Rebecca Hornung

  • Social Work Department Chair and Program Director; Associate Professor
    Email Address:
    Office location:
    Lentz Hall 224G

    Professor Rebecca Hornung joined the Carthage faculty in Fall 2015, after working as a practicing social worker for 13 years and teaching in social work education since 2003.

    Prof. Hornung began her teaching career as an adjunct professor in the M.S.W. program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where she taught Dynamics of Discrimination, Field II Seminar, Social Welfare Policy, and Social Work With Diverse Populations. She also worked as the Title IV-E Child Welfare Program Coordinator for the university’s Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare.

    She continued her teaching career as a faculty associate in the B.S.W. program at Arizona State University, where she served as Assistant Coordinator for the Title IV-E MSW Child Welfare Program and taught Introduction to Social Work, Ethnic and Cultural Variables in Social Work, Foundations of Social Work Practice: Effective Helping in a Diverse World, and Ethics in the Social World.

    After completing her Ph.D. in 2012, Prof. Hornung joined the faculty as a social work professor and director of field education at Warren Wilson College. There, she taught Social Welfare Policy, Social Work Practice I, Skills of Helping Others, Field Seminar, and Human Behavior & the Social Environment I.

    It was at Warren Wilson where she became interested in integrating service learning into her social work courses. For her course Social Work Practice I, she created a community-based service learning project in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Spirit In Action titled “We the People: Bridging the Class Divide.” In this service learning project, B.S.W. students completed community-based research by interviewing individuals in a low-income Buncombe County community to gather data for an economic justice project for Spirit In Action.

    Her professional experience includes serving as executive director of Project SOAR in Duluth, Minnesota; executive director of The 2nd Street Family Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania; program coordinator of St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence, Project HOME, in Philadelphia; director of special initiatives for Ceridian Performance Partners EAP in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania; and Child Protective Services Placement Prevention Coordinator for Wordsworth Human Services in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

    • Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction — Arizona State University (Concentration: Curriculum Studies of Social Justice Pedagogy in Higher Education)
    • M.S.W. — Temple University (Concentration:Advanced Direct Practice in Community Based Mental Health)
    • B.A. — Friends World College (Concentration: Social Justice and Human Rights of Women and Indigenous People)
    • SWK 2400 Human Behavior & the Social Environment
    • SWK 3300 Social Work Practice II

    Social Justice Ally Development
Prof. Hornung’s research is guided by the question: How do people who are members of marginalized groups define and experience the concept of “authentic ally”? She explores the concept of “authentic ally” from the perspective of people of color and transgender people in terms of how they view white/cisgender people as “authentic” allies. From their perspective, she is developing a better understanding of the characteristics of white and cisgender allies, how these allies came to do the work of anti-racist and anti-transphobia work, and how they translate what they know about racism/transphobia into social work practice and social change. She uses the knowledge gained from this research to better understand the kinds of educational experiences in the university classroom that foster or hinder students from learning how to translate anti-racist and trans-affirming/inclusive knowledge into praxis and to educate human service organizations in better meeting the needs of people of color and transgender clients. Social Policy
Prof. Hornung is interested in the effects of social policies on marginalized individuals, families, communities, and human service organizations that serve them. Social Justice Curriculum Development and Critical Consciousness in Social Work Practice
Prof. Hornung’s research speaks to the need for social work educators to re-think and deepen their approach to teaching about “diversity” by examining the ways in which they still have structurally “white-centered” pedagogy and curriculum. More generally, Prof. Hornung says she is fascinated by how people of different backgrounds come together and find ways to build trust and credibility across social identities and use these alliances for broader social change.

    Risley-Curtiss, C., Zilney, L.A. & Hornung, R. (2010). Animal-human relationships in public child welfare: Getting a baseline. Child Welfare. 89, 67-82.