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 Dr. Dorlisa Minnick


 Dr. Dorlisa Minnick                                                                                                                                                                    

Associate Professor

Affiliate Scientist, Center for Land Use and Sustainability 

Office:  301 Shippen Hall
Phone:  717-477-1785 


BA-Social Work, Shippensburg University 
MSW-The State University of New York at Stony Brook 
PhD-Social Work, The National Catholic School of Social Service at The Catholic University of America


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 340: Assessing Organizations and Communities 
  • SWK 375:  Group Skills in Social Work
  • SWK 389 & 390:  BSW Field Work
  • SWK 505: Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations 
  • SWK 515:  Foundation Social Policy
  • SWK 521:  Foundation Macro Practice
  • SWK 530 & 531: Foundation Field Practicum Seminar
  • SWK 625:  Advanced Research Methods
  • SWK 630 & 631:  Advanced Field Practicum Seminar
  • SWK 640: Environmental Social Work 
  • SWK 641: Social Change Through Social Innovation 

Minnick, D.J., & O’Brien, P. (2018). Domestic violence, human rights, and postcolonial intersectionality of Afro-descendent and Indigenous women in Cuba and Guatemala. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 3(4), 216-228. DOI 10.1007/s41134-018-0063-6

Kensinger, C., & Minnick, D. J. (2018). The invisible village: An exploration of undergraduate student mothers’ experiences. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 39(1), 132-144. DOI 10.1007/s10834-017-9535-6

Minnick, D. J. (2015). Organizing Mayan women for community change.  In Mark S. Homan (Author), Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real world (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.

Technical Reports 

Minnick, D. J., Price, A., Jantz, C. (August, 2017). Cumberland County, PA Comprehensive Plan: Household Opinion Survey Analysis on Draft Goals and Objectives. Report prepared for the Cumberland County Planning Associations. Retrieve from [Regional Report]

Minnick, D. J. (April, 2009). In their own words: Support for the Las Promotoras peer education model in addressing sexual and reproductive health needs of Latinas in Chambersburg, PA. Report written for Planned Parenthood. [Regional Report]

Research Interests

  • Women's Issues
    • Undergraduate student mothers' experiences 
    • Violence against women 
    • Adolescent pregnancy and HIV infection
  • Community Development, Infrastructure, & Affordable Housing 
  • Community Based Participatory Research Methods
  • U.S. Immigration Policy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Environmental Justice & Climate Justice 

Contact the Social Work and Gerontology Department

382 Shippen Hall 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1717 Fax: (717) 477-4051