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Faculty & Staff

Laura Curran

Associate Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

MSW, Columbia University, Ph.D., California, Berkeley

Dr. Curran's research interests include family and child policy practice, welfare policy, social welfare history/theory, gender and sexuality.

(848) 932-4423 x24423

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Dr. Laura Curran is an associate professor at the Rutgers University School of Social Work and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Dr. Curran served as Director of the MSW program since 2014. In that role, she oversaw curriculum and master’s level program development. Prior to that appointment, she was the inaugural director of our Online MSW Program.  In that capacity, she led the design and implementation of our very successful online endeavors. 

Dr. Curran's interests include family and child policy, gender issues, and social welfare history. Her research primarily examines the history of the profession and, more specifically, the history of social work interventions with low-income families and children. Her research explores three key areas: 1) how expert understandings of social problems and family life gain prominence within the context of social work's professional maturation, 2) how social work discourses and direct interventions actively shape family and gender relations, and 3) how clients subjectively experience social problems and social work practices. Dr. Curran's has written about social work's response to the post World War II attack on the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program and mid-twentieth century foster care provision. Her articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals including Social Service Review, The Journal of Women's History, The Journal of Social History, and Social Work. Dr. Curran is currently conducting a study of the evolution of U.S. foster care from the 1920s thorough the 1960s. She teaches Social Welfare Policy and Services I, Social Welfare Policy and Services II, and Women's Issues.

Courses Taught: 

  • Social Welfare Policy and Services I (MSW and BASW)
  • Social Welfare POlicy and Services II (BASW)
  • Women's Issues

Selected Recent Publications: 

Munch, S, McCoyd, J. & Curran, L. (in press). Medically high-risk pregnancy: Women’s perceptions of their relationships with health care providers. Social Work in Health Care.

McCoyd, J., Curran, L & Munch, S. (in press). “They say, ‘If you don't relax... you're going to make something bad happen.’”: Women’s emotion management during medically high-risk pregnancy. Psychology of Women Quarterly.

Curran, L., Sanchez Mayers, R., DiMarcantonio, L, & Fulghum, F. (2019). Schools of social work admissions policies regarding applicants with histories of criminal convictions. Journal of Social Work Education. Advance online publication.

Sanchez Mayers, R., Cuesta, L., Davis, R. & Curran, L. (2019). Developing a program for social work with Latino populations: A case study. Social Work Education, Advance online publication.

Sanchez Mayers, R., Schwartz, R., Curran, L. & Fulghum, F. (2019). Using a virtual agency to teach research. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 39(4/5), 477-488,

McCoyd, J. Munch, S. & Curran, L. (2018). On being a mother and patient: Dialectical struggles during medically high-risk pregnancy. Infant Mental Health Journal. Advance online publication.

Curran, L., Sanchez Mayers, R. & Fulghrum, F. (2018). Employer hiring preferences in the human services. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 42(1), 95-104.

Curran, L. McCoyd, J., Munch, S., & Wilkenfeld, B. (2017). Practicing maternal virtues prematurely: The phenomenology of maternal identity in medically complicated pregnancy. Health Care for Women International, 38(8), 813-832.

Curran, L., Sanchez Mayers, R. & Fulghrum, F. (2017). Human service administrator perceptions of online MSW degree programs. 37(4) Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 385-401.

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