Faculty Biographical Sketches
Kathleen "Kit" Hinga, MSW, PhD, Department of Social Work
Dr. Hinga arrived at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in August 2005 from Western Massachusetts. She holds a bachelor degree in biology from the Elms College, and a master’s degree in Social Work (Community Organization) from Boston University School of Social Work. Dr. Hinga received an interdisciplinary doctorate in Sociology and Social Work (Social Policy) from Boston University in May 2005.
Dr. Hinga served as a doctoral teaching fellow at Boston University School of Social Work from 1999-2005, and has taught for several years as adjunct social work faculty at Elms College, Greenfield Community College, and Smith College of Social Work. She brings over 30 years experience as a social worker in the field. This work has included efforts to provide for the immediate needs of individuals and families, as well as, social changes efforts addressing the structural causes in communities for poverty, family and community violence, inadequate health care and literacy. Kathleen is especially interested in the use of family support approaches, which incorporate social work strategies that enable individuals and families to take power over their own lives as they work to address community issues from a social change perspective. She currently chairs the Network Education Program Board of Directors, a Washington based educational arm of a faith-based national lobby working on human needs legislation. She has held similar roles in efforts to promote local community control and the just allocation of economic resources. Dr Hinga has an active interest in the promotion of human rights through international social work. In 2008, Kathleen and Friar Michael Lasky received a $25, 000 President’s Initiative Grant and raised an additional $25, 000 to support a 18 day WCSU student study travel experience in Geneva, Switzerland during the UN‘s 60th anniversary celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Kathleen served as the Social Work Department’s Field Coordinator from 2006 to 2012. Her current teaching responsibilities include the Senior Field Seminar and Practicum, Senior Social Policy Seminar, the Senior Community Organizing Project, Practice with Communities and Organizations and the Senior Capstone Project.
Her research interests have focused on the implementation of welfare reform, and more recently, the factors involved in the mobilization of people to action. Kathleen’s dissertation work in this area focused on women at the grassroots level in their roles as activists. In addition to continuing her work with women, she is currently expanding her work on mobilization factors with a CUC Research Grant project focusing on learning more about the factors that hinder and support social work students with disabilities in their field education placements.
Dr Hinga currently serves on the WCSU’s Student Concerns Team, the Faculty Development and Recognition Committee, represents School for Professional Studies on the University Information Technology Committee and chairs the School for Professional Studies Information Technology Committee. She is currently serving on the University NEASC self study as the co-chair of Standard 7 , and the Social Work Department’s Self Study Committee for the reaffirmation of the Social Work Program’s Council on Social Work accreditation.