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A photo of the exterior of one of the residence halls on the Cal U campus.A photo of the exterior of one of the residence halls on the Cal U campus.

Dr. Vanessa Drew-Branch


  • B.A. Psychology: California University of Pennsylvania
  • B.S. Social Work: Cal U
  • M.S.W., Community Health Concentration: West Virginia University
  • Doctorate of Education, Higher Education Administration: West Virginia University


Dr. Vanessa Drew-Branch is the co-owner of GrassRoutes Counseling Services, with operating sites located in Monessen, Pa., and Uniontown, Pa. She and her husband, Elliott Branch, opened GrassRoutes Counseling servicesi n 2012. Dr. Drew-Branch's areas of specialization include marriage, family, individual counseling and rural community social work.

Research Interests

  • College student engagement and retention
  • Interdisciplinary social science education
  • International and rural community development
  • Human diversity
  • Marriage and couples counseling
  • Maternal and child health

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Social Work

Academic Program(s)

  • B.S. Social Work
  • M.S.W. Social Work


"My experience with college-level instruction has shaped my belief that "teaching" and "learning" are a collaborative journey taken by the instructor and students. It is the instructor's role to provide students with a metaphorical roadmap and act as a "guide" along the educational journey. My overall goal as a social work instructor is to embody the attributes of an effective social worker and guide my students to successfully accomplish their academic goals."

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