Social work Faculty

You are more than a student. You are a future colleague.

Walter Paquin

Walter Paquin, Ph.D

Director of Social Work Program; Associate professor of social work

Heidi Mercer

Heidi Mercer

Assistant professor of social work; Director of field education

Advisory Council 

The Advisory Council is comprised of Bluffton University faculty and staff, practicing social workers from the area and students. It meets three times per academic year to advise the program director on curriculum content, program policies, fieldwork policies, program goals, recruitment strategies, accreditation self-study matters and other program matters.


These are just a few of the field instructors who work with Bluffton students during their field work.

  • Elysia Bush and Nicole Fairburn from Crime Victim Services
  • Judy Lester and Michelle Claypool from SAFY
  • Stacy Shaw from Children's Mentoring Connection (CMC)

Elysia Bush:

  • LSW, RAS
  • Director, Elder Victim Ministry and Guardian Programs of Crime Victim Services
  • Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, University of California at Berkeley
  • Bachelor's Degree in Social Work, Bluffton University
  • Registered Advocate with Advanced Training for Victim Service Provision
  • Allen and Putnam County Elder Justice I-Team

Nicole Fairburn:

  • Crime Victim Services
  • Campus Survivor Advocate
  • Master’s Degree in Social Work, The Ohio State University
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, Bluffton University
  • Ohio Advocate Network, Registered Advocate/ Critical Incidents & Stress Management Team

Michelle Claypool:

  • SAFY Behavioral Health
  • Assistant Treatment Director
  • MSW from Ohio State University

Stacy Shaw:

  • LSW
  • Children’s Mentoring Connection of Hancock County
  • Executive Director
  • BSSW from BGSU
  • NASW member