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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.”

Director of Student Experience and Support, Whitney Mittons, MOL, has a pivotal role in both listening to students’ concerns and working to enhance their experience. She engages students in a collaborative partnership to determine their interests and needs. She also espouses and demonstrates a commitment to the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, & Justice (DEIBJ) and integrates those into the work she carries out with students. Whitney also partners with students to create, plan, and execute student-focused activities and supports that enhance the student experience, including their sense of community and belonging within Erikson.

Alyssa is Erikson Institute’s Associate Director of Career Services and Alumni Engagement. She graduated from Erikson with her Master of Social Work (MSW) in 2017. Alyssa has been an active part of the Erikson community since her time as a student and has had the opportunity to work across different departments, including Erikson’s Edward Neisser Library. After graduating, she served as a clinician for the Center for Children and Families and then transitioned to the MSW Practicum Office before beginning her current role in the summer of 2023.

Alyssa has experience working with children and families in diverse settings, including both in-home and center-based therapeutic services. She has worked as a Family Advocate as well as a Disabilities and Transitions Coordinator to support families that have been enrolled in Head Start programs. In addition, Alyssa has provided crisis intervention while managing a mental health crisis hotline, and she has delivered therapeutic services for families impacted by domestic violence.

As the Associate Director of Career Services and Alumni Engagement, Alyssa aims to support students in their job search during their time at Erikson and continue this support once they transition to alumni. Alyssa will also provide enriching experiences for alumni and their cohorts to engage in, as well as keep alumni engaged with Erikson. In this role, Alyssa will be a part of Erikson students’ experience from the day they enter Erikson and beyond.