Associate Professor / Director, Department of Social Work
I believe that learning is a passion we can all discover – given proper incentives. Knowledge is the edge students need to succeed in today’s market-driven economy. Therefore, I believe learning needs to be closely related to the world outside of schools, it needs to be timely and relevant.
I believe it is my responsibility to find ways of engaging students with the knowledge at their fingertips, to galvanize their thirst for learning and for applying this with passion to the world.
In order to get at relevance in the classroom, I believe in engaging students in discussion and to challenge them to consider examples in their environment that relate to the given topic at hand.
As school can be a stressful and anxiety provoking time, I want to communicate that careers can be serious things to pursue, but that burnout can be avoided with a degree of humour and realism. Therefore, laughter is encouraged in my classroom (as long as it harms none and doesn’t derail the material from being taught).
I believe that my experience and knowledge in the field are why I am motivated to help those entering the field of social work. Too many times, fresh graduates enter the field with little preparation for the messiness of real-life practice. It is my belief that agencies/organizations thrive on growth in the form of new ideas. Teaching students how to critically examine material and foster a love of lifelong learning is another way to be a steward to the community and the institutions that serve it.
Dr. Alexander Sawatsky has 10 plus years in the field of community mental health in the USA. He holds a Masters of Social Work degree from Andrews University and received his PhD in Social Work from the University of Manitoba. While in practice, he has worked in crisis stabilization, counseling, case management and administration. His passion in teaching includes: Evidence-Based Practice, Mental Health, Addictions, Ethics and Administration. It is his desire to address the needs of those with severe and persistent mental illness that remain a focal point of his teaching approach. He currently serves on the MCSW Board of Directors. Past committee memberships have included the Steering Committee for Opportunities for Employment as well as the Quality of Care Committee for Sara Riel.
His favorite hobbies include reading, playing board games, listening to his daughter sing, his son playing piano, playing guitar, playing cards with his wife and singing in church.