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Debra E. Thrower, MSW, Ph.D Social Work Candidate

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    Debra E. Thrower, MSW, Ph.D Social Work Candidate

    Undergraduate Social Work Instructor Debra E. Thrower is an Instructor of Undergraduate Social Work in the College of Education and Social Services. She has been an adjunct since 2011, prior to joining Saint Leo University as a full-time faculty in 2017. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Work with a concentration in Administration at Walden University. She is a Registered Clinical Social Worker Intern and has a Graduate Certificate in Evaluation from the University of South Florida. Her professional background includes direct practice, program management and evaluation, consultation, academic administration and social work education. She has served in faith-based organizations, government, and non-profit sectors. Debra has 27 years of extensive social work experience with maternal and child health, K-12 education, juvenile offenders, kinship care, homeless veterans and their families, and geriatric population. Debra was featured in the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper for her work with homeless women and children. A subsequent article focused on her collaborative efforts with disparities in academic performance between groups of students in K-12 education. Debra has been featured in the Florida Sentinel Newspaper for her local and state social work advocacy efforts. Furthermore, she was recognized as the Undergraduate Social Work Instructor for the National Association of Social Workers Student of the Year at the Tampa Education Center, Saint Leo University, for two consecutive years. She received the 100 Black Women of Distinction Recognition from the Greater Mount Carmel African Methodist Episcopal Church for Outstanding Contribution to the Tampa Bay community. Debra received Special Recognition for Commitment and Service from the NASW Florida Chapter Tampa Bay Unit. She also received the Goldstar Employee Recognition from the Veterans Administration. She has multiple publications and presentations. In addition, she is a co-chapter author of a book. Her current research focuses on ethics curriculum requirements in accredited undergraduate social work programs.


    • Ph.D. in Social Work at Walden University (expected 2020)
    • M.S.W. (Clinical Track), University of South Florida Graduate Certificate in Evaluation, University of South Florida
    • B.S.W. (Social Work), University of South Florida
    • A.A. (General Education), Columbia College

    Courses Taught

    • Introduction to Social Work Human Behavior in the Social Environment
    • Methods of Social Work Practice I
    • Methods of Social Work Practice II
    • Methods of Social Welfare Practice III
    • Gerontology
    • Social Welfare Policy
    • Diversity Issues in Social Work
    • Field Practicum in Social Work
    • Senior Seminar
    • Social Work
    • A special topic includes Maternal and Child Health