Molly Allwein, a certified licensed social worker, joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work in July 2019 as the director of professional and continuing education. While the COVID-19 pandemic changed some of her office’s plans and goals for 2020, Allwein and her team have worked through the challenges and launched new initiatives for the Pitt Social Work community.
You’ve rolled out a lot of new programs in the Office of Continuing and Professional Education since you joined Pitt Social Work. What has been your most exciting accomplishment so far?
I am very proud of the work the Office of Continuing and Professional Education has achieved during 2020, even in the midst of very trying times. We were able to pivot from offering only in-person courses to moving fully online within two weeks’ time so that there was no disruption for social workers attaining the credits they needed for their licensure cycle.
Continuing education (CE) is focused on keeping social work professionals informed of the latest research and practice in their field. What are the emerging trends in CE that Pitt Social Work alumni might want to know about?
Right now, we are very focused on building up our courses in the following trending subject areas:
- evidence-based clinical interventions
- substance use disorders training
- mind/body connection
- LGBTQIA+ populations
- racial equity
2020 was a challenging year for us all. How have you stayed productive and positive during the COVID-19 pandemic? What self-care recommendations would you give to others?
For me, the lesson of 2020 was flexibility. There were a lot of barriers at first; processes and procedures had to quickly change to facilitate working from home. For both my work productivity and personally for my self-care, it was important to let go of expectations of how the year would unfold and instead be adaptable to the many changes that occurred. Also—and this is key—give yourself and those around you grace during this time. We all need it.
What are you most looking forward to when you can return to work on campus post-pandemic?
I am looking forward to being able to talk to my coworkers in the hallway and networking with the wonderful social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists who take our CE courses!