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Stephen Monroe Tomczak

faculty headshotDr. Stephen Monroe Tomczak holds an MSW degree from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in social policy from Brandeis University. Dr. Tomczak has an extensive background in social work education and research, particularly in the areas of social welfare policy, poverty, and the history of social work & social welfare.

He has worked for the Connecticut Department of Social Services and helped design and staff a special project on foster parent recruitment housed at the Department of Children and Families. Dr. Tomczak has been teaching at the SCSU Department of Social Work since 2004, and has been a full-time assistant professor since 2010. He teaches courses in social welfare policy, community organization and child welfare policy.

In addition to his teaching duties, Dr. Tomczak has initiated several extra-curricular events which have promoted substantial student involvement and activism, including two Teach-ins on economic injustice and ways to combat it through community organizing; a United Way-sponsored "community conversation" that attempted to gather information from SCSU personnel to inform that organization's assessment of community needs; and an experiential learning activity called the "Poverty Simulation," which enables students to experience what it is like to live in poverty and have to attempt to meet the daily needs of life for a simulated month.

This last project also promises to produce some useful research on the impact of this experience on student attitudes towards poor people. Over the course of his career, Dr. Tomczak has written several grants that were successfully funded, including a recent faculty development grant to fund a symposium on social work and the law. Since joining the full-time faculty, Dr. Tomczak serves on several departmental committees, including being chairperson of the Election & Bylaws committee and the Social Welfare Policy sequence committee.

Areas of Expertise 

  • History of Social Welfare Policy and the Social Work Profession
  • Poverty and Economic Inequality
  • Public Assistance Programs & Policies
  • Community Organization & Social Change Movements


Ph.D.  Social Policy, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.

M.S.W. Policy & Planning, University of Connecticut, Hartford, Connecticut

B.S. Political Science, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut

Courses Regularly Taught

SWK 430 — Social Welfare Institutions and Policies II 

SWK 510 — Social Welfare Policies & Delivery Systems

SWK 512 — Child Welfare Policies & Practice

SWK 534 — Theory & Practice III: Organizations and Communities

Recent Scholarship

Tomczak, S. M. (2015). From Townsend and Malthus to the Poor Law Report:  An Examination of the Influence of Ideas Concerning the Relationship of Public Aid and Reproduction on Policy Development, 1786-1834. Journal of Sociology and Social Work, 3(2), 27–38.

Tomczak S. M. & Rofuth T. (2015). Full Employment as a Permanent Policy Response to Poverty. Journal of Community Practice, 23(3-4), 367-391.

Tomczak S. M., Pizzanello H. C.& Schneider D. A. (2014). Reflections on an Experiential Poverty Simulation filtered through the Mind’s Eye of Three Faculty Members. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. 20(4), 60-66.

Libal, K., Tomczak, S.M., Spath, R. & & Harding S. (2014). Hunger in a “Land of Plenty:” A Renewed Call for Social Work Action. Social Work, 59(4), 366-369.

Community Involvement

Board Member, Community Action Agency of New Haven, New Haven, CT

Member, Mothers for Justice, New Haven, CT.

Member, Governing Committee,PT Partners Project, Bridgeport, CT

Member, Community Impact Cabinet, United Way of Greater New Haven