Social Work - Faculty

Photo of Crystal AschenbrenerDepartment Chair -                             Crystal S. Aschenbrener, DSW, MSW, APSW
DSW, Aurora University 
MSW, University of Kansas
BSW, University of South Dakota
Corona Hall, #315

Areas of expertise:  Mentoring intervention programs, in particular for Native American youth; Women's issues, in particular sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and human trafficking; Professional self-care for social workers and human services professionals; High-impact practices, such as service-learning, undergraduate research, and domestic travel; and Macro social work practice, such as state-level advocacy, supervision, fundraising, grant-writing, and community needs assessments

Dr. Crystal Aschenbrener is the department chair of the new social work program at Alverno College, leading the way in its development. Aschenbrener is working with national social work accreditation requirements and state social work licensure processes.  She teaches courses including Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Work Practice Methods with Individuals, Families and Society, Native American Service and Research, and Social Work Practice Methods with Organizations and Communities. She serves on the Interprofessional Education (IPE), Transfer Task Force Committee, and Effective Citizenship Ability Committee while she chairs the Social Work Advisory Council, Recruitment and Leadership Committee, as well as the Social Media, Marketing, and Leadership Committee. Aschenbrener’s primary goal as the department chair is to ensure social work students are successfully able to meet the needs of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities by providing client-centered, culturally-competent, evidenced-based, and strength-focused services to people in need, in Milwaukee as well as the surrounding area and beyond.

Aschenbrener is a licensed social worker and has over 10 years of college teaching experience. She has over 15 years of field experience which includes working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, through her roles as a school social worker, hospital social worker, supervisor of case workers who serve people with mental health and disabilities needs, and executive director of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate. 

Additionally, Aschenbrener is the creator, program coordinator, and principal investigator of the Today & Beyond Program. This mentoring intervention program introduces college students to tribal culture, traditions, and strengths as well as the historical trauma and social problems challenging Native American youth. College students have traveled with her to a tribal school to mentor junior high students on the strengths of high school, college, and beyond while the youth mentor the college students on the strengths of their culture.

Aschenbrener earned her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of South Dakota. She earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas and her Doctor of Social Work from Aurora University. She serves as a member of the National Association of Social Workers at both the state and national levels, the Rural Social Work and Human Services Caucus, and the Council on Social Work Education. Aschenbrener is also a member of the Indigenous Tribal Social Work Educators’ Association’s Task Force Committee with Council on Social Work Education, the Diversity Committee for the National Association of Social Workers, and was recruited to join the board of the National Mentoring Resource Center with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, due to her mentoring intervention program’s success. Annually, she presents on various topics at the campus, state, and national levels, during which she often empowers college students to join her.  She has repeatedly published her research in a variety of ways, including peer-reviewed journals, textbooks chapters, blogs, and websites. 


Photo of  Luci StaudacherField Coordinator -                   Luci Staudacher, MSW, LCSW
MSW, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
BA in Social Work and Behaviorial Science, Mount Mary College
Corona Hall, #312

Areas of expertise: Child sexual abuse; Trauma informed care; Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy; Self-care for the professional 

Luci Staudacher is the social work field coordinator and an assistant professor of social work at Alverno College. In her role she develops and maintains off-campus partnerships for field education and completes off-campus field education site visits while assisting with accreditation monitoring and curriculum development. She also teaches courses including Social Work Programs and Policies, Social Work Practice Methods for Groups and Families, and the pedagogical course Social Work Field Education.

Staudacher has over 25 years of experience in the Social Work profession. She is a licensed clinical social worker and she most recently served as the Director of Clinical Services and a Therapist at Pathfinders Milwaukee, Inc. Over the course of her career, she has focused her work on trauma victims, mostly survivors of child sexual abuse, and has become extremely knowledgeable in trauma-informed care. Because of this work, she noticed the need for professionals who provide care to trauma survivors to practice self-care, and this has become an area of interest for her as well.  Other previous work includes general mental health, youth, LGBTQA+, child and family welfare, and adults with developmental disabilities. Her work experience has been with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 

Staudacher earned her Bachelor of Arts from Mount Mary College, double majoring in Social Work and Behavioral Science. She earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a concentration in child and family welfare. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) at both the state and national levels. She is a member of the Children’s Issues Committee with NASW of Wisconsin. Additionally, she is a member of the nationally-known Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors Association (BPD) and the state-focused Wisconsin Council on Social Work Education (WCSWE). Staudacher serves as a Board Member of the Review Board for the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph. She was invited to be a Board Member due to her clinical experience with sexual assault victims/survivors.   Staudacher was presented with the Unsung Hero Award in 2012 for her clinical work with Latino survivors of sexual violence. In 2015, she was presented with the Voices of Courage Award from the Wisconsin Coalition on Sexual Assault for her work in child sexual violence prevention.