Patricia M Connolly

Patricia M Connolly

Professional Details

Title: Associate Professor
Office: 287 Lafayette-206
Phone: 978-542-6607
Resume: Patricia M Connolly [DOC 39KB]

Spring Courses

Cat. # Term Course # Title
1591 01 SWK102 Social Welfare Past and Present
1607 01 SWK410 Social Policy: Theory and Action
3140 10 SWK405 Field Education II
3157 10 SWK407 Field Education Seminar II

Professional Biography

I entered the worlds of social welfare and social work via federated fundraising at the United Way of Central Maryland during the 1970s. In my community organizing role at the United Way, I coordinated community action programs in two Baltimore exurbs. Heading up collective projects among social work leaders in those communities, I soon understood that it was time to pursue graduate work at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning. Post masters degree, I served as Director of Adult Day Services for the Chimes, Inc., an agency addressing the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. Later, I became Executive Director of the Voluntary Action Center of Central Maryland. After relocating to Massachusetts, I worked as Director of Community Education in the Maynard Public Schools, then as Director of Volunteers at the Hospice of the North Shore, in Danvers, MA. In the mid-1990s, I began my doctoral studies at Boston College, and became affiliated with the Institute for Community Inclusion, a research and training organization serving the interests of people with disabilties. Concurrently, I taught as an adjunct at UNH and at Salem State College. Finishing my doctorate in 1999, I was pleased to accept my current position in the undergraduate social work program at Salem State. I continue my consultant role with the Institute for Community Inclusion, as well.

Professional Interests

My father's blindness and my mother's (50-years-+) work in the field of developmental disabilities propelled me into a lifelong commitment to the disability community and to the rights of people with disabilities. That attachment has threaded through my life in various forms: volunteer work, pre-profesional and professional positions, and as a research and scholarship focus. At present, my disability-related interests center on: enhanced employment opportunities for people with disabilities: the incorporation and impact of Universal Design strategies in workplace and school settings as a boon to multiple populations, including people with disabilties; the "transition" points in the life of a person with a disability, from diagnosis to school to adult programming to retirement/gerentological needs to end of life; and the role of higher education in the lives of students with disabilities, including intellectual disabilities. I've developed a new interest in the meaning of cancer survivorship, and its impact on an individual's various roles and relationships, including professional ones. I maintain interest in the nature and function of volunteerism, and in end-of-life and hospice issues, especially as they intersect with the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.


Teaching is foremost among my Salem State responsibilities, and is a role I cherish. Each semester, I teach four undergraduate courses in social work, including liaisoning between a group of senior year interns and the human service agencies in which they do fieldwork. Alongside this central responsibility stands my role as academic advisor for 25-30 students each year. I take that role quite seriously, and devote significant energy to doing it well. I am an active member of the school of social work's Faculty Affairs Committee and its Peer Evaluation Committee, as well as the BSW Curriculum Committee. I serve on the school's Progression Committee on an "as needed" basis, and participate, along with all my undergrad colleagues, on our BSW Program Committee. At the college-wide level, I am a member of the Peace Institute, the Cornerstone Project, and am newly a member of the college's Foundations For Excellence Committee. Ouside the college, I sit on the Human Rights Committee of the North Shore Arc, and am soon to be trained in providing one-to-one support to people newly diagnosed with cancer, through the Reach to Recovery Program.

Selected Publications

Quantitative and Qualitative Study of the Impact of Systems-Level Policies and Practices on Integrated Employment Rates (2001). Monograph. Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC

Conversion to Integrated Employment: Case Studies of Organizational Change, Volume III. Sheila Lunch Fesko and John Butterworth, Eds., (2001). The Institute for Community Inclusion, Boston, MA.

High Performance Offices: Policies and Practices in Local MR/DD Offices Associated with High Rates of Integrated Employment (2002). The Institute for Community Inclusion, Boston, MA.

The Aging Workforce: Case Studies on the Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers in US Companies and Organizations (in process, 2007). US Department of Labor, National Center on Workforce Development, Washington, DC.

Selected Presentations

The Impact of Systems-Level Policies and Practices on Employment Programs for Persons with MR/DD, presentation made at the American Association on Mental Retardation Conference, May 27, 1999.

Learning the Hard Way: A Close-Up View of the Process of Conversion From Segregated to Integrated Employment Options, presentation made at the American Association on Mental Retardation Conference, May 27, 1999.

Disability as a Focal Issue in Policy Curriculum, presentation made at The Policy Conference, hosted by the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina;Atlanta, GA, June 18, 2000.

Taxation Without Representation: The Omission of Substantial Tax Policy Analysis in

Curricula, presentation made at The Policy Conference, hosted by the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina; Charleston, SC, June 17, 2002.

Personal Interests

My personal interests range from creative writing -and memoir, of late- to distance running. I hike whenever and wherever possible, and a special thrill is attached when it's a place I've never been. I'm an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction, and my book club means a lot to me. I'm an equally avid traveler, especially through Europe. Latest among my hoped-for trips is one to Greece, where I've yet to go, and to a little town in Belgium -called Giel - that holds a research interest for me. Through the years, I've loved doing community theater; but for lack of time, I'd be doing it now. Still, I love the theater as a patron. I'm an American history buff; a friend and I are about the long-term project of visiting the birthplace and/or presidential library of every US president. That sends me to new hiking venues, now and then. I tried and failed at pottery in recent years; I'll be satisfied with collecting the fine work of others more talented than I. Now I've got a yen to kayak, though I've done little of it. I love Arts & Craft architecture and furniture design. I collect stones banded with lines all the way around them, and I try to limit myself to those I can carry. I adore dogs, and have two corgis, at the moment. Most important of all, we have two terrific adult kids, one a newly-licensed social worker, the other in university-based international programs. Then there's my wonderful husband, an R & D manager at a medical devices firm, who is also brewmeister at our house. I am strictly the assistant. Role status aside, brewing is a great hobby, with fine outcomes. Did I mention that I'm a wicked Red Sox fan, with all the fervor of a convert?

  • Got a Question? Tel: 978.542.6650