Social
Location
Brandt Hall 314
WHAT AREA DO YOU TEACH?

Social Work

EDUCATION/DEGREE(S)

Master of Social Work, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, May 2007
Bachelor of Social Work, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, May 2006

YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING:

In my classroom, I like to encourage open, honest, challenging, and thought-provoking discussions. I have learned over the years in academia to change how I run my courses through evaluations of students and the feedback I receive. I take evaluations seriously and I will change how I do things if it is in my power. I expect students to be respectful and I give them the same respect. I believe in order for students to grow into amazing social workers they need to start working on their professionalism in the classroom. Now that doesn’t mean it happens all the time, but I definitely discuss it and try my best to set an example for them. I had some wonderful professors during my college education, and I want to be that person for my students. I want them to view me as someone who cares, has an open-door policy, and most importantly as a mentor.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TEACH?

When I was in college I had a professor who was a really good mentor. I wanted to be that person for someone else. I love watching students grow and learn from their experiences. I enjoy getting to know my students inside and outside of the classroom. We all have different experiences and I like to learn from my students. I also decided to teach to give back to the field of social work by becoming an educator.

CREDENTIALS/CAREER PATH

I graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2006 with my BSW and in 2007 with my MSW. In January of 2013, I became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I won the 2020 Alumni Achievement Award from SIUC Social Work Department. I have a goal to complete a Doctorate of Social Work in a few years.

I have experience working with adolescents who struggled with substance use when I first graduated with my MSW. I then began working as an Adoption Specialist. I worked with birth parents who wanted to place their baby for adoption and adoptive couples wishing to adopt. I also have experience in providing therapeutic counseling services to children and adolescents in foster care. During that time, I also counseled biological parents who had their children removed from their custody. Then I became the Clinical Supervisor. For a while, I worked in a hospital setting as the Lead Social Worker. While working at the hospital, I would with clients providing brief interventions as well as discharge planning for when they would be discharged from the hospital. I have worked with United States Probation Office clients on federal supervision after being released from federal prison. I worked with the clients providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in a group setting and individual sessions who have mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders. I worked at SIUC as the Undergraduate Field Coordinator for approximately five years total. During my time at SIUC, I taught students who were pursuing their BSW or MSW degree prior to coming to work here at SEMO.

AWARD/HONOR/RECOGNITION

2020 Alumni Achievement Award from SIUC Social Work Department

ORGANIZATION WITH WHICH YOU ARE INVOLVED

National Association of Social Workers Illinois (NASWIL)
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
Illinois Counseling Associates
National MS Society- Gateway Chapter

BEST ADVICE FOR STUDENTS

Go to class and participate...it can make a world of a difference.
Get to know your professors...go to office hours.
Take your education seriously but do not forget to have fun.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”― Eleanor Roosevelt

My goal as a professor is to produce innovative media professionals who are ethically grounded and have a full understanding of the power and influence they wield as the creators of the first draft of history.

Nina Koen