Edward Pecukonis, Professor
UM School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
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
My scholarship addresses social work pedagogy and the science of social work education. The primary focus of this research is to: 1) Develop and evaluate innovative methods of teaching public health social work and 2) Create educational experiences that promote leadership development and interprofessional practice within the classroom and field settings. I am interested in social work pedagogy that is both an approach to teaching and an exploration of the many variables that affect student learning.
Throughout my career, I have developed, tested, and disseminated innovative instructional methods for public health social work and interprofessional education. My research, teaching, and service demonstrate my commitment to this goal. During the course of my career at the University of Maryland Baltimore, I have received over $6.4 million in State and Federal Funding to support my scholarship and educational programming. During my tenure, I have served as the Principal Investigator for (8) eight major federal grants and (5) five State of Maryland and/or local foundations grants. I have served as a Co-Principal Investigator on an additional (3) three grant projects and worked as a consultant on another 14 grants across the UMB campus.
Each of my Federal grants has allowed me to further my research agenda and address the science of educating social workers through innovative instructional methods. In pursuit of this goal, I have published 38 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, a series of abstracts and conference proceedings, and a training manual on the use of live supervision and standardized clients in teaching clinical skills i.e. Motivational Interviewing. I have published seven public health curriculum modules, and technical reports informing educational policy and planning at both the local and national level. My grant projects have supported the development of over 20 public health curriculum modules that have been both tested and used by social work faculty across the nation. Findings from my research are widely cited. I have presented my findings at both local and national conferences. I have over 68 professional presentations that focus on Social Work Pedagogy and/or developing IPE, and PHSW educational approaches. These presentations include plenary and keynote papers at both local and national conferences and are detailed in my CV.
Scholarship related to Public Health Social Work
Since 1998 I have been the director of The Center for Public Health Social Work Education which was one of only three federally funded public health social work grant projects in the country between 1998- 2018. Since its inception, the Center (www.ssw.umaryland.edu/cphswet ) has informed social work pedagogy by developing innovative, award-winning and nationally recognized curriculum. Our center has been a clearinghouse for curriculum and training materials related to Public Health and Interprofessional Practice. The work of this Center has created a fully integrated dual degree program (MSW/MPH) within our health concentration at the SSW. We now offer dual degree programs with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Maryland, Master of Public Health Programs. In addition, grant funding has helped support social work student interest in the Master of Public health degree and trained a generation of public health social workers. For example, we have provided 105 scholarships to MSW and dual degree MPH/MSW students since 1998, totaling $735,000. The Center has also provided funding for 9 doctoral students completing a two year Public Health/MCH Social Work Fellowship. Support of doctoral prepared pubic health social work faculty has totaled over $432,000 since 2004. These Fellows are now faculty members at universities throughout the natation and actively educating the next generation of public health social workers. In addition, we have also trained 25 social work administrators within the mid-Atlantic region in a one-year PHSW Leadership Development program/institute, co-sponsored with the University of Georgia. Finally, eleven (11) Interprofessional Public health social work courses were developed through this funding stream, providing quality educational experiences to over 825 graduate students representing the professions of Social Work, Public Health, Medicine, Nursing Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Law. These innovative courses combined classroom training, taught by an interprofessional faculty, with a 16-week interprofessional community service learning project (i.e. childhood obesity, reducing community violence, etc).
My scholarship and service to the profession have been acknowledged by a variety of awards and accolades including receipt of the University of Maryland Teacher of the Year (2015), NASW’s Teacher of the Year (2009), Co-recipient of the annual Martin Luther King Diversity Achievement Award and recipient of the Secretary of Health and Human Services National Award for Innovations in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (2005) and others.