Amy B. Smoyer, PhD

Prison Food, Incarcerated Lives, Health & Social Work

Teaching Research

Amy teaches undergraduate and graduate Research Methods in the Department of Social Work at Southern Connecticut State University.  

Amy's teaching philosophy is centered on movement and participation. Her instruction seeks to engage students in critical thinking and connect research concepts to real-life social work practice.  Her classes feature the New Haven SCSU Social Justice Work Bike Ride, a 3 hour group experience through New Haven's Dwight, Dixwell, and Hill neighborhoods. This biking ethnography seeks to challenge students' perspectives and ways of knowing while building knowledge about the social justice sites and history of the Elm City.

In 2016, Amy was trained in Team-Based Learning, after being introduced to TBL at an academic conference. This approach to teaching, which aligns with ideas about group work and critical thinking, begins with what you want the students to be able to DO and then works backwards to class activities, assessments, and reading which will help students to reach this competency. Amy is currently working to incorporate these principles into her teaching.

In January 2017, Amy participated in Temple University's Inside-Out Training program and launched an Inside Out undergraduate course (SWK350: Research Methods) at the Manson Youth Institute in Cheshire, CT, in Summer 2017. This course includes SCSU undergraduates and men at MYI in a transformative learning experience grounded in inter-group dialogue. All students earn 3 credits towards their Bachelor's degree.

Sample Syllabi

SWK 350:  Undergraduate Research Methods

SWK 561:  Graduate Research Methods