Dr. Marita Flagler

Associate Professor

Marita Flagler

Office: 331 Shippen Hall
Phone; 717-477-1266
Email: mnflagler@ship.edu
BA-University of Tirana, Albania (1977)
MSW-Colorado State University (1998)

PhD-Colorado State University (2005)


I joined the Department of Social Work and Gerontology at Shippensburg University in August 2006. My main areas of interest are macro practice (community organizing, social welfare policies and research) as well as disabilities, human rights, and international development. In addition to teaching in the social work program (both at the undergraduate and graduate levels), I also enjoy teaching at the International Studies Program and the Disability Minor.

My areas of research are varied: through the years I have studied the implementation of strengths perspective in an agency setting, the educational resilience of post-institutionalized adopted children, and the factors that impact the retention rates of undergraduate minority students. However, my main area of focus in research has been human rights and inclusion for people with disabilities. As a consultant to several human rights and disability organizations in Albania I have designed and lead the work for the evaluation of the the implementation of the Action Plan of The National Strategy on People with Disabilities as well as the implementation of the National Standards of Disability Services in day and residential programs. Currently, I am conducting a comparison group study of the social capital of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Central Pennsylvania.

I consider myself to be a practicing social worker. I am involved in several programs and community organizations, mainly in the field of disabilities, such as the Residential Task Force of Cumberland and Perry counties and Cumberland Perry Respite. I also am a member of the Cumberland /Perry Counties Mental Health/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Board. On campus, together with social work students and other departments, we have developed Inclusive Basketball and the Inclusive Party, which are programs and events that promote models of inclusion in disability services. My most recent international social work activity has been in the field of social policy: the development through a participatory approach of the New National Standards of Services for People with Disabilities in Albania.

Professional Interests

Human rights



Social welfare policies

International social development

Community organization and advocacy



SWK 250 Assessing Individuals in the Social Environment

SWK 275 Social Work Skills for Working with Groups

SWK 365 Special Fields of Social Work: Intellectual and Developmental

SWK 360 Research Techniques for Social Work

SWK 370 Practice with Organizations and Communities

SWK 389/390/391 Field Work in Social Work

SWK 420 Gender Issues for Helping Professions

SWK 450 Social Work Policies and Services

INT 301-1 International Studies Seminar: Human Rights-Movements
and Challenges

International Studies Seminar: Conflict and Its Resolution
in a Global World

DS 400 Capstone Seminar, Interdisciplinary Minor in Disability Studies


SWK/SOWK 501 Principles and Philosophies of Social Work

SWK/SOWK 601 Integrative Seminar

SWK/SOWK 615 Advanced Social Welfare Policy

SWK/SOWK 640 Selected Topics: Human Rights and Social Development