Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Faculty & Staff Profiles

Marcia Spira, PhD

Title/s:  Professor

Office #:  Maguire Hall 502

Phone: 312.915.7580

Email: mspira@luc.edu


Ph.D.  University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration
M.S.S.W.  University of Wisconsin- Madison
B.S.  University of Wisconsin - Madison

Dr. Spira joined the faculty in 1996. She teaches courses in both the M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs, in the methods and HBSE sequences. Dr. Spira's research and writing focus on older adults and intergenerational families, as well as women's health and the impact of health concerns on family relationships.

Program Areas

Courses Currently Teaching/Teaching Areas:
Individuals and Families 503 and 504
Social Work with Older Adults  632
Summer Institute on Aging   - special topics  634

Research Interests

Current Research Projects:
Hartford Practicum Partnership in Aging Education - John A. Hartford Foundation
Interdisciplinary Teams in Work with Older Adults/Elder Law Initiative Loyola - Scholl Foundation
Gerospecialization in Social Work -  CSWE

Professional & Community Affiliations

Community and Professional Service:
Chair Committee on Aging – NASW/Il
Sister City Program City of Osaka- sponsored  by City of Chicago
Advisory Board Gabe Miller Foundation

International Experience:
Rome Campus  2006, 2007

Chicago Memory Cafe.

New Directions: An Intergenerational Course on Engagement and Education.

My Mentor and Me.

Selected Publications

Recent Faculty Scholarship:

  • Integrative Seminar in a Geriatric Consortium, BJSW (In revision) Authors: Spira, Marcia and Teigiser, Karen. Date Submitted: 01-Aug-2008. Caring for your aging parents (in press) Random House, Co-authored with M. Angelari, J.D.


  • Orwat, J., Kumaria, S., Spira, M. & Besinger, A. (2017). Class participation as a pedagogical tool in social work education. Social Work Education Vol. 0, p 1-17. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02615479.2017.1401601
  • Spira, M., Orwat, J. & Kneppler-Foss (2016). Aging in the LGBT Community: An Exploration of Life’s Challenges. M. Dentato, ed. LBGT Issues. Oxford University Press (in press).
  • Spira, M., Morhardt, D. and Kneppler-Foss (2016). The Art of Listening to Older Adults, Monograph, American Association of Psychoanalytic Clinical Social Workers.
  • Spira, M. and Berger, B. (2016). The Impact of Aging on Clinical Practice: A Developmental Challenge. Clinical Social Work Journal special edition on Aging.(B Berger and M. Spira, editors)June, 2016.
  • Perkins, N., Spira, M., Key, J. E. (2018). Intergenerational Transmission of Physical and Emotional Sibling Violence: A Potential Connection to Elder Abuse. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services 1–13© in press 2018.

Book Chapter

  • Aging within the LGBT Community: An Exploration of Life's Challenges 2017 (Marcia Spira, John Orwat, and Shaina Knepler-Foss.
  • In Social Work Practice with the LGBTQ Community: The Intersection of History, Health, Mental Health, and Policy Factors. Edited by Michael P. Dentato 2017 Oxford Press.


  • 2018 Frontal Temporal Lobe Dementia Association – Managing Vicarious Trauma: Mindfulness and Cognitive Interventions for Care Partners.
  • 2017 International Association of Group Social Workers. Reengagement of Relationships Through Groups.
  • 2017 Cathedral Counseling - The Emerging Older Adults: The Impact of Aging on the Clinician.
  • 2017 Coalition for Limited Speaking Older Adults - Managing Depression and Suicide.
  • 2017 American Society on Aging – Use of Storytelling with Couples Managing Dementia.
  • 2017 SEED – Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center – Disclosing Diagnoses and Sustaining Relationships.
  • 2017 Silverado – Managing Difficult Families Managing Illness.
  • 2017 Arden Courts – Managing the Psychosocial Concerns of Dementia.
  • 2016 Rocky Mountain Geriatric Conference – Assessment of Mental Health in Older Adults: An Interprofessional Approach Salt Lake City, Utah. 
  • 2016 Rush Medical Center. Value of Social Work on the Gero Social Work Team.
  • 2016 Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Managing Conflict in Couples Challenged with Dementia.
  • 2016 Cook County Elder Justice Center - Working with Older Adults in a MultiCultural Environment.