Dr Christian Marcel Itin
Personal Biography Statement
I was born in Queens New York and grew up in Connecticut. I discovered a passion for social justice as a child of the 60's. I grew up with a growing awareness of the racial, economic and environmental issues surrounding us. I began engaging in service in junior high and it has been a part of what drove me to social work. I also discovered my love of the outdoors in junior high through skiing. These early passions have been at the foundation of my career for over 30 years.
I have sought to combine social work with work in outdoor adventure and wilderness contexts for much of my career. In the pursuit of combining these areas I deepened by knowledge of experiential education, group work and experiential practice. These elements make up the majority of my professional writing and presentations.
I have been fortunate to travel around the world meeting amazing people and having incredible conversations about the power of work with people by engaging them in activity and group process. I truly believe (and the empirical data supports this) that a group of people engaged in activity is a powerful vehicle for change.
What attracts me to MSU Denver is the commitment of this University to the ideas of social justice and social action. The rich diversity of lived experience in our students, faculty and staff is a testament to the mission of our University. I am privileged to be the Chair of a dynamic and growing department that is full of rich and engaged faculty and students. I hope to meet you and have a conversation!
Doctor of Philosophy. University of Denver, June 1997. Dissertation: The Orientation of Social Work Faculty to the Philosophy of Experiential Education in the Classroom.
Master of Social Work. University of Denver, June 1987. Emphases on integrated (advanced generalist) practice, family & group practice, substance abuse and adventure and wilderness therapy.
Bachelor of Science in Social Work (CSWE accredited). Cornell University, December 1984.
Tucker, A. R., Norton, C. L., Itin, C., Hobson, J., Alvarez, M. A. (In Press, anticipated 2016). Adventure Therapy: Nondeliberative Group Work in Action. Social Work with Groups
Itin, C. M. (2001). Adventure Therapy - Critical Questions. Journal of Experiential Education, 24(2), 80-84.
Itin, C. M. (1999). Reasserting the Philosophy of Experiential Education as a Vehicle for Change in the 21st Century. The Journal of Experiential Education,.22(2), 91-98.
Itin, C. (1995). Utilizing hypnotic language in adventure therapy. The Journal of Experiential Education, 18(2), 70-75.
Itin, C. (1995). Adventure therapy and the addictive process. Journal of Leisurability, 22(2), 29-37.
Mitten, D. & Itin, C. M.(Eds.) (2009). Connecting with the Essence of Adventure Therapy. Boulder CO: Association for Experiential Education.
Itin, C. M. (2008). Reasserting the philosophy of experiential education as a vehicle for change in the 21st century. In D. Mitten, K. Warren & T. A. Loffler (Eds.) Theory and Practice of Experiential Education. Boulder CO: Association for Experiential Education.
Itin, C. M., McFeaters, S., Taylor-Brown, S. (2004). Family Unity program for HIV-affected families: Creating a family-centered and community building context for interventions (pp. 642-660). In Berzoff, J. & Silverman P. R. (Eds.). Living with Dying: A Handbook for End-of-Life Healthcare Practitioners. New York: Columbia University Press
Itin, C. (2004). Adventure-based practice. In L. M. Grobman (Ed.). Days in the Life of Social Workers, 3rd edition.. Harrisburg, PA: White Hat.
Itin, C. M. (2003). The double diamond model of experiential education as a framework for adventure therapy (pp. 111-125). In K. Richards and B. Smith (Eds.). The Therapy within Adventure: Proceedings of the Second International Adventure Therapy Conference. Germany: Zeil Verlag
Itin, C. M. (Ed.) (1998). Exploring the boundaries of adventure therapy: International perspectives. Boulder, CO: Association for Experiential Education.
Invited Keynote Addresses
Itin, C. M. (2012). Re-exploring Metaphoric Introduction. 6th International Adventure Therapy Conference, September 29, Prague, Czech Republic.
Itin, C. M. (2012). Beyond Dewy. Asian Association for Experiential Education (AAEE). April 17, Taiwan, China.
Itin, C. M. (2012). The philosophy of experiential education. 4th Experiential Education Forum, April 7, Beijing, China.
Itin, C. M. (2012). Divergence and convergence: Perspectives on experiential education. 7th Hong Kong Adventure Counseling Conference, March 31, Hong Kong, China.
Itin, C, M. (2011). The philosophy and methods of experiential education: A global perspective. 11th International Consortium on Experiential Learning Conference, January 10-14, Santiago, Chile.
Itin, C, M. (2010). The philosophy and methods of experiential education: A global perspective. 1st Asia Association for Experiential Education (AAEE), Aug. 9-11, Shanghai, China.
Itin, C. M. & Carpenter, C. (2009). Reflecting and looking forward: what is next for adventure therapy? 5th International Adventure Therapy Conference, Sept. 7 -11, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Itin, C. M. (2004). The nature of adventure-based practice from a U.S. perspective. 2004 International Conference on Sport, Leisure and Recreation, December 16-17. Taipei, Taiwan.
Itin, C. M. (2003). Adventure-based practice: Reciprocal relationship between adventure therapy and outdoor education. Relevance: Making it Happen, 13th National Outdoor Education Conference, April 14-16, Marion South Australia.
Itin, C. M. (2000). The philosophy of experiential education and adventure education. Adventure-based Experiential Learning Conference, September 4-7, Pretoria, South Africa.
Itin, C. M. (2015). Exploring Adventure-Based Group Work. International Association for Social Work with Groups – Group Work Camp, July30-August 2, Williams Bay, WI
Itin, C. M. (2015). Advanced Training: The Gift of Facilitation. International Association for Social Work with Groups – Group Work Camp, July30-August 2, Williams Bay, WI
Itin, C, M. (2012). – Facilitating change: Using activity intentionally. Asian Association for Experiential Education (AAEE). April 18, Taiwan, China.
Itin, C. M. (2012). Advanced skills for adventure therapy. 4th Experiential Education Forum, April 8, Beijing, China.
Itin, C. M. (2012). The gift of facilitation. 4th Experiential Education Forum, April 8, Beijing, China.
Itin, C. M. (2012). Deepening the healing impact of adventure-based practice: Enhancing change through the purposeful use of activity. Post conference workshop 7th Hong Kong Adventure Counseling Conference, March 31-April 1, Hong Kong, China.
Itin, C. M. (2012). Exploring the philosophy, practice, and principles of experiential education: Putting theory into practice. Pre-conference workshop 7th Hong Kong Adventure Counseling Conference, March 28-30, Hong Kong, China.
Itin, C, M. (2011). Adventure-based group work. Group Work Camp, Aug. 18-21, Williams Bay, WI.
Itin, C, M. (2010). The gift of facilitation. 1st Asia Association for Experiential Education (AAEE), Aug. 9-11, Shanghai, China.
Itin, C, M. (2010). Experiential approaches to organizational change. 1st Asia Association for Experiential Education (AAEE), Aug. 9-11, Shanghai, China.
Itin, C. M (2009). The Nature and Future of Adventure Counseling and Therapy. 2009 Hong Kong Adventure Counseling & Therapy Seminar Certificate Courses, August 8, Hong Kong.
Peer Reviewed Conference Presentations
Itin, C. M. (2015). The Gift of Metaphor in Adventure Therapy. 7th International Adventure Therapy Conference, June 4-7, Denver, CO.
Itin, C. M. (2014). Re-exploring Metaphoric Introduction: Deepening the Transfer of Learning. 42nd Annual International AEE Conference, Oct. 23-26, Chattanooga, TN.
Itin, C. M. (2014). The Gift of Facilitation: Sustaining the Change. 42nd Annual International AEE Conference, Oct. 23-26, Chattanooga, TN.
Itin, C. M. (2013). The gift of facilitation: Enhancing the transfer of learning in experiential and activity-based group work. The XXXV Annual International Symposium of the International Association for Social Work with Groups, Inc. June 6-9, Boston, MA.
Itin, C. M. & Cruz, V. (2013). The philosophy and methods of experiential practice and treatment of mental health issues in woman and mothers with developmental disabilities. 5th World Congress on Woman’s Mental Health. March 4-7, Lima Peru.
Witman, D. & Itin, C. M. (2012). Democracy and its midwife: Controversy surrounding experiential education’s role in producing engaged critically thoughtful citizens. 40th Annual International Association for Experiential Education Conference. November 1-4, Madison, WI.
Itin, C. M. (2012). The gift of facilitation: Utilization and gift-wrapping for therapeutic change. 6th International Adventure Therapy Conference, September, 26-30, Prague, Czech Republic.
Itin, C. M. (2011). Re‐exploring metaphoric introduction, 39TH Association for Experiential Education 39th Annual Conference. November 3-6, Jacksonville, FL.
Yellow Bird, M. & Itin, C. (2011). Mindfulness and other experiential practices: A mind-brain-spirit approach for academic empowerment in Native American education, 34th Annual California Conference on American Indian Education. March 25 & 26, Los Angeles, CA.
Professional Employment History
Colorado Outward Bound School; August 1986-January 1997. Program Director/Course Director/Instructor, for corporate, community and health related programs providing outdoor wilderness experiential programming.
Boulder County Health Dept., Intervention Program; November 1991- August 1994. Substance Abuse/Mental Health Intervention Specialist/ Team Leader, a school based position working with adolescents, families and school personnel.
West Pines Hospital/West Pines Training Center, June 1991 - January 1997. Staff for inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and chemical dependency population, corporate and community programs providing experiential programming.
Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC), Summer 1994.
Staff for corporate and community programs providing experiential programming.
Mountain Crest Hospital, June 1992 - September 1994. Staff for inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and chemical dependency populations, corporate and community programs providing experiential programming.
Adventure Bound, September 1991 - September 1992. Instructor providing corporate and community programs using experiential programming.
Hurricane Island Outward Bound/Beech Hill Adolescent Chemical Dependency Treatment Program; August 1989- April 1991. Clinical Program Director.
Cornell Outdoor Program; September 1984 - June 1986. Senior Instructor/Instructor, for courses in rock climbing, back packing, Nordic skiing, bike touring and instructor development.
Homes Inc.; December 1985 - June 1986. Senior Counselor, in supervised group home for psychiatrically disabled adults.
Academic Employment History
Metropolitan State University of Denver, Department of Social Work; August 2012 – Present; Chair, Full Professor and Tenured – August 2012;
Humboldt State University, Department of Social Work; August 2005- Present; Full Professor and Tenured - June 2009 – present; Director Graduate Social Work Education – Aug 2008- June 2011, Associate Professor, Associate MSW Director - Aug 2006- Aug 2008. Associate Professor – August 2005 – May 2009.
State University of New York College at Brockport, Greater Rochester Collaborative MSW Program; August 1998 – August 2005, Associate Professor - Tenured (2004) Assistant Professor (1998-2004), Director of Field Education/Director of Admissions (August 1999 -June 2000).
Ferris State University; September 2004-December 2004. Adjunct Faculty.
University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW);
September 1995 – June 1998. Assistant Clinical Professor/Adjunct Professor.
University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW), DU Bridge Project; September 1994 - June 1996. Graduate Research Assistant/DU Bridge Project Evaluator.
Department of Human Service Studies, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University; February 1983 - December 1984. Teaching Assistant.