UND Professor Carenlee Barkdull To Focus On ‘Peril, Promise And Potential Of Distance Education’ At Next Faculty Lecture March 8

Carenlee Barkdull , associate professor of Social Work and director the Master of Social Work program at the University of North Dakota, will present the fourth lecture of the University Faculty Lecture Series for 2011-2012.

The upcoming lecture is titled “Peril, Promise and Potential of Distance Education,” and will be presented on Thursday, March 8, at the North Dakota Museum of Art.  A reception starts at 4 p.m., followed by the lecture at 4:30 p.m. The lecture series is free and open to the public.

Carenlee Barkdull:
Carenlee Barkdull, UND Department of Social Work and director of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program, has been a faculty member since August 2005. She has taught numerous graduate and undergraduate courses, including qualitative research, generalist practice with communities and organizations, advanced generalist practice with communities, introduction to social work, and graduate field seminars.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, and her master’s and doctorate in social work at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. There, she received numerous doctoral program awards, including the McPhee Research Scholarship, the Marriner S. Eccles Fellowship in Political Economy and the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship.

An overarching theme in her nearly 20 years in human service organizations – and in her more recent career in higher education – has been bringing social work perspectives to bear in solving community problems and building community capacity, particularly for diverse and vulnerable populations. Barkdull managed grants from the Children’s Bureau for the University of Utah’s Social Research Institute, guiding collaborations in rural and reservation communities over a three-year period to improve outcomes for socioeconomically-disadvantaged children and families in four western states. An additional grant she obtained from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funded a similar project for the Paiute Tribe in southwestern Utah. She also served as an evaluation consultant over many years for elementary and middle school afterschool programs in Utah.

She is the author of 16 publications, manuscripts and evaluations, and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. Her work has focused on both community practice and diversity, especially in relation to American Indian, Muslim and refugee populations. Since coming to UND, she has been awarded grants from the Northern Valley Nonprofit Organization that supported her research on poverty in Grand Forks. Grants from the Public Scholarship Fund supported a graduate student-led conference on restorative justice, and, more recently, work relevant to New Americans in the Grand Forks community. Barkdull also co-authored and is principal investigator for an interdisciplinary grant awarded in January to investigate the oil boom’s impacts on the state’s vulnerable populations.

A more recent area of scholarly interest has been distance education. The social work department launched the first distance program of its kind in the nation for MSW students in 2006. This model has been adopted by two other universities. The rapid growth of the distance program has brought significant growth for the social work department, more than tripling the number of graduate students over five years. She has more than 10 years of experience with distance education in her career. She recently co-authored a publication with colleagues at the University of Indiana on technology and teaching.  She is currently preparing a manuscript on the social work department’s innovative graduate program with Carol Schneweis, distance program coordinator, and other co-authors. The focus of her lecture will be to address some of the current challenges and controversies around distance education and teaching with technology. She will also share results of her research with the MSW distance program’s first graduated cohort.