Social work in digital environments, psychological trauma;
addictions; implementation science, and Eye Movement
Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Under Nancy J. Smyth’s leadership as dean, the University
at Buffalo School of Social Work has integrated a trauma-informed
and human rights perspective throughout the master’s
curriculum, established the Buffalo Center for Social Research,
expanded international education and research, and raised the
rankings of the MSW program to top 10 percent in the United States.
Dean Smyth is a board member of the National Deans and Directors of
Schools of Social Work (NADD), a past president of the St. Louis
Group (the national organization of social work deans at research
universities), and helped to found the National Academy of Social
Work and Social Welfare. She has served as co-chair for the Task
Force on Disasters & Trauma for NADD, and has served as member
of the SSW Advisory Board for Trauma Counseling Certificate since
Smyth is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress through
the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and has worked
in both mental health and addiction treatment settings for over 35
years as a clinician, manager, educator, researcher and program
developer. Her research, teaching and practice focus on trauma,
substance abuse, and on working with people recovering from those
experiences, including the use of innovative treatment approaches
like EMDR and mindfulness meditation. Past roles include:
co-investigator with PI Dr. Gerard Connors on Developing
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Application in
Alcoholism Treatment (NIAAA), co-investigator with PI Dr.
Christopher Barrick on Knowledge Exchange and Skills
Training for Therapists (NIDA), providing consultation on
Bessel van der Kolk’s National Institute of Mental
Health-funded study of Treatment Outcomes of Fluoxetine vs
EMDR in PTSD and on a study of EMDR in an integrated
treatment program in the Thurston County Drug Court.
In the last few years, Smyth has been exploring the implications
of digital technologies for social work practice and education. Her
vision included expanding the social work profession’s
presence on the Internet through the first the first
school-sponsored social work podcast, UB’s inSocialWork, interviews that feature social
work research and practice. inSocialWork now has listeners in over 200
countries and all 50 states, and over 1.5 million downloads.
Smyth joined the School in 1991 as an assistant professor from
the State University of New York at Albany, her alma mater, where
she earned a BA in psychology, an MSW, and PhD in Social Welfare.
She also is an R-level New York State Licensed Clinical Social
Worker (LCSW-R), EMDR Certified EMDR Therapist, and EMDRIA Approved
Consultant and Instructor. Smyth also has been an affiliated
research scientist with the University at Buffalo’s Research
Institute on Addictions since 1991.