Who We Are

Vision Statement

Our vision is to change the higher education landscape – removing barriers and leading with innovative student support and business practices – so that everyone has access to the highest-quality and affordable education.

Mission Statement

From first contact through alumni engagement, we take a dynamic approach to holistic student services by providing intentional support to increase accessibility, enhance the student experience, and promote the success of our diverse student body.

We take an innovative business approach that integrates enrollment management with budget and administrative practices – advancing the position of the Department of Social Work’s students, faculty, and staff by optimizing resources and ensuring students are central to decision-making and strategic planning.

Strategic Themes

To achieve this mission, the Office of Social Work Student Services, Operations and Finance team commits to the following themes that are aligned with the strategic plan of the Department of Social Work:

  • Recruitment and marketing efforts that aim to attract a diverse pool of prospective students and interact with the community with purpose.
  • Advising and admissions efforts that are student-centered and incorporate best practices as well as departmental and university goals.
  • Intentional and cutting-edge enrollment and budget management, providing goal setting that aligns with departmental development and growth strategies, reliable data projections for purposeful planning, and intervention strategies to address any identified issues.
  • Developing strategic business intelligence and administrative services that manage resources wisely and facilitate a stable and thriving fiscal and administrative environment.
  • Continuous self-assessment practices that result in improvements to our services that incorporate student voices.
  • Partnering with alumni as colleagues who mutually invest in the future of MSU Denver, our community, and the success of future social workers.
  • A commitment to team development and an inclusive, healthy and productive work culture

Student Support Services

Social Work students have a one stop shop for excellent advising, support and resources.  Whether you just want to triple check that you are registered for the right classes or you are struggling to pass a required course, the Office of Social Work Student Services staff is here to talk one-on-one with you and get you back on the right academic track.

With your academic success as our focus, we will support you throughout the admissions process and help you map out a personalized academic plan that balances your personal life with your academic and professional goals.  And, if something goes wrong or changes along the way, we are here to get you back on track and revise your plan.  Office of Social Work Student Services advisors are experts on navigating MSU Denver systems, navigating higher education systems in general, and on navigating the sequence of social work course work with a real understanding that not all students are the same.

After graduation, we will work with you as alumni in planning and participating in community events and other exciting partnerships.  As the Office of Social Work Student Services grows, we plan to offer special programs and workshops for students such as resume building, communication skills workshops and other professional development type opportunities. For example, last year we provided professional headshots to all graduating students as a special graduation gift.

Curriculum Information

Students can use these program links to access detailed information about the curriculum and program options:

BSSW Program Options and Curriculum

MSW Program Options and Curriculum

Social Work Minor

Advising and Course Planning Resources

Advising Snapshots are quick 1-2 page charts that give you a guide to program completion. Students can rest assured that they are taking the courses in the right order when following the plan. Advising snapshots provide both full-time and part-time options.

BSSW Program Advising Chart

MSW Regular Program Advising Snapshot

MSW Advanced Standing Program Advising Snapshot

Social Work Minor Advising Chart

Human Services, Psychology, and Social Work Major Map

If you are unclear on what social work is, how it could fit into your career goals, or what the difference is between social work, human services, and psychology, check out the Human Services, Psychology, and Social Work Majors Map

Communicating with the Team

It’s good to keep in mind we are a small team supporting a large and rapidly growing group of social work students. Therefore, we work hard to communicate with you in the most effective ways.  We ask that you help us with that by utilizing these resources:

  • Check your MSU Denver email regularly. This is very important because it is the official means of communication at MSU Denver and in the Department of Social Work.
  • Bookmark our website and review the content on a regular basis.
  • Bookmark the program options and curriculum page for your program and review it so you are well-informed on university and program requirements.
  • Utilize the official ways to contact us (described below).

Contact Information

We recommend that you schedule an appointment with an academic advisor as we are not always able to accommodate walk-ins. By scheduling an appointment, the advisors are able to provide you with the most accurate and thorough experience. When communicating through email with any staff or faculty member of our department, it is important that you use your MSU email so that it does not get lost in our junk mail.

There will be times when you just have a few questions you want to ask via email – make sure to include your student ID number when emailing our team!

There will also be times when you need to request an advising appointment.  You may do so by:

  • Scheduling online via the Student Hub (click “Academic Advising” under the Course Info section)
  • Calling our Welcome Desk at 303-615-0555
  • Visiting the Welcome Desk in Central Classroom Suite 201

We also offer Information Sessions for both the BSSW and MSW Programs.

We look forward to supporting you on your journey!

Forms and Policies

Office of Social Work Student Services, Operations & Finance Directory

Meet the members of the team!

Social Work headshots

Sam Montague, M.S.

Director of Social Work Student Services, Operations and Finance

[email protected] 303-605-5027
Claire Alfus, M.A.

Claire Alfus, M.A. (she/her/hers)

Assistant Director of Student Serivces

[email protected] 303-615-0112 View Full Profile
grogan gore_cropped

Melissa Grogan Gore, M.A. (she/her)

Associate Director of Operations and Finance

[email protected] 303-605-7037 View Full Profile
Caitlin Plamp, M.S.

Caitlin Plamp, M.S. (she/her/hers)

Assistant Director of Admissions, Strategic Enrollment & Data Management

[email protected] 303-615-0168 View Full Profile
Liz De La Rosa, M.A.

Elizabeth De La Rosa, M.A.

Undergraduate Advising Services Coordinator

[email protected] 303-605-7325 View Full Profile
Jocelyn Galindo

Jocelyn Galindo

Student Services Manager

[email protected] 303-615-0555 View Full Profile
Teiriana Ibarra

Teiriana Ibarra (she/her/ella)

Event Planning Specialist

[email protected] View Full Profile

Ernie Navarette, BAS (he/him/his)

Academic Advisor and Retention Support Specialist

[email protected] View Full Profile
Tisha Townsend

Tisha Townsend (she/her/hers)

Graduate Advising Specialist

[email protected] 303-605-5393 View Full Profile

Rae Wiegand (she/her)

Administrative Operations & Program Coordinator

[email protected] 303-605-5093 View Full Profile

Ben (he/him/his)

Graduate Assistant for Social Work Student Services



Welcome Desk Ambassador

Social Work headshots


Welcome Desk Ambassador

Social Work headshots

Lory (she/her/ella)

Lead Welcome Desk Ambassador

Mallory Gallegos


Lead Welcome Desk Ambassador

Social Work headshots


Welcome Desk Ambassador