I joined the faculty of Westfield State College on a full-time basis in 2006. I teach primarily in the Practice and Field sequences, and have been the Director of the BSW Program since 2010.
I am a Westfield State University alumnus. After transferring from Holyoke Community College, I graduated with a BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice. (WSU did not offer social work as a major back then!) After working in the field, I soon realized that the philosophy of social work more closely aligned with my values, and I returned to school and received my MSW from Springfield College. I completed my Ph.D. at Smith College School for Social Work, and continue to teach Dual Diagnosis there during the summer.
Throughout my social work career I have worked in various clinical settings: crisis teams, supported housing programs for the chronically mentally ill, jails, prisons, addiction treatment programs, and outpatient clinics. My clinical focus has been on helping clients manage mood disorders, psychological trauma, addictions, and personality disorders.
My research interests are varied, yet share a self-regulation component. I am currently working on two research projects. First, is a quantitative project examining the impact of early relationship attachments on the development of interpersonal skills among social work and nursing students. Second, is a qualitative project that examines identity development among people who identify as transgender. I continue to be interested in the relationship between attachment trauma and addiction. A list of my recent publications and presentations follow. If you have an interest in any of these publications or presentations please feel free to contact me.
Nora LaFond Padykula
Department of Social Work
Westfield State College
577 Western Ave., PO Box 1630
Westfield, MA 01086-1630