Jen Evers returns to Moab to help launch the new social work program at USU-Moab. [Courtesy photo / USU-Moab]

Jen Evers has returned to Moab to help launch the new social work program at USU-Moab.

Evers grew up in Evanston, Wyo., but followed her family to Moab after she completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah. She worked for Poison Spider Bicycles and fell in love with the desert landscape and community.

“When I first moved to Moab, one of the first things I thought was that they needed a four-year college here. Who wouldn’t want to attend school in Moab? USU-Moab provides a variety of learning experiences in an amazing setting to which millions of people travel each year,” Evers said.

She left Moab to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Montana in Missoula.

She then participated in the National Health Services Corp and served as the lead clinician for a program in Ronan, Mont. After eight years of being in Montana, she now has the opportunity to return to Moab.

“I have been waiting for the prospect to come home for years,” said Evers. “I feel that teaching at USU offers the opportunity to impact the next generation of social workers in a positive manner. I am extremely fortunate to have the chance to engage in work I feel passionate about in a place that I am equally passionate about.”

Evers described the social work program as a very interdisciplinary degree. Students receive a solid foundation in various areas of the profession while having the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest in elective courses.

“Overall, social workers learn to work with other human beings in an effective, appropriate, and empowering manner,” Evers said.

The social work profession is an integral component of rural communities as they begin to grow and develop.

“People in smaller, rural communities often lack access to amenities and services readily available in larger communities,” Evers said. “The social work program at USU helps insure that some of these services remain or become available as the service professional pool increases.”

USU-Moab offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in social work. Classes are offered via interactive broadcast, online, or in-person. USU’s bachelor’s is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and meets requirements established by the State of Utah for social worker licensure.

“We are extremely excited to bring an advanced degree program to our local community,” said USU-Moab Dean Steve Hawks. “It’s a great opportunity for the future professionals to stay close to their roots while receiving a Utah State University education.”