Dr. Margaret (Peg) Christopher : CAL U

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A student holds a bunch of Cal U balloons.A student holds a bunch of Cal U balloons.

Dr. Margaret (Peg) Christopher


  • B.A.: Mount St. Mary College
  • M.S.W., M.P.H., Ph.D.: University of Pittsburgh


Before coming to California University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Christopher served as Social Work Program Director at Seton Hill College and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work. In addition, she has an extensive history of providing clinical social work services in both in-patient and out-patient health and mental health care settings. Dr. Christopher has taught across the curriculum in both the undergraduate and graduate social work programs, but her primary areas of expertise are in clinical practice and direct practice research.

Previously serving the University as Social Work Department Chair and as BSW Program Director, Dr. Christopher established the Assessment, Intervention and Training Institute on-campus and the Social Work Skills Lab as a way of providing students with social work practice experience in a multi-disciplinary setting. In both settings, students have opportunities to work directly with a licensed social work provider with simulated or actual clients. In addition, Dr. Christopher has served as principal investigator for several grants that provide students with funding and with practice experience.  As a former co-chair of the University's Service and Service-Learning Subcommittee, she has provided her students with numerous service-learning opportunities.

Dr. Christopher has served on the Pennsylvania National Association of Social Worker's Ethics Committee for approximately fifteen years, as a member, as the chair of hearing panels, as a monitor for corrective actions, as Committee Secretary and as a former Chair of the Committee as a whole. She has participated in the investigations of alleged ethical and legal violations involving social work practice.

Dr. Christopher has served as President of the Pennsylvania Association of Undergraduate Social Work Education. In addition, she has served as a campus delegate for the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties and served on several University committees.


  • Generalist Social Work Practice I
  • Differential Assessment
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • Social Work Practice with Individuals
  • Social  Work Practice with Families and Groups
  • Social Work Practice with Children
  • Child Welfare
  • Legal Issues in Child Welfare
  • Seminar in Play Therapy
  • Practice in Mental Health and Mental Retardation
  • Seminar on Understanding and Working with Families
  • Social Work with the Aging
  • Aging Policies and Services
  • Activities in Long Term Care
  • Nursing Homes
  • Social Work Research Methods
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Human Sex and Society
  • Advanced Practice I and II
  • Gerontology Practicum

Special Certifications

  • Critical Incident Stress Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Mediation

Research Interests

  • Clinical Assessment and Intervention
  • Family Health and Wellness
  • Anxiety and Depression Associated with Cancer and Chronic Illness
  • Secondary or Vicarious Traumatization
  • Caregiver Stress
  • Compassion Fatigue
  • Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Prevention of Domestic and Relationship Violence

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Social Work

Academic Program(s)

  • M.S.W. Social Work