What is your educational background?
- Ph.D. in Social Work from Michigan State University
- M.S.W. from University of IL-Chicago
- B.A. from Moody Bible Institute
What are the main focuses of your research?
- Human development and faith-based social work practice
- Child welfare policies and practices in Guatemala
- Personality disorders and their impact on the development of virtues, especially Christian humility
What specific courses or specialties do you teach?
I love teaching a broad array of classes that delve into micro and macro-level issues within both domestic and international contexts. My work has been focused broadly on assisting people in managing social problems, and my focus now is helping students to carry that redemptive vision to the rich and diverse contexts into which they will be called.
What is the most important piece of advice you give students to help them succeed?
I really think understanding yourself is key to success, not just in the workplace, but in all of life. We are complex creatures, and the ways in which “our issues” creep into our work and relationships are multiple. But understanding our areas of vulnerability creates a spirit of humility and authenticity that serves us and others well.
- Book under contract (2018 publication date) with North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) for a faith-based companion text to accompany traditional HBSE textbooks.
- “How to Get Beyond Your Tribe,” Comment Magazine, 2016.
- “Confessions of a Fixer Upper Addict,” op-ed in The Center for Vision and Values, 2016.
- “Relationships Matter, but Which Ones?” op-ed in The Center for Vision and Values, 2016.
- “Who Owns Social Justice,” article in Comment Magazine, 2014.
Is there any additional personal experience you would like to share?
I came to higher education later in life after twenty years of social work practice experience, but I’m so grateful for God’s wisdom in knowing what we need and when we need it. Teaching feels like a natural extension of practice. You need to read students and classrooms carefully in order to discern whether your methods are actually translating in meaningful ways. And every day brings something unique and interesting because you’re working with people who are constantly growing and developing.