University of Calgary

Kim Zapf

  • ProfessorEmeritus of Social Work
  • Aboriginal Issues, Indigenous Education, Rural & Northern Practice
  • Multicultural/Diversity Issues

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Degrees: PhD (University of Toronto), MSW (University of British Columbia), BA in Theatre (University of Waterloo)

Interests: Rural and northern practice, multicultural practice, social work in Aboriginal communities, communication skills.

Kim Zapf has been with the Faculty of Social Work since 1986 where he has worked with the Edmonton Division(seven years), the Access Division (four years), and the Calgary campus (10 years), as well as teaching credit course offerings in nine other delivery sites across Alberta.

He has served the Faculty as Associate Dean (1996-1997), Acting Dean (1997-1998), and Access Division Head (1999-2002). His primary teaching interests have centred on the BSW program where he has taught every core course plus electives related to rural/remote practice and multicultural practice.

Zapf was instrumental in developing the context-focused content and Learning Circle delivery model for the original BSW Access program. More recently, he has been developing curriculum and a team teaching approach for the integrated BSW course on the Calgary campus (integrating content and assignments across core courses).

Zapf has co-edited two books and published some 50 journal articles and book chapters mostly related to social work practice and education in rural, remote, and Aboriginal communities. He has presented his work at more than 40 conferences across North America as well as in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Hawaii, Australia, and Korea. His most recent scholarship activity has been the completion of a book-length manuscript Social Work and the Environment: Understanding People and Place.

Zapf started his career working as a juvenile probation officer in metro Toronto. After completing his MSW degree, he moved to the Yukon Territory where he began as a probation officer and eventually became the Yukon’s Director of Community Corrections based in Whitehorse.

During this time in the Yukon, Zapf was a founding board member of both Yukon Education Theatre and the Guild Hall Society. He also began performing magic shows as The Great Takhini. He left the Yukon in 1982 to return to school, where he completed a PhD degree in social work at the University of Toronto.

Kim Zapf’s research was profiled in the Faculty’s 2006 publication, Connecting The Dots 

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