School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.

VCU School of Social Work alum James Forte (M.S.W.’78/SW; Ph.D.’90/SW), whose “contributions in teaching, scholarship and the social work profession are exemplary,” has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers’ Maryland chapter.  

Alum James Forte

Dr. Forte is a professor of social work at Salisbury University, and he has published more than 40 scholarly articles and four books. He has also given around 100 presentations at local, regional, national and international conferences.

“The depth and breadth of Jim Forte’s contributions to the social work profession and community are truly outstanding,” NASW-MD wrote in announcing the award (PDF).

Since 1976, Dr. Forte has been working with vulnerable populations, including those experiencing chronic mental illness, homelessness and incarceration, and those living with disabilities. He possesses a keen understanding of social policy, community practice and legislative advocacy. His experience and enthusiasm in these areas have helped students have the opportunity to engage in advocacy and practice what they learned in class. Dr. Forte has engaged in web-based advocacy by authoring petitions related to economic justice, environmental issues, gender justice, racial justice and more.

He pioneered the interdisciplinary approach to theory application and teamwork, developing “practical theorizing” and “multi-theoretical social work” approaches to teaching theorizing processes in social work courses. His articles are used by faculty members around the world, cited in Academia, Research Gate, Slideshare and LinkedIn. His textbooks “Skills for Using Theory in Social Work” and “Models, Metaphors, and Maps” are being used by social work educators in their course design.

Dr. Forte was selected in 2016 as the best reviewer for the Journal of Social Work Education by the Council on Social Work Education, and was honored in 2010 as Maryland Social Work Educator of the Year.

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