Meet Christopher J. Ward, Ph.D. candidate
Christopher J. Ward is a doctoral candidate and adjunct professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work. Ward’s more than six years of post-M.S.W. work experience within South Carolina’s Certificate of Need program led him to explore his research interest, which focuses on the distribution and access of health care infrastructure from a perspective committed to social justice. Certificate of Need is a state-level health care policy that provides the planning and regulatory oversight for the development of a state’s health care infrastructure. His dissertation, “The Role of Certificate of Need in Providing Nursing Home Facility Care Among the Older Adult Population in Virginia,” explores how Certificate of Need programs make decisions concerning skilled nursing facilities and their impact on the provision of nursing facility care for older adults.
Ward teaches extensively in the VCU School of Social Work B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs, including hybrid distance education courses online. His teaching is centered at the intersection of sound pedagogy supported by the literature, working collaboratively with colleagues to develop strong curriculum and providing opportunities for improvement by building upon the unique strengths of each student. These teaching experiences expanded Ward’s interest, which has developed research veins in the decision-making process of selecting appropriate tools for the online learning environment, the acquisition and retention of research method knowledge by social work students and the strengths and challenges of macro social work education.