David Pooler

Pooler Associate Dean for Baccalaureate Studies
Phone: 254-710-3884
E-mail: David_Pooler@baylor.edu

"I find great joy in helping students develop their professional identity and discover their gifts. My goal in the classroom is to create an environment where people can learn to ask questions, think critically, and discover what brings them joy. Success in social work is dependent on the social worker's capacity to flourish. Social workers who flourish are conduits of healing and compassion and are competent to help people make change."

"Learning to be a social worker is more than an academic endeavor, it is an inside process of becoming. The process is exciting, challenging, and sometimes painful. The classroom becomes a collaborative environment where this happens and I am just one of many voices in the room. Each and every person contributes to the learning of others. Creating the space for people to learn to use their own voices and their own gifts is what I enjoy the most about teaching."


Ph.D., University of Louisville and University of Kentucky
M.S.S.W., University of Louisville
B.A., Lee College
Full Curriculum Vita

Selected Publications

  • Sherr, M. E., Pooler, D., Stamey, J., Jones, J., & Dyer, P. (2013). A randomized effectiveness trial of a sex education program for minority youth in Miami, Florida. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work. 10(2), 53-62.
  • Pooler, D.K., Doolittle, A., Faul, A.C., Barbee, A., & Fuller, M. (2012). MSW field education and impairment prevention: What do we need to know? Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 22(7), 916-927.
  • Sherr, M. E., Pooler, D., Stamey, J., Dyer, P., Smith, E., & Summers, A. (2012). The influence of religious participation on sexual activity in a randomized effectiveness trial for minority youth. Journal of Social Service Research, 38(2), 156-164.
  • Browne, T. & Pooler, D.K. (2011). Benefits and barriers: An exploratory study of nephrology social work field education, Journal of Nephrology Social Work, 35, 26-32.
  • Pooler, D.K. (2011). Professional Flourishing: Re-visioning Self Care using imago Dei. Social Work & Christianity, 38(4), 440-452.
  • Pooler, D.K. (2011). Pastors and congregations at risk: Insights from role identity theory. Pastoral Psychology, 60(5), 705-712.
  • Pooler, D.K. (2010). Validation of the Inventory of Professional Functioning (IPF): Occupational Health of Social Workers. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 25(1), 19-33.

Research Interests

  • Joy in Social Work
  • Professional Ethics and Professional Development of Social Workers
  • Professional Functioning of Social Workers
  • Organizational Development, Leadership, and Change
  • Organizational Justice


Dr. Pooler has more than 15 years of social work practice experience with several different populations including at risk and abused children, adults with severe and persistent mental illness, persons with addictions, and homeless men. Dr. Pooler studies social workers and the organizational contexts in which social workers are employed. A primary focus of his research is studying how social workers find great joy in their work. He is interested in social work management and leadership. As an occupational social worker, Dr. Pooler is interested in assessing and developing interventions for social service organizations so that work environments are healthy, supportive, and just. He also has a strong interest in developing healthy congregations so that they can transform communities.

Dr. Pooler is married to Cheryl who is the homeless outreach social worker for the Waco Independent School District. Their two children were adopted from China; they are Josianne (2000) and Emilie (2003).