My Story

I am a farmer’s daughter from eastern North Carolina where I dreamed of a world beyond the tobacco fields and sand hills of my youth. After working at a camp for children involved with the Department of Social Services, I knew I wanted to help people professionally. Combining my two dreams I have served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica, coordinated a cross-country caravan of material aid to El Salvador through Oxfam America, integrated community work with sustainable development in Costa Rica, studied the establishment of NGOs in the former Soviet republic of Lithuania, developed bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessments of capital murder defendants in the Alabama Prison Project, and researched cultural comparisons of social capital between immigrant Latinos and Anglo and African Americans in northeast Alabama. Since arriving at Warren Wilson in 2003 I have continued my professional social work practice through involvement in Mountain Area Residential Facilities group homes for adults with developmental disabilities, the Mediation Center of Western North Carolina, and serving as a visit monitor and coach for non-custodial parents at the Family Visitation Program. My research is inspired by my teaching as currently focuses on service learning, global social work education, study abroad, intercultural development, and using the HBO series “The Wire” to teach theories of human behavior and the social environment. I was drawn to Wilson because of the holistic approach to liberal arts education.

Professor Lucy Lawrence lectures
Lucy Lawrence


  • B.S. in Social Work, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • M.S.W. in Social Work, Boston University
  • Ph.D. in Social Work, University of Alabama

Research Interests

  • Service learning
  • Global social work education
  • Intercultural development
  • HBO series "The Wire"

Courses Taught

  • SWK 2010: Intro to Social Work
  • SWK 2100: History of Social Welfare
  • SWK 3780: Appalachia to Cuba: Intercultural Comparisons of Social Welfare and Education

Crews and Other Activities

  • Study abroad courses to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Cuba, Latvia, and Sweden
  • Service learning with Asheville Poverty Initiative
  • Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court
  • Appointed member of the Global Education Commission of the Council on Social Work Education

Contact Dr. Lawrence

(828) 771-3708
Boon 215
WWC CPO 6046
PO Box 9000
Asheville, NC 28815-9000
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