Mary Valentich

Professor Emerita


PhD (Social Work) in 1975.

MSW in 1965

BA (Hon. Sociology) in 1963

Contact information


MacKimmie Tower : MT515

Research and teaching


Her scholarly pursuits include human sexuality, feminist practice, women’s and gender issues, assertiveness in the work place, career management and social work ethical issues, in particular, making decisions related to dual and multiple relationships with clients. She has published 12 chapters and 50 articles in refereed journals, 1 monograph, and co-edited 2 books and co-authored 1 with Dr. Gripton.

An examination of the effectiveness of the Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SARS) workshops, with Edward Sandberg


Dr. Mary Valentich began her social work career as a social work case aide at the Hamilton General Hospital in 1963. From 1965 to 1968 she worked as a social worker at Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, Toronto, with one year in the first behavioral modification unit for adolescents in Canada. She joined the St. Patrick’s School of Social Work at Carleton University in 1968 as an Assistant Professor and then, Associate Professor. She moved to Calgary in 1976 with her partner, Dr. James Gripton and began teaching in the Confluent Program of the School of Social Welfare, University of Calgary, later becoming a Professor, Assistant Dean, MSW Program, and Acting Dean, with three years (1991-94) as Advisor to the President (of the University) on Women’s Issues. She has been a Professor Emerita since 1998.

Throughout these years, her teaching included human behavior and the environment, interpersonal communication, human sexuality and feminist practice. While engaged in a range of social justice issues, she has worked unceasingly to improve women’s status, both in social work education and the community beyond. Additionally, she maintains a private practice related to relationship issues, sexuality, assertiveness, career management and organizational development.

Professional and Community Associations

She was a founding member of two rape crisis/sexual assault centres (Ottawa and Calgary), an out-of-school program (Varsity Community, Calgary), the University of Calgary Stop Racism/March 21 Committee and most recently (2011), Calgary Social Workers for Social Justice. She has been a member of the Social Justice Encounter for 6 years and Chair for 3 years. She is currently a member of Mayor Nenshi’s 3 Things for Calgary Committee.

She has served as a member of the Board of Accreditation of the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work for 7 years, 5 of which she was Chairperson. She was also on the Board of Directors of CASSW (1992-1995) and previously served for 8 years on the Board of Directors of the former Calgary Sexual Assault Centre, and also, the Women’s Centre. She has served on the Board of Directors, Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health and offers Sexual Attitude Reassessment Workshops (SARs).
She has offered a range of workshops in human services, locally and nationally.

She is a Registered Social Worker and Private Practitioner, Alberta College of Social Workers, and a Certified Sexuality Educator and Certified Sex Therapist, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.


Her honours include Honourary Life Membership in The Canadian Schools of Social Work (1992), The Women’s Collective and Resource Centre, University of Calgary (1994), Distinguished Service Awards from the Canadian Sex Research Forum, and the Order of the University of Calgary (2008).

Media Work

Valentich, M. (2012). Does language matter in a local governance issue? Social Development Issues (34)1, 1-12.

Valentich, M. (2011). Feminist theory and social work practice. In F. J. Turner (Ed.), Social Work Treatment V, (pp. 205-224). New York: Oxford Press.

Valentich, M. (2011). Going topless on the Red Mile, Calgary, May-June 2004. Sport in Society. 1-10. Retrieved from

Valentich, M. (2011). Jim Gripton’s social work career: Innovation and the pursuit of justice. Journal of Social Justice (2). 1-20. Retrieved from Transformative Studies Institute database.

Valentich, M. (2011). Finding one’s own identity as a feminist social worker. Canadian Social Work Review 27(2), 221-237.

Valentich, M. (2011). On being and calling oneself a feminist. Affilia. (26) 1, 22-31.

Valentich, M. & Bryant-Ursacki, T. (2009). Facilitating the transition process of transsexual people in a university setting: Lessons from one transperson’s journey. Lesbian Et Gay Psychological Review (10)1, 52-57.

Valentich, M. (2009). Calgary’s resistance to changing from “Alderman” to “Councillor.” Theory in Action (2)1, 66-85.