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Elizabeth Johnson-Tyson, MSW, LMSW

Elizabeth Johnson-Tyson, MSW, LMSW

Clinical Assistant Professor, Online Field Coordinator


Professor Elizabeth Johnson-Tyson, LMSW, has over 25 years of experience in social work that involves direct practice, supervision, executive management, training, consultation, and teaching and program development. The vast majority of her career has been in child welfare, culminating in her positions as the state director of Foster and Adoption Service and a former invited Connecticut (CT) committee member of President Clinton’s Adoption and Safe Families Act initiative and law. As a professor, she supports her students personally and professionally to become the best version of themselves — she has gone as far as to find supports for them when needed so they may continue their careers and education. In her early experience of seeking a needed reference to attend grad school, she was deeply hurt when she was told by her supervisor that she didn’t believe people of color were capable of doing master’s level work. She uses that experience to teach her students simultaneously that others’ opinions don’t define who you are — while she drives home the power and responsibility you have as a social worker to change a life.

Degrees & Certifications

  • MSW; 1993; University of Connecticut
  • BS in Psychology; 1985; The Ohio State University
  • LSCW; 2015-present; CT

I recall the first time I was really proud to be a social worker. A family on my caseload experienced tremendous tragedy—burying their two young-adult daughters within 4 months of each other. They were both moms of “fatherless” children, a total of six between them, who were then left in the grandmother’s care. Without support, the children would need to be placed in foster care and could not have stayed together. They had all suffered such an unimaginable loss already, to lose one another as well would be unthinkable. As a social worker, I was able to identify and integrate resources that allowed all of the children to stay with their grandmother with strong support. Later, as a social work administrator with my MSW, I was able to assist in developing policy that offered much more support to kinship placements.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Intro to Social Work
  • Social Work Seminar

Research Interest & Grants

  • Gerontology and the impact of faith, hope, and forgiveness on client physical, mental and emotional health.
  • Self-Care of Helping Professional.
  • Purposeful Field Instruction.

Honors, Awards & Fellowships

Springfield College, Massachusetts

  • Field Instructor of the Year, 2007-2008
  • Adoption and Safe Families Act- President Clinton
  • Invited CT Committee Member