Ronald San Nicholas

Lecturer, Social Work

Main (Lacey)
Ph.D. University of Hawaii; M.S.W. University of Hawaii; B.A. University of Guam

5000 Abbey Way SE
Lacey, WA 98503


My family moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2007.  As a native Chamorro from Guam (United States Territory in the Mariana Islands), our move which included several years in Hawaii was the beginning of a journey in faith to seek primarily medical and social services for my youngest son. I have served as a senior lecturer with St. Martin’s University and its social work program since 2008. 

I received my B.A. in psychology and sociology from the University of Guam and then began a career in social work in mental health practice with the Guam Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.  I received my graduate degrees in social work (M.S.W.) and social welfare (Ph.D.) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. As a social worker with 30 years of combined teaching and mental health practice experiences I’ve taught undergraduate and graduate students majoring in psychology, sociology and social work at the University of Guam, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Pacific University (Military Campus and Online Program), University of Washington at Tacoma and St. Martin’s University.

Each of the Benedictine values at St. Martin’s University: Faith, Reason, Service and Community are core aspects of my teaching and practice as it applies to social work practice, research, and service that first and foremost demonstrates respect for the dignity and worth of every person created in the image and likeness of God, social justice, and the pursuit of truth, academic excellence and the common good.

My areas of academic and professional interest include social work practice, research and policy in mental health, developmental disabilities, pastoral care and examining the psychosocial impact of children with special needs on their family.

I am an ordained permanent deacon of the Roman Catholic Church and serve the parish community of St. Michael in Olympia. I also provide consultation to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Pastoral Office on Ministry to the Mentally Ill and Special Needs. I volunteer as a Chaplain with Western State Hospital and work full-time for the State of Washington’s Behavioral Health Administration. 

My wife and I have three sons and two grandchildren who reside here in Washington State.