Tamara Strohauer is the SERVE Indigenous Social Workers for Change Project Coordinator (PC) for the Southern California Region, Field Faculty and a lecturer with the School of Social Work at SDSU. The courses she teaches include Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare, Introductions to Professions in Social Work and BASW Field Seminar. She started as SERVE PC in January of 2017 and began teaching the following year. She assisted Native social work students in founding SDSU’s Indigenous Social Work Alliance (ISWA) in the fall of 2019 and is their Faculty Advisor and served as our GSWA Faculty Advisor until this year. Her research areas of interest include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the neuroscience of trauma and addiction, and Cultural Health Disparities.
Before her education as a college student, she was an actor and then painted houses with her husband while raising their two daughters. In 2010, she went to San Diego Community College at 44 years of age as the first generation in her family to become a college student. At first she was considering nursing, but she ended up falling in love with psychology and neuroscience. In 2012, she then got her associates degree in Psychology at San Diego City College and then transferred to SDSU. When she transferred to SDSU, she had to take a history class as a General Education requirement, and everything changed. She took U.S. History from an American Indian Perspective and became very interested in the history of the Indigenious People within the United States. She became that professor’s TA and took as many American Indian Studies courses as she could. In 2014, she obtained her bachelor’s degree as SDSU’s Outstanding Graduating Senior in Psychology with a minor in American Indian Studies. In the fall of 2014, she started her Master in Social Work (MSW) program and continued to work closely with the American Indian Studies Department all through graduate school.
Upon receiving her MSW in May of 2016, she became a Clinical Counselor at SDSU Research Foundation DUI Program from 2016 to 2017. In 2018, she was awarded Champion for Justice and ICWA Compliance through Training from Tribal STAR. In 2020, she received the Outstanding Undergraduate Professor from SDSU College of Health and Human Services. Tamara is a co-author along with Dr. Melinda Hohman of the chapter “Bringing Up What They Don’t Want to Talk About: Use of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for Alcohol and Depression in a Community College Health Center” in the recently released Strategies for Working with Involuntary Clients.he worked as a counselor/instructor at a local Driving Under the Influence Program, Tamara is an Associate Clinical Social Worker, SERVE: Indigenous Social Workers for Change Project Coordinator, Field Faculty and a Lecturer in the SDSU School of Social Work. She is a Co-Founder of the Southern California Warrior Spirit Family and member of the Seventh Generation Work Group, a consortium of Tribal and County Social Workers across Southern California.
In the near future, Tamara sees herself obtaining her LCSW and she will continue to work with SDSU students and Indigineous communities. She wants to continue to do more writing and national events regarding the trauma and resilience that the Indigenous people have experienced over the years.
Words of Encouragement to Our Students:
“It is important to be kind to yourself mentally and physically”
“Everyday is an opportunity to be kind to yourself and others”
“Remember to always have some encouragement for yourself”