Mary received her B.A. degree in Social Work from St. Olaf College in 1979, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1983 from the University of Washington, Seattle, with specializations in health care and aging. She has worked in health care social work for 28 years, in hospital, nursing home, hospice and home care settings.

Mary currently teaches social work and family studies courses at St. Olaf and chairs the Department of Social Work and Family Studies. Her primary courses are Social Policy, Human Behavior in the Social Environment and the senior seminar, Social Worker as Professional. She has taught Ethics and Global Service, and has co-taught Medical and Professional Ethics. She serves on the ethics committees of the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the Northfield Hospital.

She continues to consult with local agencies, particularly Northfield Hospice, HOPE Center and the Northfield Community Action Center. Her professional experience includes helping to develop Clinic 42, an HIV/infectious disease clinic in Minneapolis, where she worked with people with HIV disease, their partners, and family members.

Mary is active in professional work. She has published in the European Journal of Social Work and the Journal of Clinical Ethics, and has is a co-author of International Perspectives on Social Work: Global Conditions and Local Responses, with Karen Lyons, PhD and Kathleen Manion, PhD. Her primary research areas are end-of-life decision-making/advanced care planning, social work practice in end of life care, and global social work.

In 2010-2011 Mary is a HERS Institute Participant and recipient of the Schmieder Scholarship for Women from the ELCA. During 2002-2003 she was a visiting scholar at the University of East London in England, where she taught International Social Work in the honors BA program.  In 2001-2002 Mary served as a Policy Fellow with the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Mary is active in the local community. She has held office on the boards of the Northfield Community Action Center, The League of Women Voters, and the Minnesota Conference of Social Work Education.

Mary is married and has two adult children. She loves to sing, read for pleasure (especially memoirs), ride bike, hike in the North Cascades, the Rockies and the Swiss Alps, and drink good French roast coffee. She is a member of First UCC.