I received my Master of Social Work degree from the Smith College School for Social Work, in Northampton, MA, and completed my doctoral studies at the University Of Maryland School of Social Work. I am a licensed certified social worker-clinical, within the State of Maryland and a diplomat in clinical social work, certified by the American Board of Social Work Examiners. I also hold a license as a Clinical Supervisor in the State of Maryland.


Additional academic credentials include a two-year post-doctorate interprofessional fellowship (Project Mainstream), jointly sponsored by AMERSA, HRSA, C-STAT, and SAMSA. This interprofessional fellowship promoted the development of innovative curriculum to teach Motivational Interviewing and SBIRT across the professions of Social Work, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and allied health at the University of Maryland.


Presently, I am a professor at the UM School of Social Work. I am the Director, Center for Public Health Social Work Education, Co-Chair of Maternal and Child Health training, and Co-Chair of the Clinical Concentration sequence at the SSW. I have held joint faculty appointments in the Department of Family Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine where I worked form 1983-1998.


At the campus level, I have ably served as a founding Co-Director of the University of Maryland Center for Interprofessional Education, and Chair of the President’s campus task force on Interprofessional Education. I have also served as a faculty senator including holding office as Vice President and acting President of the Faculty Senate on the UMB campus.


Prior to joining the School of Social Work, I served 14 years as a faculty member at the University Of Maryland School of Medicine. In 1986, I assumed teaching and administrative responsibilities in the Department of Family Medicine at U.M.B, where I served as the Director of Behavior Science Training and Faculty development until 1998. In this role, I designed curriculum for medical students and family practice residents. During my tenure in Family Medicine, I was awarded three federal grants: 1) promoting interest in primary care, 2) formalizing a program of faculty development and 3) creating/expanding a division of behavioral sciences within the department.


I arrived at the UM School of Social Work in 1998 where I served as director of the Maternal and Child Health training sub-specialty and creator of the School’s Center for Maternal and Child Health Social Work Education (initial funding $715,000 ). This training grant was renewed competitively for an additional 5 years in 2003 ($745,000) and again in 2008 for an additional five years of funding ($745,000). Most recently, I was awarded funds from HRSA’s Bureau of Health Professions Work Force, to expand and broaden the scope of this Center to include all areas of public health social work “The University of Maryland Center for Public Health Social Work Education” ($900,000 over three years). This center remains one of only three sites nationally providing leadership development in Public Health Social Work, post-graduate training in public health social work, and doctoral fellowships in Maternal and Child Health. The Center has been a national leader in creating curriculum and educating leaders in the field of public health and social work for the past 15 years.


In terms of teaching, I have remained an active classroom instructor (5 courses per year) since 1998. In addition, to my typical teaching load, I taught 5 summer sessions and 11 interprofessional courses since 2004. My Social Work course portfolio consists of Family Therapy, (SWOK 703) Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (SOWK 722), Maternal and Child Health Social Work Practice (SOWK 714), Research Practicum in Maternal and Child Health (SOWK 789), Social Work Practice with individuals (SOWK 630) and a variety of seminars educational activities related to grant responsibilities.

Expertise & Interests

  • Teaching Pedagogy
  • Interprofessional Education and Training
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Family Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • Equine-assisted Psychotherapy

MSW, Smith College
PhD, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Recent Publications

Pecukonis, E.V., Linsenmeyer, D. & Strieder, F. (2019) A Live Supervision Model with Standardized Clients to Teach Motivational Interviewing to Social Work Students. Journal of Social Work Education. Manuscript accepted for publication


Pecukonis, E.V., Keefe, R.H., Carr- Copeland, V., Cuddeback, G., Friedman & M. Albert, S. (2019). Educating the Next Generation of Public Health Social Work Leaders: Findings from a Two-Day Summit. Journal of Teaching in Social Work. , 39:2, 132-147, DOI: 10.1080/08841233.2019.1586809


O’Reilly, N. L., Pecukonis, E. V., & DeForge, B. R. (2019). Maternal and Child Health Leadership Program in Social Work: An Alumni Survey. Journal of Social Work Education, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2018.1548987