Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Shirley R. Simon

Title/s:  Associate Professor

Office #:  Maguire Hall 568

Phone: 312.915.7310

Email: ssimon@luc.edu

CV Link: Simon 2019

Mission in Action

Loyola is regarded as a leader in group work education for social workers.  I am committed to providing opportunities for students to develop skills and experience in effective group work. I have mentored over 225 students to make poster, paper, or workshop presentations at the International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG). These presentations serve as empowering, transformative professional experiences for many students. I have also co-authored numerous publications with students on various aspects of group practice. I am proud of the offerings of the group work faculty and the strong commitment of our School to strengths-based, client centered group work practice.


BA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Psychology
MSW, University of Illinois, Champaign.

Professor Simon teaches in both the B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs, and chairs the group work sequence. She joined the faculty in 1990, having been Director of the Undergraduate Social Work program at the former Mundelein College. Areas of practice expertise include group work interventions, facilitating effective meetings, adult education, and professional development. Research interests include contemporary challenges in group work education and practice, hybrid-online social work education, and educational trends in clinical social work.

Program Areas

Courses Currently Teaching/Teaching Areas: 
Social Work Practice with Groups
General Teaching Areas: Practice Courses at the MSW and BSW Levels

Research Interests

Current Research Projects:

The current state of group work education in accredited MSW programs; Group work related dissertations in social work programs; field supervisors' perspectives on the value of group work.

Professional Interests:

Connecting students and professional associations; Effective teaching; Group work education and practice; Professional development for social work students, Older women and the need for group connections; The role of part-time faculty in schools of social work. 

Professional & Community Affiliations

Community and Professional Service:

  • Book Review Editor for North America, Groupwork; An interdisciplinary journal for working with groups. 2012 – present.
  • International and local involvement with the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG) –Elected Board Member at Large, Co-chair Chapter Development, Facilitator of over 225 student presentations at the yearly IASWG Symposium
  • Advisory Board Member, Annual Editions: Aging, Dushkin Publishers
  • Primary organizer of community efforts resulting in the establishment of a 1.4 million dollar park in Northbrook, IL.2005-2008. Successful efforts to procure Illinois State grants to purchase and develop the park.



2017 International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG) Honoree for lifetime contributions to social work with groups and IASWG.

Loyola University Recognition Award - 2017. Honored for forty years of continuous faculty service (1976-2016).

Selected Publications

Simon, S.R. (2019). Connections for Change.  Social Work with Groups, DOI: 10.1080/01609513.2019.1639981

Simon, S. R. (2019). Professional development: An MSW course based on group work principles and opportunities. In Gardella, L.G. & Tully, G. (Eds.), pp. 87-98.  In Group Work: Creating Space for All Voices.  London: Whiting & Birch, Ltd.  ISBN 978186771469    

Atchinson, A., Ayón, C., Murphy, L., Gurrola, M., Lee, C.D., & Simon, S.R. (2019).  Academic mentoring of social work faculty: A group experience with a feminist influence, with 2019 Preface. London: Whiting and Birch Ltd.

Simon, S. R., Kilbane, T., & Stoltenberg, E., (2019).  U.S. social work dissertations with a group work focus 1970 - 2012: Interviews with authors. Social Work with Groups, DOI: 10.1080/01609513.2019.1567438

Simon, S. R., Kilbane, T., & Stoltenberg, E. (2019). Underexplored aspects of group work education in MSW programs. Social Work with Groups, 42:1, 56-71, 

Simon, S.R. & Grossman, S. (2017). Linking students and professional associations: A curricular strategy. Journal of Practice Teaching & Learning. 15:3, 5-24.

Simon, S.R. (2017).  Beyond group work camp: A bridge to symposia and conference participation via professional presentations. Groupwork: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Working with Groups. 26(3), 75-90.

Simon, S.R. (2017). The envelope closure. In D. Viers (Ed.), The group therapist’s notebook: Homework, handouts, and activities for use in psychotherapy (2nd Ed.), 254-259.  New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.

Lundy, M., Rodgers, P., Sanchez, C., Egan, A., & Simon, S.R., (2017) Support and         psychoeducational groups for immigrant women:  A working model. In A. Hilado & M. Lundy (Eds.), Models of practice with immigrants and refugees: Collaboration, cultural awareness and integrative theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hemphill, S., Simon, S.R., & Haydon, B. (2017). Exploring personal and professional understanding of nonmonogamous relationships: Reflections on a group work-informed workshop. In Stories Celebrating Group Work. A. Malekoff (Ed.), New York, NY: Routledge a Taylor & Francis Group.

Hemphill, S., Simon, S.R., & Haydon, B. (2017). Exploring personal and professional understanding of nonmonogamous relationships: Reflections on a group work-informed workshop. Social Work with Groups: A Journal of Community and Clinical Practice, 40(1-2), 34-39.