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Jenna Powers

Jenna Powers

Assistant Professor

College of Health and Human Sciences

Social Work

Contact Information

Phone: 828.227.2838
Office: 310 Health and Human Sciences Building
Pronouns: she/her/her


Dr. Jenna Powers, MSW (she/her) is dedicated to increasing social workers’ political impact through social work research and education that reflects the profession’s historical commitment to advocacy from within the political arena. Her research has focused on the empowerment and engagement of individuals and communities within systems-level change. Dr. Powers has a particular interest in the synthesis of micro- and macro-level work involved within the engagement of people with lived expertise in policymaking. Her current research focuses on the practice of engaging young people and adults with foster care experience as the experts within child welfare practice, policy, and research decision-making processes. She incorporates related empowering practices into her research methods and pedagogy. Dr. Powers aims to model empowerment through her teaching methods with her social work students.


  • Ph D, University of Connecticut
  • MSW, University of New England
  • BA, Warren Wilson College

Teaching Interests

Political social work; community-engaged research, practice, and policy making; participatory teaching; experiential education; policy analysis; history of social work; and policy advocacy.

Research Interests

Transition-age youth; foster care; care-experienced adults; youth advisory boards; youth empowerment; intersectionality; and community-engaged research, practice, and policymaking.

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