Ph.D. in Social Welfare, UCLA - Luskin School of Public Affairs (2019)
M.S.W., UCLA - Luskin School of Public Affairs (2013)
M.A., Teachers College - Columbia University (2011)
B.A., University of Hawai'i-Hilo (2004)
Dr. Terrana joined Adelphi University, School of Social Work, in the fall of 2019. Previously, Dr. Terrana graduated with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Psychology from the University of Hawai’i-Hilo in 2004. She then served in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Vanuatu as an English teacher while working on adolescent reproductive health issues, gender and development relations, and clean water initiatives. Dr. Terrana decided to pursue higher education and finished her M.A. at Teachers College – Columbia University in 2011, focusing on macro practices and urban poverty. In 2013, she completed her M.S.W. at UCLA Luskin, School of Public Affairs, and in 2019 she completed her doctorate in Social Welfare, also from UCLA.
Dr. Terrana’s current research has a dual focus, first on nonprofit human-service organizations (NPOs) located in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage, and second, a new project focused on the pedagogy efforts of teaching social work students about social action and social justice. Her work has resulted in several peer-reviewed journal articles. Her major publications include two articles appearing in Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance (previously known as Administration in Social Work). The first, a sole-authored article, examines founders' strategies, motivations, and barriers to founding, while the second is a co-authored teaching case study focused on obstacles of obtaining funding for a small BIPOC founded organization. She secured funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and competitive internal grants (e.g., faculty development grant) for these projects. From her research on NPOs and pedagogy efforts, she has presented her work several times at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), as well as the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Issues In Social Welfare I: History And Philosophy Of Social Welfare
Theories & Research On Organizations And Leadership
Courses Previously Taught
Courses Previously Taught
Columbia School of Social Work:
- MSW: Power, Race, Oppression, & Privilege Infused Advocacy in Social Work Practice (residentially and online)
- MSW: Advocacy in Social Work Practice: Changing Organizations and Communities, Influencing Policies and Political Processes (several sections)
- MSW: Introduction to Statistics (asynchronous and synchronous - several sections)
Taught asynchronous and synchronous class for 100 students. Managed 4 TAs and 3 Tech Assistants.
- MSW: Human Behavior and the Social Environment (synchronous)
UCLA Graduate Student Instructor
- MSW: Social Welfare Policy (several sections)
- Undergrad: Social Welfare Organizations and Community Systems
Teaching: Advocacy/social change; social policy; research methods; nonprofit management; generalist SW courses
Teaching and mentorship are ways for me to contribute to cultivating the next generation of social workers and building our profession. My goal as an instructor is to be fully present with my students, displaying transparency by providing clear, consistent expectations. My instruction is infused by my experiences teaching English in the Peace Corps, plus several masters' level courses as a teaching assistant at UCLA and lecturer at Columbia School of Social Work. These experiences have instilled in me a value set that I seek to achieve in my classroom: 1) improve students' awareness of social inequities and structural inequalities, 2) to cultivate critical thinking on social issues, and 3) to mobilize students to challenge the status quo.
The social work principles of social justice and empowerment guide my pedagogical approach. I encourage active learning environments where students engage with course material through collaborative case studies, think-pair-share activities, and panel discussions. Whether teaching courses on advocacy, human behavior, or statistics, I keep students engaged through the use of real-world applied examples both from my research on the nonprofit sector as well as current domestic and international affairs. In a social work advocacy course, for example, I ask students to form small groups based upon similar topics of personal interest that encompass a social inequity or structural inequality either their clients or they themselves face. From there, each group selects a setting in which to advocate by actively joining the cause whether at the local, state, national, or international level. By integrating the course lectures and readings and applying those lessons to actions outside of the classroom, each student learns to assess their plans, plan their actions, enact their actions, evaluate their progress, and reflect on their experience through an individual written paper and group presentation where the assignment is the action. These types of assignments help operationalize social work concepts by fostering critical thinking with a socially driven purpose while challenging the status quo. Even more, it might light a spark within my students to continue pursuing their passion as learners, leaders, and future social work advocates.
As an instructor, I strive to create an inclusive classroom that encourages discussions of complex issues centered on the intersectionality of racial-ethnic identity, social class, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability status, and the like. From my experience, social work students desire spaces where they can openly voice their opinions, make mistakes, confront their biases, and engage in difficult conversations. I work to create this kind of space in the classroom. In the first class, I have the students brainstorm the ground rules, known as community agreements, to ensure it is welcoming, safe to voice diverse opinions and one that allows for mistakes to be made. Additionally, I discuss my background, upbringing, identities, and how those aspects of my life have shaped my worldview. Then, I ask the students to reflect on their past, their identities and consider the impact of those experiences on their learning. I do this through an exercise where everyone discusses three hidden identities that each is willing to share. I find that students are quite open and willing, and have found that this creates an environment of openness and acceptance that lasts throughout the semester.
To measure student learning, I rely on both formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments throughout the semester allow me to gauge where students experience challenges as well as identify their proficiencies. For example, when I taught an online class on human behavior, at the end of each class session I would conclude with one or two poll questions. Some examples of poll questions that I used were: What are your two main takeaways from today? What is one question or something that you are confused about from today's lecture? How do concepts a and b relate to your field placement? Through these 1-minute polls, I can make adaptations to my teaching in real time to clarify questions or reiterate certain points to improve student outcomes.
For formal evaluation of student learning, I employ summative assessments such as short written reflection papers/journal entries, group presentations, along with final paper assignments. For written assignments, I use a scaffolding approach, where every other week one section of the final paper is submitted. This encourages students to develop cogent ideas, thoughtful discourse, and improved writing in their final papers. Further, incorporating peer-review processes plus utilizing campus services such as the writing center are helpful in providing feedback to the students prior to final submission. Depending on the class size, teaching assistants, and course load, I have found that using these tactics can be effective tools to improve student learning. For each assignment, I provide a detailed grading rubric so that students know what is expected and how points and final grades are earned.
As a new instructor, I have much growing and learning to do in order to become an influential professor. To continue my professional growth as an educator, I seek out opportunities for feedback, assessments, and workshops on pedagogy. For example, during the spring of 2017, I took part in a reflective teaching seminar offered through the Center for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University that included a formal classroom observation, a peer-observation, as well as sessions on components of adult learning, student engagement ideas, student learning objectives, and student assessments. In addition, I have taken part in other workshops focused on syllabi design, grading rubrics, student feedback, and teacher improvement. During the spring of 2018, I completed an eight-hour training of teaching concepts of power, race, oppression, and privilege in the classroom. I also take student evaluations seriously as I incorporate feedback in subsequent courses. Because of my consistently high course evaluations, I was nominated for both the 2018 Student Teaching Award from the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE) and the 2019 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award from the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U).
To conclude, whether teaching online or residential, in small classes or large, it is my hope that students leave my classroom with a greater awareness of existing social structures and inequalities, a critical lens through which to tackle such issues, along with a recognition of the importance of macro practice in challenging the status quo. In sum, I aim to provide a social justice framework in my classroom teaching, one that empowers plus engages students not merely to become informed but to take an active part in the continual professionalization and evolution of our profession.
Research: Nonprofit and voluntary sector; community-based organizations; nonprofit management; social inequality; social identity; social policy
2005 – 2007 United States Peace Corps, Strengthening Human Resources through Education Project, Pentecost Island, Republic of Vanuatu
Other international experience:
2012 Social Work Summer Intern, City of Johannesburg, Department of Social Development, Social Assistance Program, South Africa
2010 Graduate Fellow – CUPID (Columbia University Partnership for International Development) Summer Intern, Volunteers Colombia, Isla Barú, Colombia
Wells, R., & Terrana, S. E. (2020). Discourses of poverty: Variation in how community-based organizations understand, talk about, and seek to address poverty. Sociological Imagination, 56(2), 23–42.
Terrana, S., & Wells, R. (2018). Financial struggles of a community-based organization: A teaching case. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 42(1), 105-111.doi:10.1080/23303131.2017.1405692
Terrana, S. (2017). Minority founders of community-based organizations in a neighborhood of concentrated disadvantage: Motivations, barriers, and strategies. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 41(4), 359–375. doi:10.1080/23303131.2017.1281856
Belser, A., Agin-Liebes, G., Swift, T., Terrana, S., Devenot, N., Friedman, H., Guss, J., Bossis, A., & Ross, S. (2017). Patient experiences of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy: An interpretative phenomenological analysis.Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 57(4), 354–388. doi:10.1177/0022167817706884
Swift, T., Belser, A., Agin-Liebes, G., Devenot, N., Terrana, S., Friedman, H., Guss, J., Bossis, A., & Ross, S. (2017). Cancer at the dinner table: Experiences of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of cancer-related distress. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 57(5), 488–519. doi:10.1177/0022167817715966
Monti, K., & Terrana, S. (2022, January) *accepted. Differential Racialization of Substances and the Social Work Profession: The Gilded Age to Contemporary Times. Paper presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), Washington, D.C.
Terrana, S. (2021, November). Teaching Social Work Students About Racial Justice Through Innovative Social Action Initiatives. Paper presentation at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting (APM), Orlando, Florida. *Research contributors: Daniel Kaplan, Patricia Joyce, & Marcella Pizzo
Terrana, S. (2021, January). How Black Women Founders’ Intersectional Identities Shape Human Service Organizations Organizational Possibilities. Paper presentation at the Society for Social Work & Research (SSWR), Virtual.
Terrana, S. (2019, August), Discourses of poverty: Variations in how community-based organizations understand, talk about, and seek to address poverty. Paper presentation at the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), New York City, NY.
Terrana, S. (2019, August), A qualitative case study of Black women nonprofit founders: Social justice and social change in the community. Paper presentation at the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), New York City, NY.
Wells, R. & Terrana, S. (2018, January), How poverty discourse shapes service delivery: A qualitative case of community-based nonprofits. Paper presentation at the Society for Social Work & Research (SSWR), Washington, D.C.
Terrana, S. (2017, November) Does identity matter? A case study of minority founders of human-service organizations. Paper presentation at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), Grand Rapids, MI
Founders talk: Experiences of community-based organizations in a neighborhood of concentrated disadvantage. Paper presentation at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), Washington, D.C.
Grassroots entrepreneurs: Homemade strategies for change. Paper presentation at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), Chicago, IL
What does it take? Founding and surviving as nonprofit human service organizations in a poor neighborhood. Paper presentation at the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), Chicago, IL
Nonprofit human service organizations in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty: Perspectives from the founders. Paper presentation at the West Coast Nonprofit Data Conference, San Diego, CA
NON-REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES
Abrams, A., Austin, M., Brodkin, E., Courtney, M., Danziger, S., Garrow, E., Henly, J., Jackson, A., Lambert, S., Lewin, A., McBeath, B., Merritt, D., Meyer, M., Mosley, J., Schmid, H., Smith, S., Terrana, S., & Torres-Gil, F. (2019). In Memoriam: Yeheskel “Zeke" Hasenfeld. Social Service Review, 9(1), 369-388.
Faculty Development Grant (2021/22)
- Racial Justice Social Action Learning Initiative ($3,000)
Teaching as Research: Teaching Fellows awardee (2020/21)
- Teaching Social Work Students about Social Action: Evaluating Impacts of Learning Activities ($1,500 + course buyout)
2014 – current member: Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
2019 – current member: Counsel of Social Work Education (CSWE)
2011 – current member: Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) of NYC
2015 – current member: Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP)
2014 – current member: Society of Social Work and Research (SSWR)
School of Social Work Service
Social Action Day 2019/2020
Policy Sequence Committee 2019/2020
Momentum Committee 2019/2020
Honorary Degree Committee 2019/2020
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