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Faculty members to receive innovative teaching award for Photovoice pilot project

NKU faculty members will receive an award for innovative teaching from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for a pilot project they created through the university’s Master of Social Work program.

Led by Dr. Dana Harley, a team of faculty members launched the Photovoice pilot project with the Kenton County School District to mentor high school students who have been identified as dropout risks.

Students enrolled in the NKU Master of Social Work program serve as mentors. They ask high school participants to take photographs that reflect their view on the world with cameras supplied by the program. The college students then analyze the photographs and other information collected to identify obstacles that prevent high school graduation.

The NKU faculty members involved in the award-winning Photovoice project are (left to right): Willie L. Elliott, Dana Harley, Karen Tapp and James P. Canfield.

The other NKU faculty members involved in the project are Dr. Willie Elliot, Dr. James Canfield and Karen Tapp, J.D. They have been instrumental in making it a practical learning experience for students in the master’s program.

“We are delighted to work with Dana, an extremely talented and collaborative faculty, using this cutting edge qualitative research,” stated Tapp. “Photovoice research is a spectacular learning opportunity for our social work students, and we hope to discover new information about high school students and their perceived supports and barriers to graduation.”

This the second year that the Council on Social Work Education in cooperation with SAGE Publications have sponsored an award to recognize innovative teaching in social work education. The award will be presented to the NKU team during the CSWE Annual Program Meeting in Dallas, Texas that begins on Oct. 31.

Earlier this year, the Photovoice project received a Community Partnership Grant for its successful collaboration with the Kenton County School District. There are now plans to expand the program so it will possibly serve 100 high school students.

Dr. Canfield, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at NKU, said, “The Photovoice program exemplifies the mission of Northern Kentucky University as
an innovative program that engages the community by providing inclusive research opportunities for children and youth in the region, students at NKU, and supervising faculty.”