My academic experiences have been a combination of "life-long learning" resulting in six degrees which includes the M.S.W., a Doctorate in Public Policy Analysis (health and mental health policy) and professional development as a social worker. The most recent degree was a Masters in Health Science (addiction studies). I have always delighted in meeting the professional development requirements to sustain the license as a professional social worker. I have been at Lewis University for over fifteen years. I have been chair of the department since I arrived at the university. During my stay at Lewis University I sought to address
issues of marginalization affecting the African American community. I am most concerned about the current plight of African American males (boys and men) in the city of Chicago. I moved into Hyde Park in the city in hopes of being part of the solutions to some of the challenges confronting Chicago and the State of Illinois.
Jerome L. Blakemore joined the faculty in the fall of 2012. Dr. Blakemore is a full time faculty member and teaches in both the Department of Social Work and Department of Justice Law and Public Safety Studies. Before coming to Lewis Dr. Blakemore served as the Chair of the Department of Social Work at the University of Memphis. During his tenure at the University of Memphis he developed a new MSW program and also served as interim Director of the Universities African and African American Studies program. Dr. Blakemore holds an MSW from Western Michigan University and the Ph.D. from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago. .
Barbara Nichols joined the Lewis University Community in the Department of Social Work in 1990.
She serves as a professor and as the Field Education Director. She has over twenty five years of social work experience. She has worked in child welfare (DCFS), Medical Social work, Private Practice (Substance Abuse), and Community Organization and Prevention.
Barbara Nichols has served on many social service boards including the People's Resource Center, Life Link and the PADS program (Public Action to Delver Shelter). Currently she serves on the Program Review Committee Board for Guardian Angel Community Services in Joliet. She earned a MSW and MBA degrees from George Williams College.
Dr. Ruth Osuch joined Lewis University in 2009 to assist with accreditation of the Social Work Program. She also is an Associate Professor and teaches in the Social Work Department. In addition to her three years at Lewis, Dr. Osuch taught for 13 years at another BSW program. Her professional experiences include: research, medical social worker, and a school social worker. She has earned a BA in Psychology from the University of St. Francis; a MSSW from University of Wisconsin; a MPH from University of California and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University. Her area of expertise is developmental disabilities.