2021 Continuing Education Presenters

The Presenters

Sloan Okrey Anderson, MSW (they/them/theirs) obtained a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois and spent three years working with queer and trans youth as a social worker in central Illinois. Sloan is a PhD candidate in the department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Their research is focused on the experiences of LGBTQIA people who were raised in non-affirming Christian families, and the ways in which those experiences continue to impact LGBTQIA people into adulthood. Sloan currently works collaboratively with two local organizations that focus on serving LGBTQIA people from non-affirming Christian backgrounds, and their dissertation research is among the first to explore the impact of Christian family rejection across the lifespan. 


Kimberley L. Berlin, LCSW, CSAC, MAC, SAP is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC), Master Addictions Counselor (MAC), Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), Nationally Certified Recovery Coach (NCRC), Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), and certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) Level 2 therapist. She is an integrated addiction therapist who uses traditional Western and Eastern mental health and wellness approaches for people who want to overcome addiction.  Ms. Berlin has studied and trained in Interpersonal Neurobiology (Daniel Siegel, MD), Neurotheology (Andrew Newburg) is a certified Mindfulness Meditation and Kundalini Yoga teacher. She merges the 12 Step tradition with spiritual practices to guide her patients to a deeper understanding of what “recovery” can truly mean in their lives. Ms. Berlin is a nationally published author, speaker and presenter. She is authoring a book on spirituality and recovery which is slated for completion in 2021. She is an avid gardener and photographer, and recently started learning how to play the piano. Her private practice, Compassionate Beginnings, LLC is located in Leesburg, Virginia, where she lives with her husband and three rescue dogs.


Jess Bowers, MSW, CAPSW joined the Sociology and Social Work Department at UWSP in 2014. In addition to teaching, she coordinates the social work field education program. Jess received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1998 and a masters in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2006. She obtained her pupil services license for school social work in 2014. Jess has previous practice experience in juvenile justice, family violence, and child welfare. The bulk of her practice experience has been in central Wisconsin. 


Ann M. Callahan, PhD, LCSW is an Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Social Work Program at Eastern Kentucky University. She earned her a doctorate in social work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Callahan is licensed in clinical social work with over 11 years of social work practice experience. She has been teaching across the undergraduate and graduate curriculum since 2001. Dr. Callahan has a passion for creating a dynamic virtual learning environment through the application of impactful course design and teaching practices. Dr. Callahan’s research focuses on spiritually sensitive social work in hospice, palliative, and long-term care. She is exploring how relational spirituality provides as a means through which healing can occur. This has resulted in numerous presentations and publications, including the book Spirituality and Hospice Social Work, published by Columbia University Press, which delineates the foundation for her work.


Crystal D. Carter MSW, LCSW is a Milwaukee native. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a Master of Arts in Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor/Field Liaison at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. In this role, she is responsible for teaching field seminars and overseeing field placements for master-level students in community based-mental health and substance abuse treatment programs, outpatient clinics, and veteran’s services. She is also the President of Dean’s Clinical Solutions, LLC, which provides training workshops, consultation, clinical supervision and assessments, among other services. She has worked as a social worker for many years and has a vast amount of experience in academia and in both direct and macro practice. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and as a psychotherapist she has provided therapy in community agencies, Milwaukee Public Charter Schools, and hospital settings. As a therapist, she has provided counseling to individuals, families, groups, and couples. She has written several articles, in the  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper,  the article is entitled, “Half of black girls report being sexually coerced. There are ways we can help protect them.”(2019) In the national publication, NASW Intersections in Practice, the article “Systemic Racism in Health Care Affects the Spread of COVID-19 in African Americans: How Social Workers Can Help.”(2020) She has appeared on WPR(Wisconsin Public Radio) syndicated radio show Central Time, “How To Protect Black Girls From Sexual Coercion.”(2019). She has presented at social work conferences, local panels and webinars. Crystal’s specialty is  mental health and African Americans with an emphasis on black women. Her passion continues to be serving and educating the community.


Gabriela Diéguez Hurtado, MSW, LCSW earned her Master’s in Social Work at UW-Milwaukee. She has worked as a bilingual therapist for fifteen years at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers providing services to an inner-city population in Milwaukee. She has also collaborated in two research projects with Latinos, one with UW- Milwaukee on Behavioral Activation and the other with Marquette University on Attention Deficit Disorders. Gabriela spends her free time as a volunteer with Common Ground doing community organizing in Milwaukee’s Southside.


Katherine Drechsler, DSW, LCSW-SADr. Katherine Drechsler earned her MSW from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Doctorate of Social Work with Clinical Emphasis from George Williams College of Aurora University. She currently is the Field Coordinator for the Social Work Program and is the Advisor for the Student Social Work Organization and the Phi Alpha Honor Society. Prior to joining the UW-Whitewater faculty full time in 2014, she worked twenty-seven years in the social work field as a clinical social worker working with adults with mental health and substance abuse diagnoses, in child welfare, in juvenile justice, and in residential treatment for adolescents. Dr. Drechsler’s research interests include addictions, foster care, adoption, diversity and difference in practice, and enhancing teaching in social work education. Dr. Drechsler primarily teaches practice courses and field experience.


Dana Johnson, MSW, CAPSW, holds a Master’s of Social Work degree and is credentialed to practice social work in the State of Wisconsin.  He has over 10 years of management and administration experience; particularly in the area of child welfare, supervision and management, agency and culture change, and administration.  His areas of expertise and direct practice include child welfare services and reform, medical social work, higher education and training, leadership development, innovation theory, ethics and boundaries, trauma-informed care, and LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion.  Mr. Johnson is the Director of Kewaunee County Department of Human Services in Kewaunee, WI.  He is the owner and lead trainer/facilitator of Grow My Life, LLC.


Patricia Parker, CSW, Patricia Parker is currently a full-time Curriculum and Instruction Manager for the Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership located in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Patricia received her degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduate certificate in Community Mental Health from the Trinity College of Vermont. Patricia has worked as a consultant/trainer with the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice-University of Iowa since 1989. Ms. Parker has over thirty-eight years of experience working in the human services. She has provided in-home family therapy, individual therapy, group therapies, strength-based community development practices in Wilmington, North Carolina, Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin and provided consultation, technical assistance, and training services in 30 states across the country.


Frederic Reamer, PhD is professor in the graduate program, School of Social Work, Rhode Island College, where he has been on the faculty since 1983.  His teaching and research focus on professional ethics, criminal justice, mental health, health care, and public policy.  Dr. Reamer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has served as a social worker in correctional and mental health settings.  He chaired the national task force that wrote the Code of Ethics adopted by the National Association of Social Workers in 1996 and recently served on the code revision task force.  Dr. Reamer has lectured nationally and internationally on social work and professional ethics, including in India, China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and in various European nations.  His books include Social Work Values and Ethics; Risk Management in Social Work; The Social Work Ethics Casebook; Ethical Standards in Social Work; Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services; Ethics and Risk Management in Online and Distance Social Work; and The Social Work Ethics Audit, among others.  Dr. Reamer has served as an expert witness in many court and licensing board cases throughout the United States.   


Dawn Shelton-Williams, MSW, LCSW, Dawn Shelton-Williams is the Quality Specialist at Aurora Family Service (Aurora Health Care). She is responsible for the agency’s quality program including the agency’s accreditation process with the Council on Accreditation. Dawn is also the social work navigator for the agency’s Wisconsin Well Woman Program – Social Work Navigation. Her professional experience is in the areas of mental health, health care, and child welfare. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the State of Wisconsin, she is also in private practice at Sebastian Family Psychology Practice, LLC. Ms. Shelton-Williams has over 29 years of providing clinical services to children and families. Dawn is active in the community. She is President for NASW-WI’s Board; Co-Chair for NASW-WI’s Diversity Task Force and serves on the Governor’s Council on Mental Health.


Nick Smiar

Nicholas Smiar, PhD, ACSW, CISW

Dr. Smiar has been presenting ethics workshops for continuing education of social workers since Chapter 457 was enacted in the late 1990’s. He is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and former Chairperson of the Social Worker Section of the MPSW Board.  Dr. Smiar is Chairperson of the Eau Claire County Board and County Board Supervisor for District 15, and former Vice Chairperson of Eau Claire County’s Human Services Board. He continues to teach at UW-Eau Claire in the Honors Program and also works internationally on regular basis in South Africa, Germany, and Austria.


 Dimitri Topitzes, PhD, LCSW

James “Dimitri” Topitzes is a professor of social work at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and co-founder and clinical director of the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being.  Given his interest in the prevention and treatment of complex trauma, and he currently works with community agencies to implement and test trauma-responsive programming.  He has provided trauma-focused counseling services to youth and adults and teaches trauma counseling at UWM, where he founded and directed the Trauma-Informed Care Certificate program.

José B. Torres, PhD., MSW, LCSW, LMFT, is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee (MSW, PhD in Urban Education).  He is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Social Work, UW-Milwaukee with extensive clinical, teaching, and administrative experience. His teaching responsibilities to social work graduate students included, Direct Practice for Individuals, Couples, and Families; Supervision for Social Work Practice; and Cultural Diversity.

Dr. Torres currently provides psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families, and supervision & consultation services to licensed master’s level therapists who provide in-home and outpatient therapy. He also provides training and consultation in cultural competence and humility for mental health practitioners and has taught a seminar on Person-of-the-Therapist at the Aurora Family Therapy Training Institute.  His clinical practice and supervision reflect an integrative approach—multi-cultural/responsive, experiential, systemic-structural, interpersonal, and emotionally focused therapy.

Dr. Torres was born in Puerto Rico and moved to New York City at age 8 where he was raised with two younger brothers. He is married (Miriam Oliensis-Torres); they have three children, Brián, Rachel, Michael, and three grandchildren, Alex, Giuliana, and Logan.


Jeanne Wagner-Newton, LCSW, ACSW

Jeanne Wagner is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Director of Social Work Field Education Programs at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at UWM-Milwaukee. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with extensive clinical, management and administrative experience. She currently teaches courses in social work and child welfare and develops and presents continuing education programs covering social work ethics and boundaries, leadership and supervision, case management and safety in the field. She has served in the role of Ombuds for UWM since 2007. She has worked in a variety of social service settings prior to her appointment with UWM which include: child welfare, adoption, mental health, cognitive disabilities, geriatrics, AODA, and private practice. In her management role, she has addressed numerous issues related to professional liability and conflicts within programs including staff complaints and a variety of legal matters. Ms. Wagner also has 10 years of experience in Quality Assurance.