Assistant Professor of Social Work, Director of Field Education
"I believe that in order to be an effective instructor, I must create a safe environment that is interactive, collaborative, and promotes problem-solving and critical thinking skills. A hospitable environment accommodates a variety of learning styles and encourages students to present their opinions while respecting the opinions of others. By giving students a voice in class, not only do the students benefit from peer-peer learning by enriching the course material with personal experiences and knowledge, but they also take responsibility for their own learning and, therefore, enhance the integration of their new knowledge into practice. Promoting critical thinking is essential so that students can take what they have learned and apply it in real-life situations. Therefore, I strive to make my classroom an area for students to learn and demonstrate skills. To create a safe learning environment, I encourage students to ask questions and give their views on the material we are covering. I create assignments that improve students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills. I utilize individual and small-group projects that develop and foster the skills needed by the student to work independently and collaboratively in a professional setting. Classroom discussions offer the learners opportunities to develop and articulate their own thoughts and opinions while benefiting from a multitude of perspectives. It is important for students to ask well thought-out questions and challenge popular conventions. In addition, I utilize role-playing as an opportunity to practice new learning tools and receive feedback from their classroom community. It is my goal that as a result of my teaching, future graduates of the Social Work Program will exhibit critical thinking, strong oral and writing skills, be able to construct insightful and intelligent questions, produce effective and creative solutions, and question the status quo while providing assistance to others."