Professor of Social Work, Founding Director of MSW ProgramJoined USJ: 2013
Breaking Ground, Achieving Progress
For Stanley Battle, preparing students to succeed and excel has always been at the core of his extensive, impactful, and wide-ranging career as an educator, author, administrator, and civic activist. The opportunity to drive the development of an innovative Social Work master’s program at the University of Saint Joseph was irresistible, because of its great potential to impact individual lives while redefining the relationship between academic programs and clinical partners.
A native of Springfield, Mass., Battle has contributed mightily to initiating and sustaining top-caliber academic programs in prestigious posts across the country – interim president of Southern Connecticut State University, chancellor of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and president of Coppin State University. He taught at the University of Minnesota, Boston University, University of Wisconsin, and at Connecticut institutions. “My commitment is always to students first,” he emphasizes, particularly in developing programs that heighten connections and advance opportunities. Throughout, he has contributed scholarly work and edited highly regarded journals, led substantial research projects, and been an active member of nonprofit boards and community organizations. Along the way, he has earned much acclaim from institutions and organizations that have recognized the impact of his work.
Values and Value
A man of “strong faith and values,” Battle says the mission of USJ is a perfect fit for a ground-breaking MSW program that will deepen the collaborative relationship with clinical practices. “We are making a commitment to the agency – and to understanding what is happening in the community.” Students, joined by a clinical preceptor employed by USJ, will “work as a team” – providing students with on-scene guidance and the agency with “an expert who can provide valuable insight. That collaboration is a big plus, for everyone.” MSW candidates will undertake applied research, informed by classroom and clinical work. Three areas of emphasis – health and mental health, children and families, and aging and disability services including veterans – respond to workplace shortages and individual needs. “Community engagement is central to the mission here. There’s a consistency, integrity, and honesty that is reflected in the students.”
Only the Beginning
The “lifeblood” of Social Work is reaching out and “giving people a voice,” Battle says, noting that “the beauty” of the emerging MSW program is that there will be “less dictating and more listening.” It is “an opportunity to see the full picture, to spend an enormous amount of time working with people, to build a depth and breadth of understanding. We can find out what works, and why.” He envisions a range of defining aspects ahead, from summer institutes to involvement by national experts. Anticipating the potential, Battle is as energized as ever, noting that social work, even in an age of unprecedented technology, must always be “about the needs of people.”
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
M.P.H., University of Pittsburgh
M.S.W., University of Connecticut
B.A., Springfield College