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Ashley Curry

Dean of Students; Associate Clinical Professor

  • PhD, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
  • MSW, School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago
  • BSW, Department of Social Work, Central Missouri State University
Area of Expertise
  • Children’s experiences of child welfare services
  • Organizational context of social work practice, especially worker turnover
  • Relational approaches to social work practice
Professional Highlights
  • Exploring the Importance of Youth-worker Relationships in Child Welfare
  • Improving the Effects and Processes of Turnover in Child Welfare: Lessons Learned from Administrators, Workers, and Youth
  • Developing Reflective Practice Capacities for Work with Children and Families (with Pamela Epley, PhD)
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Recent Publications

  • Curry, A. & Epley, P. (2021). Toward a reflection-centered model of social work education: Implications for enhanced practice. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 41 (1), 57-76
  • 2020 – Curry, A. & Epley, P. (2020). “It makes you a healthier professional:” The impact of reflective practice on clinicians’ self-care. Journal of Social Work Education.
  • 2020 – Curry, A. (2020). Envisioning a reflective, relationship-based approach to termination in child welfare: The importance of thinking, feeling, and doing. Children Youth and Services Review, 117, 1-13.
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Recent Presentations

  • Curry, A. (2020, July; accepted but deferred due to COVID-19). Using reflective supervision seminars to enhance the reflective capacity of graduate students. Annual International Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision.
  • 2018 – Curry, A. (2018, January). “I don’t want a new worker. Where’s my old worker?:” Relationship disruptions between young people and their child welfare professionals.Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work Research, Washington, D.C.
  • 2018 – Bromer, J., Curry, A., Ellis, M., & Changuan, E. (2018, September). Relationship-based family child care provider support: Reflective practice. Town Square, Webinar, Chicago, IL.
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Related Professional Experience

  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Practice experience within a variety of community-based, outpatient, residential, and inpatient treatment settings
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Ashley Curry, PhD, LCSW spent her first eight years at Erikson as a member of the social work faculty. She launched and directed the Online MSW Program, conducted research, chaired several committees, and taught a variety of clinical practice classes and reflective practice supervision seminars. She always stressed to her students the importance of reflective practice, a core component of the Erikson experience. At Erikson, students learn to examine themselves — their own assumptions, biases, and experiences — in order to best help children and families. In fact, Dr. Curry launched a study to examine this process at the institution, along with her colleague Dr. Pamela Epley. Their findings show that principles of reflective practice and reflective supervision, as institutionalized at Erikson, impact the personal and professional development of students and alumni in a variety of meaningful ways. Her other research, which was conducted during her doctoral studies at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, explores how relationships between young people and their child welfare professionals support their emotional and relational development. As well as the ways in which organizational dynamics, such as turnover, disrupt those relationships, and ultimately impact young peoples’ emotional and relational development in problematic ways. Her published work can be found in Journal of Teaching in Social Work, Journal of Social Work Education, Children and Youth Services Review, and Journal of the Society for Social Work.

Dr. Curry was promoted to the Dean of Students in 2022. In that role, she is responsible for designing, implementing, and cultivating systems and strategies to enhance student well-being. She brings a track record of prioritizing building a sense of community and belonging among her students as well as paying careful attention to inequities and social justice. “I am honored to have the opportunity to develop a network of student-centered supports that help to build community among our student body, both on-campus and online. It is important to me that students feel supported, connected, and included throughout their educational experience at Erikson,” says Dr. Curry. She brings not only extensive experience working in higher education but also in clinical mental health settings. Prior to becoming an educator, she worked for a decade as a mental health clinician in the ER and medical floors of a Level 1 Trauma Center. She takes a holistic approach to student wellness, stating “Creating systems and supports that enhance the social, emotional, and academic well-being of our students is a top priority of mine.”