As a social worker, Dr. Benner is committed to improving the wellbeing of children and families. Her research interests primarily reflect my area of social work practice – the intersection of child welfare and mental health, including substance misuse. She is committed to educating efficacious social work practitioners, so her research interests also reflect the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and ensuring educational opportunities achieve the intended outcome.
Dr. Benner is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and has spent a decade working with children and families in practice before returning to academe. She is committed to ensuring that MSW students become good practitioners, well-grounded in assessment and evidence-informed interventions. Her passion is fueled by the countless individuals and their families who are impacted by abuse and neglect, mental illness, and substance use disorder. Families are particularly important to Dr. Benner because she cherishes her own – a husband of 30 years, and four boys. She is an avid sports fan and always knows the score of the St. Louis Cardinals or Kansas City Chiefs. Dr. Benner enjoys being outdoors and hiking, though she admits she has a terrible sense of direction.