Sydney Brummel – Staff Writer
There are several new faculty members at Dordt this year, and two of them are in the social work department. One, Professor Leah Mouw, has returned to teach at Dordt after graduating from the university herself twenty-nine years ago.
“College was a fantastic experience. I loved my Dordt experience,” Mouw said. “I think that’s part of the pull of coming back…I think it was always in the back of my head that I’d love to go back and [teach] someday.”
Having grown up in Edgerton, Minnesota, Mouw felt familiar with the area around Dordt. After she graduated from Dordt, she moved to California and attended UCLA to attain her master’s degree in social work. After years in California, Mouw returned to Iowa last year.
“I appreciate that it’s a slower pace of life [in Iowa],” Mouw said. “I appreciate the people, their genuine kindness…I still prefer the California weather.”
Over the past twenty-seven years Mouw has been involved with numerous different paths under the umbrella of social work. In her career she has been involved in research, hospice care, level-one trauma hospitals, crisis intervention therapy, and adoption.
“I think one thing that I love is that even in all those different experiences, I have loved the field of social work,” Mouw said. “And one of the things I love about it is that you can do so many different things with the one degree.”
After Professor Mouw moved back to Iowa she served at Sioux Center Christian School as a school social worker. Soon after that, a position as a social work professor at Dordt opened.
“When I was in California, I would kind of dabble with looking at some of the Christian universities around there,” Mouw said, “and then God opened this up now.”
After years of experience in social work, Professor Mouw is now going to be passing along that knowledge to her students.
“One of my favorite things in teaching is that I can bring the real-life experience to the classroom,” Mouw said. “I didn’t just work one job; I worked a wide variety of different social work positions.”
This semester, Professor Mouw is teaching Introduction to Social Work, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Practice Methods to Communities and Organizations.
Mouw says she enjoys teaching these classes because they give her an opportunity to instill passion in the students for the field of social work in the name of Christ.
“To be able to use my faith and [see] how God is now going to give them the tools to go out and do the work that I have loved,” Mouw said. “I mean, there’s no better job.”