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Sonja Vegdahl

Director, Social Work Program Chair, Social Work Program Department of Social Work College of Health & Human Services
Office: George R. White Library & Learning Center 215 Phone: 503-280-8520
Ph.D., Portland State University, Portland, Oregon
M.A., University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
B.A., St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota

Dr. Vegdahl began teaching social work at Concordia University in 1994. She directs the Social Work Program and oversaw the process of becoming nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. She teaches Introduction to Social Work, The Professional Social Worker, and Social Work Practicum Seminar. Her research relates to women transitioning from welfare to work and the culture of welfare programs. Because of her interest in and passion for international education, she has brought groups of social work students to Germany and Japan and works with international social work students coming to Concordia.

Prior to coming to Concordia University Dr. Vegdahl taught at Ferris State University in Michigan and was a clinical social worker, providing services to children, families, and individuals at a community mental health center. She has also worked with youth experiencing homelessness and with juvenile first-time offenders.

Dr. Vegdahl lived and worked in South Korea from 1982-1989, where she taught English at Sogang University, provided cultural guidance to foreigners living in Korea, and wrote the book Culture Shock Korea. She maintains her connections with Korea, most recently during her 2011 sabbatical at Dankook University in South Korea.

In her free time Dr. Vegdahl likes to spend time with family and friends, cycle, travel, read, hike, cook, and garden. She currently volunteers as a therapist at Project Wellness in Vancouver and is the chair of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church’s Peace and Justice Ministry.