I am a practice researcher - motivated by an unyielding sense of responsibility to capture best practice through collective action in the context of complex, diverse, and uncertain conditions amidst the face of high stress, significant risk, and competing demands. I believe social workers are like social surgeons and as such are perfectly poised to lead social change, dissect and disrupt the status quo - relentlessly innovating to improve the lives of others. The roots of my current scholarship can be traced directly to my practice and specifically to my previous career as a child protection social worker.
My philosophy of teaching, my approach to scholarship, and my commitment to service can be summarized in three words: Engage, discover, and act. This simple mantra scaffolds my own relentless pursuit of social change via effective knowledge management within non-linear and complex systems of care. I aim to demonstrate the ways in which practice research can advance reality based teaching, stimulate community and user participation, and promote both service and learning in higher education. Specifically, my research, teaching, and service inform best practice in the domain of culturally authentic, utilization focused, and community based participatory research.
At the School of Social Work, I also direct the Urban Leadership Program, a community of engaged emerging leaders who work tirelessly with our local neighbors in order to seed possibilities through collective action. Through these partnerships we form strategic alliances to develop leadership capacity. In all that we do, we pledge to demonstrate how an institution of higher education can be a reliable, authentic, hard working, and trustworthy partner and ally. In this endeavor we aim to contribute and promote knowledge and understanding about what leadership in the context of social work is, along with how it unfolds, evolves, and works in urban communities.