Dr. Jennifer Frank is joining a highly selective group of educators in Pennsylvania. The Millersville University associate professor of social work has been named the PA Social Work Educator of the Year by NAWS-PA.
This award is extremely meaningful to Frank as she feels she is meant to teach and be involved in the social work field. “I see teaching and social work as more of a life calling rather than a job. I really love what I do, and this award confirmed to me that what I am doing inside and outside of the classroom does matter to students and the community,” says Frank.
Frank has devoted much of her time as a social worker to helping others and feels it is important to translate her experience and knowledge to the classroom. “I worked for a long time as a social worker in the field of homelessness and poverty. The transition to academics for me was all about trying to increase my impact in making the world a better place. I thought I could continue helping the community by teaching the next generation of social workers to be advocates and social change agents,” Frank says.
Her teaching philosophy is to always connect real-world issues to the classroom. Through field trips, Frank brings her students out of the classroom and immerses them into the issues currently confronting the world.
Frank has many accomplishments outside of the classroom as well. She is a research fellow with the Millersville University Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change. She was awarded the PASSHE Faculty Development Grant for her Stepping Stones research project. She is also a founding member and board vice president of the Loft Community Partnership, a local nonprofit that addresses poverty, food insecurity, and develops resource connections and collaborations.
When she is not helping others through her teaching and social work efforts, Frank loves running, cooking, yoga and thrifting.