Two School of Social Work faculty members inducted into the WSU Academy of Teachers

On April 27, 2023, School of Social Work faculty members Shantalea Johns, EdD and Norma Love-Schropshire, DSW, affectionately known as “Dr. Norma,” were inducted into the Wayne State University (WSU) Office for Teaching and Learning Academy of Teachers (AOT) at a recognition ceremony. Johns and Love-Schropshire joined Fay Keys, DL, MSW who was part of the inaugural class of 2018.

According to their mission statement, the AOT was established to promote the shared value and culture of teaching excellence and student achievement at Wayne State. They strive to engage faculty, students, and staff in conversations about learning, and to move from conversations to concrete actions that improve the educational experience for all students. They also work to encourage policies at the university, local, state, and national levels that support teachers and promote and reward effective teaching. The academy selects up to five new members each year from nominees who have had a significant impact on the WSU undergraduate learning experience, practice innovative pedagogy and demonstrate instructional excellence. The nomination process for the AOT is a rigorous one, with requirements including:

  • Documented evidence of instructional excellence, including efforts of diversity, equity, inclusion, and innovation.
  • Evidence of leadership in promoting excellence in teaching and learning.
  • Evidence of significant impact on the WSU undergraduate learning experience beyond one’s individual courses.
  • Nominator must provide letters of support from students, student groups, faculty, or staff members.
  • Nominee must apply on their own behalf including filling out an application, providing a two-page letter of interest and qualifications, a letter of recommendation, and their current WSU professional record.

“The AOT has a competitive acceptance process, so I was elated to find out that I was selected for induction. I am grateful to Debra Patterson for her nomination. This honor means I am joining other faculty across campus committed to positively impacting teaching and learning at WSU,” Johns said.

Johns began her career at WSU as an academic advisor, a job she held for 10 years.

“Academic advisors play a vital role in student success by collaborating with faculty to ensure students get the support they need to graduate from their planned program,” Johns said.

After completing her doctorate, Johns became a full-time instructor teaching general education courses, and since then has become an assistant professor, clinical and lead instructor for the Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare course. She also taught several other courses in the School of Social Work and across the university.

During her tenure, Johns has been received numerous awards, including three in 2022: Service of the Year from the WSU School of Social Work; General Education Teaching Award from WSU; and Scholar in Global & Intercultural Competence Designation from the Council on Social Work Education.

In 2016, Johns was named an emerging leader by the Global Community for Advisors (NACADA). Her contribution to the advising profession includes publications, conference planning, and local, national, and international presentations. She is also an appointed member of the research and publication divisions of NACADA. As a community-engaged scholar, Johns partners with local organizations to study the use of prevention interventions in education settings for urban African American youth from adolescence to early adulthood. In addition to this work, Johns’ research interest includes the neurobiology of trauma and trauma recovery and the social determinant of poor mental health in urban communities.

“WSU is my home away from home. I love teaching, going out for coffee with my colleagues, and leading the Continuing Education unit in the SSW. My goal for the future is to continue to work on meaningful projects that create societal change in urban communities through my work as a social worker and educator in Detroit,” she said.

While Johns says many colleagues at WSU have helped her on her journey, she credits fellow inductee Fay Keys as someone who’s most impacted her growth as a professor.

“She saw my potential as a professor and spent time teaching me how to make significant learning experiences in the classroom. Fay has held to her motto of ‘each one, teach one,’ and I’m forever grateful for that,” she said.

Group photo of
From left: SSW Assistant Professor Clinical and Director of Continuing Education Shantalea Johns; WSU President M. Roy Wilson; SSW Assistant Professor Teaching and BSW Director Norma Love-Schropshire; SSW Dean Sheryl Kubiak; and SSW Associate Professor and MPSI Infant Mental Health Program Associate Director Carolyn Dayton at the 2023 AOT Recognition Ceremony.

Norma Love-Schropshire is as excited as Johns to be a fellow AOT inductee.

“Being nominated is an extraordinary privilege that has filled me with gratitude, pride, and a sense of validation. When I tried to convey the importance of this highly competitive, lifetime membership to my 14-year-old son, he astutely likened it to me being inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame.’ Indeed, that is precisely how this honor feels, making me a proud WSU ‘Hall of Famer’ in the AOT,’” Love-Schropshire said.

An SSW faculty member since 2012, Love-Schropshire began on a part-time basis, and in 2020 was appointed to the role of BSW program director. In 2020 she earned her doctorate in social work and currently holds a dual macro and clinical license as a master level social work practitioner with the State of Michigan. She’s been honored with awards including the Social Work Teaching Award in 2016, and a second Teaching Award for an Outstanding Contribution in Social Work Education in 2022.

“Throughout my time at WSU, I’ve strived to make a lasting impact on my students, colleagues, and university as a whole,” she said.

As with Johns, Fay Keys had an equally profound impact on Love-Schropshire.

“As role model, she has been a mainstay in guiding me in ‘how to’ provide exceptional online education and supported me throughout my doctoral education and my time at WSU. Her unwavering support and encouragement have been invaluable. I’m also grateful for the encouragement I received from Dean Sheryl Kubiak, as well as the BSW Program Committee, comprised of Deans Debra Patterson, Anwar Najor-Durack, and Joy Ernst, as well as our dedicated BSW faculty, staff, and students. Finally, I must express gratitude to Mr. Geoffrey Jones, a paragon to student advising and my trusted consigliere, for his indispensable and impeccable service to our BSW students,” Love-Schropshire said.

She continued: “It is an honor to contribute to the advancement of teaching excellence and student success as an educator within the SSW. I am committed to ongoing service and collaboration in our shared efforts to refine our teaching approaches and enrich the learning experiences of our diverse student body.”

The induction of Johns and Love-Schropshire is a “group win” for everyone within the SSW, and all are equally proud.

“The School of Social Work is so fortunate to have such remarkable faculty. Drs. Johns and Love-Schropshire join Dr. Keys in receiving this esteemed honor in recognition of their teaching excellence. We are so proud of their accomplishments on behalf of our students,” said Dean Sheryl Kubiak.

View photos from the April 27, 2023 AOT Recognition Ceremony

Author: Laura Hipshire

Faculty spotlight

← Back to listing