
Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC)
Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional (CCJP)
Clinically Certified Juvenile Treatment Specialist (CCJTS)
Master Addiction Counselor (MAC)
Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Professional Board Registration (CODP I) Favorite thing about AU: "Transforming the lives of those who will in turn transform others' lives." View LinkedIn Profile

Cornelius Gorman
Cornelius Gorman, DSW

Assistant Professor of Social Work/Coordinator Advanced Clinical Social Work Office Phone: 630-947-8926
Email: cgorman@aurora.edu Education: DSW, Aurora University
MSW, Aurora University
BA, History, Northern Illinois University Favorite thing about AU: "The students! Especially those students who ask lots and lots of questions."

Marissa Happ
Marissa Happ, DSW

Assistant Professor of Social Work/Coordinator of MSW Health Care and Gerontology Specializations Office Phone: 630-947-8932
Email: mhapp@aurora.edu Education: DSW, Aurora University
Type 73 SSW certification, Aurora University
MSW, Aurora University
BS, Family Services and Child Development, NIU Favorite thing about AU: "The commitment to excellence, dedication to students, and outreach to the community." View LinkedIn Profile

Meghan Jarpe, MSW
Meghan Jarpe, PhD

Assistant Professor of Social Work Office Phone: 630-947-8902
Email: mjarpe@aurora.edu Areas of expertise: Human Services Organizations and Management, Youth Homelessness, Child Welfare, Social Policy, Research Methods Education:

PhD, University of Chicago
MSW, University of Pittsburgh
BA, University of Michigan

Favorite thing about AU: "It's an honor to be a part of a program that serves so many social workers that are shaping our field, here in our region and beyond!"

Emily Kath
Emily Kath, MSW, LCSW, PEL: SSW, MAEL

School Social Work Coordinator and Licensure Officer Office Phone: 630-947-8935
Email: ekath@aurora.edu Areas of expertise: School social work, medical social work Education:

MSW, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
MAEL, Governors State University
BSW, Western Illinois University

Favorite thing about AU: "I enjoy the collaborative teamwork that faculty and staff commit to helping students succeed in their studies! I also enjoy connecting with students individually to hear about their experiences and guide them towards graduation!"

Rita Wiermanski
Rita Wiermanski, LCSW, CADC, CAMS-I

MSW Online Field Coordinator Office Phone: 630-947-8911
Email: rwiermanski@aurora.edu Areas of expertise: Substance use disorders, anger management, working with the adolescent population Education:

MSW, St. Ambrose University
BA in Psychology with a Social Work minor, University of Iowa
LCSW
CADC

Favorite thing about AU: "There is never a dull moment! The AU staff is supportive and truly defines the word 'team.'"