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Wendy Shaia

Wendy Shaia

Clinical Associate Professor
Executive Director of SWCOS

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Wendy Shaia, Clinical Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS), is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Wendy obtained her Doctor of Education in Human and Organizational Learning from George Washington University. She has more than 20 years of experience developing, implementing, and leading organizations and programs. In New York, she developed and operated a shelter for homeless pregnant and parenting young women in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and built transitional and affordable housing in East New York, Brooklyn. She provided technical assistance to community organizations for the Enterprise Foundation and conducted the summative evaluation of the Red Cross’ long-term recovery effort after hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Most recently, Wendy worked as a strategic planner for the Department of Defense, where she led change management efforts, and developed strategies around Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity. Wendy is also the co-founder of the Positive Schools Center at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Her work focuses on creating a positive school climate and reducing the disproportionate suspensions and expulsions of children of color and children with disabilities from Maryland schools, particularly where children, families and school staff have experienced, complex, secondary and vicarious trauma. Wendy has been trained in restorative practices by the International Institute for Restorative Practices and in mindfulness by the Center for Mindful Awareness. She is passionate about issues related to poverty, social justice and oppression. Wendy is on the Board of Directors of the Community Law Center.

Expertise & Interests

  • Race and equity
  • Poverty and social justice
  • Black and African-American children with autism
  • Single parenting children of color
  • Organizational development

EdD, Human and Organizational Learning, The George Washington University, Washington DC, 2012. Dissertation: The Relationship Between Personal Agency and Meaningful Work: An Exploratory Study

MSW, Management and Community Organization, University of Maryland Baltimore, MD, 2001

BA, Psychology, Hampshire College, Amherst MA, 1989