Title: Part-Time Lecturer, Social Work
Years @ EMU: 7.5 years
Why Did You Become an Educator? I had been in healthcare in hospital social work management for 30+ years. I had a number of excellent opportunities to lead hospital-wide initiatives at four health systems, educate employee groups, and give community presentations. These events and connections helped me realize I really enjoyed educating others and was comfortable being in front of an audience. Several individuals from the School of Social Work invited me to speak to their classes and being invited to become part of the department and EMU came after.
Favorite Class You Teach @ EMU: I enjoy all the classes I teach at EMU. A particular favorite is Women and Aging, which typically includes students from Social Work, Women & Gender Studies, Aging Studies program, etc. It’s become a great opportunity to talk with students about practical aspects of being an aging/maturing woman in our society – not focusing entirely on theories and studies. I equally enjoy IHHS 260/261 which I team-teach with 3-4 faculty partners. This class is a life course retrospective, beginning with aging and progressing to infants. The students are pre-majors from nursing, social work, dietetics, etc. and we work with them on interdisciplinary education. I worked with these teams in hospitals, and helping future health care providers understand this essential aspect of care is near-and-dear to my heart.
What Is Something You Enjoy About EMU? The students are open to learning and collaborating in so many instances, which rewards me. I truly appreciate how generous the faculty of the SSW are with each other. Course work, syllabi, readings, ideas for assignments, etc. are readily shared without hesitation. I know this doesn’t happen at all universities and in every department. I have really enjoyed invitations to guest lecture in Nursing at EMU, and within the SSW.
What Do You Do Outside of EMU? I recently ‘retired’ from nine years of volunteering with the Hoarding Task Force of Washtenaw County. I learned so much about hoarding disorder from other task force members, and from the clients themselves. One of my roles was to present community education, which fit perfectly for me. I’m also active in my condominium community and church. I retired from full-time employment in health care 7 years ago.
Surprising Facts About You: I was a nurse in the Surgical ICU at St. Joe’s in Ann Arbor for 12 years, prior to completing my BSW degree at EMU, and MSW at Wayne State. I realized as time went by, that I enjoyed talking with the patients and their families more than I enjoyed doing their physical care. Social Work became the logical next step for me, and I’ve never regretted combining these careers.