Dr. Laura Brierton Granruth

Associate Professor and MSW Coordinator

Dr. Laura Brierton Granruth

Contact Information


Office: Stayer 311
Phone: 717.871-5956
Fax: 717.871.7941

Sp23 Office Hrs

M: 5:15-6:15pm In Person or Zoom
W: 10:00am-12:00pm In Person or Zoom
R: 9:00-11:00am Zoom only
Comments: Sign up at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4fa4a92dabf94-drgranruth#/


Dr. Granruth joined the faculty at Millersville University in August 2013 after teaching in other social work programs in Virginia and Washington, DC. She earned her BA in Sociology from Fordham University, her MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her PhD in Social Work from The National Catholic School of Social Services at The Catholic University of America. Her dissertation examined the impact of state tax code progressivity on children’s health, education, and poverty outcomes. Dr. Granruth teaches across the curriculum and in the BASW, MSW, and DSW programs. She currently serves as the MSW Program Coordinator, and was the DSW Coordinator from 2018-2020. She is the lead faculty member for the annual NASW-PA Legislative, Education and Advocacy Day

Dr. Granruth’s areas of focus in social work are policy, policy analysis and advocacy, and political social work. She has been a Board Member for Influencing Social Policy since May 2018. Dr. Granruth is Research Fellow with Millersville University’s Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change (CPSSC). Through CPSSC she collaborates with her social work and university colleagues on community-based research to include social isolation and the development of social connections between students and participants in a local anti-poverty organization. Dr. Granruth and Dr. Jennifer Frank recently appeared on the local NPR show, SmartTalk, to discuss their research. Dr. Granruth also is a member of the Leadership Team for the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program with responsibility for research.

Dr. Granruth enjoys working with students on their journeys to success.  She researches her pedagogy and social work pedagogy to improve the quality of her teaching and the quality of social work education. She is inspired by her students and thankful for the opportunity to work with them.

Recent Scholarship, Publications and Presentations


Granruth, L.B. (2015). State taxes matter in the lives of children. In K. Rice & M.V. Felizzi, M.V. (Eds.). Global Youth: Understanding challenges, identifying solutions, offering Hope.  (pp. 91-106).  Cambridge Scholars Publishing. UK.

Granruth, L.B. (2011). Impact of the level of state tax code progressivity on children’s health outcomes. Health & Social Work, 36(3), 207-215.


Granruth, L.B.  Where did Grandma’s (or Grandpa’s) money go?: Understanding and preventing the financial exploitation of elders. Presentation at the National Association of Social Workers Conference, Washington, DC, 2016.

Frank, J., Girvin, H. & Granruth, L.B.  Bridging the gap: Examining the effects of decreasing social distance between socioeconomic groups. Presentations at the International Association of Social Work with Groups Symposium, New York, NY, 2016.

Frank, J., Girvin, H. & Granruth, L.B. Bridging the gap: Examining the effects of decreasing social distance between socioeconomic groups. Presentation at the Third Annual Learning Institute, Millersville University, School of Social Work, Lancaster, PA, 2016.

Granruth, L.B., Bethel, J. Where did Grandma’s (or Grandpa’s) money go?: Understanding and preventing the financial exploitation of elders Presentation at the Third Annual Learning Institute, Millersville University, School of Social Work, Lancaster, PA, 2016.

Granruth, L.B.  Ethical social work: Justifying our practice decisions. Presentation at the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth, and Family Services Annual Conference, Harrisburg, PA, 2016.

Granruth, L.B., & Pashkova-Balkenhol, T. Developing a collaborative teaching model to improve undergraduate social work writing. Presentation at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, Dallas, TX, 2016.

Pashkova-Balkenhol, T. & Granruth, L.B. Improving undergraduate student writing through a collaborative teaching model: New roles for teaching faculty and university librarians.  Presentation at the Second Annual Lancaster Learns Conference, Lancaster Learns, Lancaster, PA, 2016.

Granruth, L.B. Did Obamacare reduce health disparities for women and children? Presentation at the Second Annual Learning Institute, Millersville University, Department of Social Work, Lancaster, PA, 2015.

Granruth, L.B.  Do we still need textbooks? Presentation at the Inaugural Lancaster Learns Conference, Lancaster Learns, Lancaster, PA, 2015.

Granruth, L.B.  Guided ethical decisions: Avoiding the ethical traps. Presentation to COBYS Family Services, Leola, PA, 2015.

Granruth, L.B. Applying Joseph’s model of ethical decision making in social work practice: Justifying our practice decisions. Presentation at the CASA of Lancaster Ethics and Advocacy Conference, Millersville University, Lancaster, PA, 2014.

Granruth, L.B.  The Affordable Care Act “Obamacare”: What Do We Know? What Should We Know?  Presentation for staff social workers and nurses at Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, PA, 2014.

Granruth, L.B. (2014). Gender – It’s all in your head. Presentation at the Sexuality and Gender Institute at Millersville University, Lancaster, PA, 2014.

Corso, L., Kamel, S. Rowell, E. & Granruth, L.B.  Social workers on a Bus – Advocacy in Motion. Presentation at Made in Millersville: A celebration of student scholarship and creativity.  Millersville University, Lancaster, PA, 2014.

Granruth, L.B.  The Impact of the Level of State Tax Code Progressivity on Selected Children’s Health and Educational Outcomes. Presentation at the First Annual Learning Institute Millersville University, Department of Social Work, Lancaster, PA, 2014.

Granruth, L.B.  The Affordable Care Act “Obamacare”: What Do We Know? What Should We Know?  Presentation at the Social Work Month Celebration, Millersville University, Department of Social Work, Lancaster, PA, 2014.

Additional Responsibilities Related to the Proposed Program:

Serve on DSW dissertation committee, School of Social Work curricular committees, Chair of Honors Thesis Committee, Lead Organizer within the School for NASW-PA’s annual advocacy Day.

Other Information Relevant to the Proposed Program:

I studied adult learning theory during my doctoral program and have incorporated techniques and practices into my classes.  This same class also gave attention to syllabus design with attention to core competencies and meeting the competencies through course assignments.

I participate actively in training and educational programs through the Center for Academic Excellence at Millersville University to stay current on teaching theory, strategies and techniques.