“I encourage students to think beyond the typical conceptual frameworks and responses to social problems. I remind them that a savvy social worker both provides social services and also works for social change.”
Interventions; addictions; social work applications in non-traditional settings
Peter Sobota grew up on Buffalo’s East Side, where he learned how influential a strong community is on the lives of its members. What he likes about social work education is that it very deliberately accounts for the context in which a person lives—neighborhood, community, family—with the underlying concept that the problems that people experience are not necessarily rooted in the person; that the problems might stem from unfair and inadequate societal structures and/or communities.
Sobota teaches courses—including an online seminar examining perspectives on human rights and trauma—that focus on helping students become skilled at assessment and motivated about trying to bring about improved functioning for individuals, families and larger systems. He is also interested in the study and broad application of the Motivational Interviewing approach to help bring about change.
What excites him as a social work educator is teaching and thinking with students about theory and practice, then examining how it works in the real world.