2024 Commencement

Please visit our commencement page for all information regarding the 
ceremony for Class of 2024 PhD, DSW, MSW and MSN graduates. 

Apply Now for 2024

Fall 2024 On-Campus MSW Application FINAL Deadline: July 16, 2024

Ruth Cislowski

Associate Teaching Professor and Assistant Director of Practicum Education

Assistant Director of Practicum Education focused on methods as well as principles of leadership and management.

Media Contact
Ruth Cislowski
Phone:  213-764-0188
Rank:  Teaching Faculty

Ruth Cislowski

Associate Teaching Professor and Assistant Director of Practicum Education

Assistant Director of Practicum Education focused on methods as well as principles of leadership and management.

Media Contact


Ruth Cislowski has an accomplished career developing and managing nonprofit social service programs. She has devoted more than 25 years providing services to, and advocating for, vulnerable populations.
Serving in the first class of Peace Corps Volunteers in Bulgaria after the fall of Communism, she taught English and developed curricula and instructional materials for students in Kyustendil, Bulgaria.
Professor Cislowski has experience with local community social service agencies such as Jewish Family Service, where she assisted seniors, people with AIDS and developmentally disabled adults. She served on the staff of Community Partners, where she supported several initiatives including violence prevention, youth development, and access to technology.
Professor Cislowski was instrumental in launching the largest interconnected educational access channel in the nation, creating the school literacy volunteer program for the Los Angeles Times, establishing a Westside consortium of social service agencies partnering to increase family incomes and youth academic achievement, and developing the California State University, Northridge Department of Social Work.
Currently, she is an associate teaching professor, practicum education at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. She teaches the foundations of clinical skills and theory and applications of leadership and management. Professor Cislowski spent over 10 years as the Southern California regional eirector for practicum education, where she oversaw the placement and supervision of more than 350 students attending the Virtual Academic Center each year. She is currently the assistant director of practicum education, coordinating the implementation of the part-time flexible option for students. Professor Cislowski was elected by her peers to the school’s Faculty Council two times, and most recently was elected to serve as vice chair and then became chair of Faculty Council. She presents nationally on innovative social work education practices.
She formerly served as member of the City of West Hollywood Disabilities Advisory Board, where she advocated for people with disabilities and advised the City Council on issues affecting this population, including housing, transportation, ADA compliance and other access issues.
Professor Cislowski served for 18 years as a human services commissioner for the City of West Hollywood, including two terms as chair of the commission that oversees more than $3 million in funding annually to local social service agencies. The commission collaborates with the City Council and other key stakeholders to identify the city’s social service priorities, review grant proposals and recommend allocation of funds.
She has been an active volunteer in the community, including participation with The Jewish Federation’s Koreh L.A. Literacy Task Force Advisory Board, Jewish Community Relations Committee Urban Affairs Commission and Access Community Action Projects Committee. She volunteered with SEIU Local 11 to assist members to enroll in unemployment benefits who were laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Cislowski has been a member of the California Democratic State Central Committee and is a longtime member of the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club and serves on their West Hollywood Advisory Board. She has experience as both a staff member and volunteer for numerous political campaigns. She is currently the co-chair of the Field Education Committee for Voting is Social Work, and serves on the leadership of The National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign, which is a national movement to integrate voter registration and engagement into social work education and professional practice. She was awarded the West Hollywood Women in Leadership Award in 2018. In 2022, she was recognized for her profound impact on the people and community with the 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year from Congressman Adam Schiff.
Professor Cislowski received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, her Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California and her Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She was recognized in 2022 for her years of professional and community service with an Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
She has lived in West Hollywood for more than two decades with her husband Joe Cislowski. They are proud parents of their 22-year-old son Bailey and 17-year-old daughter Amanda.


University of Southern California

MSW 1996

Hebrew Union College

MA 1996

Miami University

BS 1990

Area of Expertise

  • Social Work
  • Social Work Education
  • Grant Writing
  • Community Outreach
  • Program Development
  • Voter Registration/Voter Mobilization

Industry Experience

  • Program Development
  • Government Relations
  • Events Services
  • Health and Wellness
  • Education/Learning
  • Training and Development
  • Fund-Raising
  • Non-Profit/Charitable


  • Online Learning Consortium
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Network for Social Work Management


Woman of the Year

California 29th Congressional District, 2022

West Hollywood Women in Leadership Award


Articles & Publications

Spiraling Organizational Change: a Campus Conversion to Online Programming | | The Field Educator
Ruth Supranovich, Ruth Cislowsk, Jennifer Parga
The article describes the transition of one social work program from campus based instruction to online and illustrates the Action Research Model of change. The authors also explore the impact of this change on internal and external stakeholders.



589a Applied Learning in Field Education (Virtual Field Practicum)

589a Applied Learning in Field Education (Virtual Field Practicum) This is our famous VFP (Virtual Field Practicum). A client simulation course where your receive instant feedback on your intervention implementation. Not only is the course structured to teach you evidence based interventions like Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy but you are practicing in real time from the convenience of your own home. This is truly one of my favorite courses to teach and it is amazing to see both folks who are brand new to social work and seasoned to have life changing moments in class!

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