Wayne State School of Social Work announces its 2021 teaching and service award recipients

For over 85 years, the Wayne State University School of Social Work has been committed to quality teaching and community engagement that encourages cultural humility, benefits the community, and pays attention to social, economic and environmental justice. In support of this mission, we annually call on students, faculty, and staff to nominate faculty and staff for teaching and service awards.

Social Work Teaching Awards

Each year, our students nominate full-time and part-time professors that they believe exemplify excellence in the classroom. These nominees are not just great social workers – they also have a unique gift for communicating the essential concepts of social work practice and research in a way that makes them exciting, accessible and memorable, so their students draw upon them for years to come.

Fay Keys smilingFay Keys joined the Social Work faculty in 2006. She received her Doctorate of Law in health law from Widener University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor, Clinical, and Social Work Education Technology Coordinator. Her area of expertise focuses on behavioral addictions, risk-taking, and antisocial behaviors of urban elders. Keys also has expertise in online education and assists faculty, staff, and students in developing sophisticated learning environments that incorporate advanced technologies. She is responsible for designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating new technologies for teaching and learning in the School of Social Work. Keys finds ways to use technology to enhance student learning and introduce new technology into the curriculum.

Keys’ students nominated her to be the 2021 Full-time Teacher of the Year because of her willingness to work with students “to survive college and thrive and grow in our educational journey”. Students also praised Keys for “not just being interested in our education; she is invested in our success. She always works within our limitations and strengths, but she will push you to be your best.” Further, Keys' impact on her students is long-lasting: “Dr. Keys will never be forgotten as she impacted my life in a positive manner in more ways than it is possible to list. I will miss Dr. Keys as I move forward in my career. I will also always be grateful for the impact she had on my life.”

Teresa Green smilingTeresa Green joined the Social Work faculty in 2007 as a part-time faculty member. She received her MSW at Wayne State University. She also maintains a private practice providing primarily home-based services to individuals and families, both self-referred and court-ordered. Before opening her practice, Green spent several years as an outpatient therapist with Catholic Social Services of Oakland County. Green has extensive experience working with children and adolescents in diverse settings. She runs workshops on treating children and adolescents with mental health issues and has worked as a board social worker reviewing treatment provision standards for compliance in an aquatic rehabilitation facility. Her psychiatric service background makes psychopharmacology her most significant area of interest. Green also has training in behavior modification and sensory integration treatments with developmentally disabled children.

Green teaches advanced clinical courses on cognitive-behavioral theory to MSW students. Her students nominated her to be the 2021 Part-time Teacher of the Year for her passion for social work and compassion for students. Her students praised “her teaching technique as exquisite and effective.” They also appreciated her strong work ethic and appreciate that “she makes learning the material fun and easy.” Her colleagues also noted that Green has a “creative storytelling approach to lectures that brings clinical practice to life. This compelling approach engages her students and helps them understand complex clinical concepts.”  

Social Work Service Awards

Annually, our faculty and staff nominate outstanding colleagues who put their passion to work devoting time and attention to providing service to the School of Social Work, its students, the greater social work community and the profession. These nominees embody service of an exemplary nature using creativity, innovation, leadership and mentorship to empower social change in and out of the classroom.

Geoffrey Jones smilingGeoffrey Jones has been with the University since 2015 and joined the School in September 2018 as an Academic Services Officer II. He received his MSW in 2011 from California State University, Dominguez Hills with an emphasis on Children, Youth, and Families and also holds Graduate Certificates in Gerontology and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies from Wayne State. Jones is the faculty liaison for the Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW). He also currently serves on the Social Work in Focus Transition Team (SWIFTT) Steering Committee, an ad hoc committee to support the students and our school during COVID. Jones is active on the Welcome Black Committee that creates a sense of belonging for Black students who are new to the university and collaborates with his colleagues on developing numerous events to foster social work students’ development.

Jones’ colleagues nominated and selected him for a 2021 Service of the Year Award for his commitment to students. “Jones recruits and retains BSW students by developing and maintaining a deep rapport from the first meeting and beyond graduation. He is respectful and compassionate to the diversity of student needs in inclusivity, equity, and social justice. In the pandemic, Geoffrey applies his mental health background to bring a wealth of knowledge and practice experience that impacts student emotional and behavioral well-being. As an Academic Advisor, Geoffrey has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to BSW student academic success.”


Suzanne Brown smilingSuzanne Brown joined the Social Work faculty in 2006. She received her Ph.D. in 2012 from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor and the coordinator of the interpersonal practice concentration. Her expertise focuses on mothers with substance use disorders, co-occurring substance use, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Her research also focuses on attachment and reflective functioning in mothers with substance use disorders and neurobiological dimensions of addiction and trauma.

Brown’s colleagues nominated and selected her for a 2021 Service of the Year Award for her "leadership in establishing both a Caregiver Helpline and First Responder Hotline for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential workers and caregivers who received assistance appreciated having a space to talk through their concerns and receiving support and referrals. This initiative resulted in Brown receiving the Unsung Hero award from Wayne State University." In addition to her impact on the metro-Detroit community, her colleagues noted that "she provided numerous trainings to the social work community, maintained an active research program, and mentored students and early career faculty."

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