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 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

Marianne Benedek
Marianne Benedek, MSW, LSW

Lecturer of Social Work Email: mbenedek@aurora.edu Education: MSW, Loyola University Chicago
BA, University of Massachusetts Boston

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 Donavon
Laura Donavon, LCSW

Visiting Assistant Professor of Graduate 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, MSW

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 (expected 2020), 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!"

Laura Vargas, MSW, LCSW, CWEL
Laura Vargas, MSW, LCSW, CWEL

Assistant Professor of Social Work, Coordinator of Child Welfare Specializations Office Phone: 630-947-8900
Email: lvargas@aurora.edu Education:

Type 73 School Social Work Certification, Aurora University
MSW (Specialization - Children and Families), University of Illinois
BS, Social Work, Sociology minor, Illinois State University

Favorite thing about AU: "AU offers so many opportunities for life long learning and growth for student and faculty. The opportunities to learn something new every day are endless at AU that is one of many things I love about AU!"