Dr. Dorlisa Minnick


 Assistant Professor, MU-SU MSW Field Co-Director
Office:  301 Shippen Hall
Phone:  717-477-1785
BA-Social Work, Shippensburg University (1994)
MSW-The State University of New York at Stony Brook (1998)
PhD-Social Work, The National Catholic School of Social Service at The Catholic University of America (2010)

Dr. Minnick teaches mezzo and macro courses in the BSW and MSW program. Previously, Dr. Minnick served two years, full time in AmeriCorps. This experience provided a passion for organizing. Afterwards, canvassing neighborhoods promoting migrant farm workers issues widened her understanding of Mexico and Central America. From here, she traveled to Guatemala and in learning Spanish and the culture, found herself returning multiple summers. Later, she was an international peace observer for presidential elections in El Salvador. Additionally, she lived in a civil peace camp in Chiapas, Mexico documenting human rights abuses. Yet the majority of her professional social work experience has been in promoting community development among college students where Dr. Minnick has directed residence halls and a living learning center as well as trained students on community organizing principles in the promotion of social change on campus and off. Her passion for women’s issues was re-ignited when she attended a conference in Thailand in 2004 and witnessed the effects of sex trafficking on women and girls. She has continued examining this global issue here in the United States. Dr. Minnick has published on U.S. immigration policy. She also has completed research on adolescent decision making in preventing early pregnancy and HIV infection. 


  • SWK 275:  Group Skills in Social Work
  • SWK 389 & 390:  BSW Field Work
  • SWK 515:  MSW Foundation Social Policy
  • SWK 521:  MSW Foundation Macro Practice
  • SWK 530 & 531:  MSW Foundation Field Practicum Seminar
  • SWK 625:  MSW Advanced Research Methods
  • SWK 630 & 631:  MSW Advanced Field Practicum Seminar

Minnick, D. J. (2015). Organizing Mayan women for community change.  In Mark S. Homan (Author), Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real work (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Clements, J. A. & Minnick, D. J. (2012). "But I'm too stressed to learn about groups!": Using stress management groups to teach group work skills. Social Work with Groups, 35(4), 330-344.

Minnick, D. J. (2012). Diffusion of innovation in modeling anti-sex trafficking policy adoption. Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, 28(1), 67-75.

Minnick, D. J. & Shandler, L. (2011). Changing adolescent perceptions on teen pregnancy. Children & Schools: A Journal of Social Work Practice, 33(4), 241-248.

Minnick, D. J. (2007/2008). Social justice implications of the 2005 Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act. Social Justice in Context, 3, 59-67.

Research Interests

  • Women's Issues
    • Sex Trafficking
    • Adolescent pregnancy and HIV infection
  • U.S. Immigration Policy
  • Program Evaluation