University students study in a classroom with African American male lecturer

COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities in Social Work Field Education during a Global Pandemic

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“COVID: 19 really created unprecedented challenges that very few of us had ever confronted and probably in reality we weren’t really prepared for. [I]t was the ultimate crisis to test our ability to be collaborative problem solvers”

Laura Lewis, PhD &
Daniel Fischer, LMSW

In this podcast, our guests Laura Lewis, PhD, and Daniel Fischer, MSW, discuss how the COVID-19 disruption not only created unprecedented challenges for social work field education, but also forced social work instructors to think creatively about how to deliver content and experiences in different ways for students. They describe new models of learning and innovative instructional paradigms that were developed, and highlight the importance of working collaboratively and creatively to meet social work competencies and foster student learning and success.

Laura Lewis, PhD & Daniel Fischer, LMSW

Laura Lewis, PhD, LCSW, is the Director of Field Education, and Assistant Dean for Global Partnerships at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Dr. Lewis’ work has focused on expanding field opportunities for students regionally and internationally, and on developing international partnerships related to teaching and research. She is also co-director of the School’s Institute for Sustainable Global Engagement. She has presented and published in the areas of university-community partnerships, globally networked classrooms and technology in social work practice.


Daniel Fischer, LMSW is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work, Assistant Dean and Director of Field Education at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan Medicine Department of Psychiatry. Daniel has conducted numerous scientific presentations, workshops and training seminars on a variety of topics including cognitive-behavioral therapy with child/adolescent anxiety disorders, leadership development, and inter-professional education. His current research interests are related to inter-professional education, social work field education, and mental health intervention dissemination.

Interviewer: Michael Lynch, MSW

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