MVNU social work prof brings unique perspective on life
Professor Danielle Giroux is a jack of all trades who brings a unique background to the social work program at MVNU.
Giroux’s various cultural and vocational experiences make her the ideal candidate for the program. Giroux has lived in many different areas of the United States including Hawaii, Alaska and New Mexico.
Originally from Holmes County, Ohio, Giroux graduated from Kent State University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology. Giroux immediately put her degree to use, practicing and researching among people from multicultural backgrounds.
“I traveled to Hawaii to complete research on substance abuse prevention in rural Native Hawaiian communities,” Giroux said. She attended Hawaii Pacific University and earned her master’s degree in social work.
Then, while in Hawaii, “the idea of going to Alaska arose as a joke,” Giroux said. She recalls citing an academic article for her research which led her to look into a Ph.D. program in Alaska.
There she discovered the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Clinical-Community Psychology with a rural indigenous emphasis. The training provided by the program was perfect for Giroux’s research interests and career aspirations.
During her time in Alaska, she worked for the Native Tribal Health Consortium and managed the statewide suicide prevention program. Later, she spent a year in Nome, Alaska, completing a clinical internship.
Throughout her schooling and professional experiences, Giroux developed a specialty in working with Native communities and addressing health disparities.
Giroux said she sees many advantages in her varied educational background. The most important experience she gained was serving in multiple cultures and geographic locations.
Through these opportunities, Giroux said, she developed a different perspective on life and on her chosen eld.
“The diverse schools and different cultural influences encouraged me to expand my way of thinking about the world and my profession,” Giroux said.
Giroux returned to Ohio for many reasons, the current job at MVNU among them.
However, the biggest reason for returning to Ohio was the close proximity to her family.
While at MVNU, Giroux hopes to “bring a unique perspective to students’ education” by emphasizing social justice and acknowledging the many sacrifices of Native peoples.
She also hopes to inspire her students to become junior researchers and to peruse the research topics of interest to them.
So far, Giroux’s favorite things about MVNU are the community and the sense of solidarity and social responsibility throughout campus.
Giroux began teaching at MVNU in the fall of 2016. This semester, she is teaching Human Behavior and the Social Environment II, Diversity (online), and Research Methods for the GPS program.
Next year, she will teach the same courses along with a few additional electives within the social work program, including Environmental Justice and Crisis Intervention.
In addition to research and travel, Giroux is interested in yoga, paddle boarding, writing, arts and crafts, and hosting murder mystery parties.