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Sarah Bartzen, DSW

Assistant Professor of Social Work, Director of Field Education
Poling Center
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I began working at Spring Arbor University in 2014. I began my career at the university as an Academic Advisor in the Social Work Department. I moved into a full-time faculty position in 2018 teaching in both the BSW and MSW programs. I love my role as a professor because I am able to encourage, support, walk alongside, and empower students on a daily basis! I am also the Director of Field Education for the Social Work Department.

Before coming back to SAU, I worked in the social work field at both the micro and macro levels. I have worked with at-risk children and youth and their families, conducted research and policy advocacy to support communities and organizations to implement physical and mental health changes, and have a clinical private practice. I completed my Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree from the University of Southern California and my doctoral work focused on end-of-life care and chronic disease. I obtained my MSW from the University of Michigan and my bachelor’s degree in sociology from SAU.

I am married to my wonderful husband and we have 4 “fur babies”. I am an avid reader, traveler, creator (knitting, baking, painting), and love spending time with family and friends, especially on the nature trails in Jackson.


  • Doctor of Social Work (DSW): University of Southern California


I came back to SAU as an employee largely because of my experience as an SAU student. As a student I experienced compassion, belief in my abilities and God given talents, and constant encouragement to achieve my goals beyond my wildest dreams. I was shown that God had a purpose for me and my life. I strive to provide students with the same hope, encouragement, and compassion I experienced so they can see the purpose God has for them, too!

Memberships and Affiliations

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)