School of Social Work
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Get to know your Faculty!

Every Friday we will be interviewing one of our fabulous Social Work faculty members. This is a great way for students to get to know their professor's even better and to get to know faculty members that they have not had in a class yet.  

This Week's Faculty Member: Carolyn Craddock


Sunshine Angulo

September 18, 2020

What classes do you teach here at UNCW and the Onslow campus?

At the Onslow campus, I teach a junior-level class on diversity, community organizations, and pre-field. For seniors, I do the field seminar in the fall and spring. On UNCW’s main campus I teach a summer and fall practice course in the MSW [Master’s of Social Work] program. There’s something I love in all the courses. I’m not a researcher. I’m a practitioner by trade. My work has been in the community and behavioral health. I do the classes in which I can bring that experience. I found that I can do that in each classroom. It just looks a little different In diversity, we talk a lot about equity and inclusion. In a field class, we may talk about something different. We’re gonna be talking about how to do this work or how to understand the client you’re working with.

As someone who considers themselves a practitioner rather than a researcher, what is the difference between those two titles?

As a social worker, I have my master’s degree in Social Work. I’m a licensed clinical social worker. I’m also a licensed clinical addiction specialist. The work that I do has been in counseling and programs working with individuals who have mental health/substance use needs. I work in organizations rather than academics.

You had recently ended your term as the President of the National Association of Social Work North Carolina. What were your responsibilities and duties in this position?

I was on the board of directors for NASW North Carolina for six years. I had a variety of positions including Treasurer, Vice President, and President. The NASW North Carolina is a professional organization that represents social workers. It represents and advocates for the profession of social work. For example, the organization will protect the title of social worker. The organization also advocates for the client’s reserve. We’re doing a lot of work around voting initiatives and vulnerable populations. We make sure that people understand the power to vote and the need to vote. Additionally, we make sure that we educate our clients on the impact of voting. As President, I worked closely with the CEO to advance our objectives. That looks like working with our legislature and big advocacy groups. Some of the things we’re working on now is about equity and inclusion. We do a lot of work to educate us as social workers and also to make changes in criminal justice reform, school system, and making sure we have more social workers.

Can you tell me about specific organizations you’ve worked with that deal with your speciality of community behavioral health?

Most of my career has been in community behavioral health. I’ve done direct practice and really enjoyed that. When I was in graduate school that’s what I thought I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to do one-on-one with people or groups. I realized that the power of change was working in community or community partners. That can look like training law enforcement to understand what a crisis might look like. Starting that model called Crisis Intervention training to be able to give law enforcement the understanding and knowledge on how to respond to someone in crisis I also had some privilege to do a start-up. As North Carolina made the first change in moving to a model that had lots of different choices of providers in the community really expanded the kinds of services that were available. It looks like looking at a wide range of prevention and a better crisis intervention service. Being part of an array of development in crisis services in the community is another example.

What programs or start-ups that you’ve worked with would be beneficial to bring here to UNCW? What populations do we need to start focusing on?

UNCW is doing something really spectacular. It really is very unique. UNCW is partnering with an agency in the community to bring a clinic here. It’ll be a medical clinic that will involve the delivery of services. It’s really one of a kind that the University is gonna have the clinic on-site. It’s an opportunity for a partnership between the University and the community. It’ll also be an incredible opportunity for students to learn hands-on and be at the University. It’s new for UNCW. It’s new for the community in that it’s gonna be here in Veteran’s Hall. That’s really exciting. It’s gonna start with physical health. The clinic will have a team of providers like physicians and nurses who will deliver services to patients. While they’re doing the services, faculty and students can also be part of this. Students can have internships there. It’ll be a real teaching and learning environment for our students. Hopefully, that’s something the patients will really enjoy too. 

I’m really interested in the Crisis Intervention Training for Law Enforcement. Is there any way we could bring that to UNCW’s Campus Police or emulate some of the tactics taught in that program?

That’s a program I started quite a while ago. It’s still operating over the years. UNCW police have participated in it. It’s open to all law enforcement. There have been sheriffs, police officers, folks who work in detention centers, UNCW police, and hospital security. It has been open to all kinds of law enforcement. It’s a 40 hour training in which they get to learn about different areas of mental health. Whether it’s mental health, substance abuse, or dealing with specific populations (such as those with autism and struggling with homelessness), they get to role-play and apply what they learned in crisis management. They can learn how to de-escalate in a new kind of way.

Do you have any last words before we end our interview?

This is a really interesting time in our history. What I hope students will think about and talk about is the power of voting. As social workers, we are called to make change and seek social justice. In this time of racial disparity, we feel that this is a real moment of time to make change. The best way to do that is go vote. You really have to see the candidates and what they stand for. It’s important to make a selection because that’s where legislation is and that’s where racial policy begins. If I were to say something, I would say to go vote. I think young people can make a difference between what happens in our community, in our state, and in our nation. This is an important time.