As a charter faculty member in the Department of Social Work, Bonnie has a passion for developing future social workers for practice in the field. In order for education to be real, she believes students learn best when they have opportunities for development of a strong knowledge and skill base evidenced by critical thinking and operationalization of the core values of the profession, articulated by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). She believes in challenging and stretching students to think outside of the box and look at creative solutions which prepares them for the demands of employment upon graduation. Therefore, the program is grueling academically, personally and professionally as students become aware of who they are as people and what they bring to the social work profession. She is committed to program development and ensuring the program is current based on evidence based practice. She developed a field education program that ensures all faculty are well connected with the community and cognizant of changes in the field. Her creativity is evidenced in the classroom through assignments that are stimulating, thought provoking, and academically and professionally challenging.
Bonnie has taught a range of courses through her time at Booth from introductory to advanced level courses such as Introduction to Social Work, Research Methods, Administration in Social Work Practice, Social Work Practice with Individuals, Social Work Practice with Families, Social Work Practice with Groups, and Ethics in Social Work Practice. She has also taught selected topic courses in Aging and Social Work Practice, Abuse and Social Work Practice, and Social Problems. She has also coordinated the Aboriginal People in Social Work Practice course whereby students engaged with a range of First Nations people in the community. She was instrumental in recognizing the need for the integration of mental health and addiction studies. This came through her years in the field and the frustration of seeing consumers bounced back and forth between services. This led to the development of the Dual Disorders course which was cutting edge, not only for the University College, but also for the community.
Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Social Work from McMaster University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Manitoba. Prior to joining the faculty of Social Work, she worked in a range of fields of practice. These included medical, aging, mental health, addictions, at-risk youth, perinatal, child abuse, family violence and staff development. She was instrumental in program development and securing funding for prevention services during her employment as Executive Director in a number of community agencies. She has a keen interest in program development combined with program evaluation. She dreams of the day the social work program is accessible in a distance education format worldwide giving the opportunity to develop social workers across Canada and throughout the world who otherwise would not have the opportunity for professional training.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, knitting, needle point, and leisure moments with Princess and Lucy (her tiny toy poodles) and Jasmine (her cat), and spending time with friends during a game of Chicken Feet or Uno. She enjoys nature and is revitalized gazing at a sunset or sitting on the sand by the ocean. She enjoys travelling, meeting new people, and is fascinated with learning about the culture of others.