Dr. Sheri M. McConnell

Assistant Professor (PhD, MSW & BSW)Dr. Sheri McConnell

Coughlan College, CL-1036

Tel: (709) 864-8381
Fax: (709) 864-2408

In January 2020, Dr. Sheri M. McConnell began a three-year regular term appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor. (Her permanent position is as a Field Education Coordinator.) Dr. McConnell teaches social work practice courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, provides field instruction, and supervises graduate student research. She is a member of the Field Education sub-committee, the Continuing Education working group, the MSW Curriculum Revision and Review working group, and the university’s Senate.

Dr. McConnell is a co-investigator in the five year SSHRC-funded TFEL project. Transforming the Field Education Landscape (TFEL) is a partnership project that aims to better prepare the next generation of social workers in Canada by creating training and mentoring opportunities for students, developing and mobilizing innovative and promising field education practices, and improving the integration of research and practice in field education. See TFEL webinars, reports, presentations, and articles.  

Dr. McConnell is passionate about her work with the Canadian Association for Social Work Education – l'Association canadienne pour la formation en travail social (CASWE-ACFTS), where she co-chairs the Commitment to Change working group and is the team lead on the development and implementation of the CASWE-ACFTS Online Field Instructor’s Course. An active and longstanding volunteer in a variety of community-based activities, Dr. McConnell is a research and program consultant with the Canadian Red Cross and has been dedicated to Camp Eclipse (a leadership retreat for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies) since its inception in 2009.

Dr. McConnell has lived on Treaty 4 (Regina, SK) and Treaty 6 (Saskatoon, SK) lands, and on traditional Algonquin (Ottawa, ON) and Beothuk (St. John's, NL) lands. As a registered social worker and a feminist, her practice is centred in respectful relationships, equity and social justice, decolonization and reconciliation, personal and community healing and well-being, and social action and social change. Dr. McConnell possesses a range of social work and human services experience in advocacy, clinical, urban and rural community development, consulting and evaluation, and group work. She has worked in government, health authorities, and the community, primarily with women, Indigenous peoples, and 2SLGBTQ+ people around their experiences with child sexual abuse, the criminal justice system, substance use, and other forms of personal and systemic oppression. At the School of Social Work, she has worked as a researcher with the Hidden Hurt Project (a national research project exploring child abuse prevention and disclosure), the Coordinator of MSW Field and Student Services and Continuing Education, and a Field Education Coordinator (ASM-FE).

Dr. McConnell completed a PhD in social work (Memorial University, 2015), an MSW (Memorial University, 2002), a BSW (University of Regina, 1998), a Certificate in Continuing Education: Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Studies (University of Regina, 1992), and a BA in Sociology (Carleton University, 1989). She is certified in Psychodramatic Bodywork and Psychodrama/Sociometry.

Dr. McConnell’s research interests include field and social work education; decolonization, reconciliation, and Indigenization; gender and sexual diversity; and preventing, disclosing, addressing, and ending violence and abuse, with an emphasis on child sexual abuse. Dr. McConnell has presented at a variety of local, national, and international conferences and has authored peer reviewed, scholarly, and other articles; book chapters; program manuals; and evaluation reports.

Selected Publications:

McConnell, S. M. (2018). For Settlers Who Say That They Support Decolonization... But Wish It Weren't So Hard. 

Swan, T. A. and McConnell, S. M. (2015). Transformative engagement in LGBTQ student/field instructor relationships. In B. J. O'Neill, T. A. Swan, and N. J. Mulé (Eds), LGBTQ People and Social Work: Intersectional Perpsectives. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars Press.

McConnell, S. M. (2014). What happens after children tell? A qualitative analysis of narratives of women who as children disclosed intra-familial sexual abuse (Doctoral dissertation). Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Ungar, M., Barter, K., McConnell, S. M., Tutty, L. M. & Fairholm, J. (2009). Patterns of disclosure among youth. Qualitative Social Work, 8(3), 341-356.

Ungar, M., Tutty, L. M., McConnell, S. M., Barter, K., & Fairholm, J. (2009). What Canadian youth tell us about disclosing abuse. Child Abuse and Neglect, 33(10), 699-708.


School of Social Work

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000