Dr. Dahley brings 40+ years as a social worker to her teaching. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead, MSW from Augsburg College, and a Ph.D. from North Dakota State University in Gerontology. Her professional practice focused on medical social work with experience in hospital, nursing home, home health, and hospice programs during which she was awarded the Healthcare Professional of the Year award for the state of North Dakota. She was appointed to the Board of Social Work by the governor of Minnesota and has also served as president of the Minnesota Social Service Association, which is the largest and oldest human service association in the country with more than 3,000 members and 127 years of service.
She is a speaker at local, regional, state, national, and international conferences on a variety of topics. Her research has focused on end-of-life care, family communications, as well as boundaries and self-care. She has been lead author on the following articles: Structured Life Review and Its Impact on Family Interactions, Structured Life Review as a Living Legacy Tool: Impact on Self-esteem of Nursing Home Residents, Inter-professional Case Study Opportunities for Students in Healthcare Professional Programs at a Liberal Arts College, and Preparing Future Practitioners for Interdisciplinary Teams. She also served as a primary writer for the ND Aging and Mental Health online learning module.
She teaches the practice courses in the social work program along with serving as the Field Director, assisting and mentoring students through their internship experiences. She serves as advisor for the Student Association of Social Workers and is highly involved in the Inter-disciplinary Case Study work being done on campus involving the Social Work, Nursing, Dietetics, Healthcare Leadership, and Education departments. These case studies afford all of our graduates with the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary case discussions with other programs across campus and building their teamwork skills.
Dahley lives with her husband on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes and enjoys time with her two daughters’ families, which include four beautiful granddaughters. Her interests include baking, quilting, gardening, and binge watching Netflix or BritBox.