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Forte Earns SU Distinguished Faculty Award

Hutchinson and Forte with President Dudley-EshbachSALISBURY, MD---Dr. James A. Forte, a social work professor known as an exemplary teacher, internationally recognized scholar and leader in service, is the 2014 Salisbury University Distinguished Faculty Award honoree.

“Students often indicate that he makes difficult to understand material ‘interesting and engaging,’” said Dr. Deborah Mathews, department chair. “He is seen as ‘highly intelligent,’ ‘well prepared’ and inspirational with a ‘true passion for social work’ which he uses to ‘motivate [his students] to excel.’”

A student added: “He loves sharing human nature and it brings him great satisfaction when a student learns something new (or perhaps, finally understands something old) and is changed because of it.”

Forte has utilized face-to-face and hybrid models to teach five graduate and seven undergraduate courses at SU and its satellite sites over the years. In addition, he has written four books and 41 articles/book chapters, and has presented regionally or nationally some 66 times.

“He is recognized as a national leader and innovator in social work theory,” Mathews said.

Forte earned his M.S.W. and Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University. He was twice honored for his teaching at other campuses before coming to SU in 2003. In 2010, he was named Social Work Educator of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers — Maryland Chapter.

Forte has chaired four departmental committees and led efforts to develop a self-study report and revise standards to meet national accreditation. He is a member of professional organizations including the International Association for Social Work with Groups and Council on Social Work Education.

According to Dr. Victoria Hutchinson, chair of the Faculty Awards and Recognition Committee, Forte has garnered accolades as an “exceptional teacher, humanitarian and citizen” from colleagues, practitioners, advisees, students and administrators, making him richly deserving of the award.

Forte will be included on a plaque listing all recipients since the honor was established in 1987. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at