Dr. Kristine Tower


Kristine TowerWe at the School of Social Work want to showcase the many contributions Kris has made to our community. She taught, mentored, and supported many students through our program. She made significant contributions to the social work profession through her advocacy of rights for persons with disabilities, and her award winning films on the same subject. She has touched the hearts, minds, and spirit of so many of us. We all share a part of her legacy of caring, contribution, and advocacy each time we go out of our normal routine and contribute just a little bit more creativity, kindness, or action to help one another.

Dr. Tower joined the faculty at UNR in January 1991, as the Field Education Program Coordinator. She became an Assistant Professor in July 1997. She received her MSW from New Mexico Highlands University in 1988, with a concentration in gerontology. She earned her Ed.D., with a focus on special education from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1996. She held a variety of direct practice positions in the medical and social welfare settings and she was in private practice for several years. Her practice background includes work with people in the areas of mental health, disabilities, and health. Dr. Tower is a leader in the area of disabilities, having completed a number of teaching, research, and creative projects on topics such as special education, sexuality and disability, assistive technology for people with disabilities, as well as culture and disability. Among her many accomplishments is the video trilogy she completed for PBS addressing the experience of disability and rehabilitation from three different cultural perspectives: "Mending Spirits: Native Americans and Disability Pathways;" "Hispanic Americans with Disabilities;" and "Full Circle: African Americans with Disabilities." Dr. Tower advocated for consumers of rehabilitation services on a local and national level. She advocated tirelessly for the expansion of school social work into the area of special education. Dr. Tower was among the first UNR faculty to prepare courses for online delivery. Her talent in this area is exemplified by her nomination (by the Director of UNR's Teaching and Learning Technologies Department) for a national WebCT award for her online preparation of Social Work 220.


"Kris brought phenomenal passion and creativity to everything she did. She was the consummate social work educator, practitioner, mentor, and colleague. I think of her often and miss her terribly." -- Denise Montcalm, MSW, PhD

"I best remember her for how she inspired me to never forget that the power of one could change the world. She was truly a gifted educator, with a remarkable ability to inspire you to think way beyond your initial concept." -- -Steven Dickerson, MSW

"Kris, made a big impact on my life at a time when I felt vulnerable. I took 220 intro to SW from Kris and was hooked into social work from my first class. She was so passionate about life and social work. I feel so very sad. What a great role model she was to all of us. She really made the most of her life and I will miss her very much." -- -Laura Meyer, MSW

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