Assistant Professor
Social Work

Boozhoo and hello. My name is Cherie Dakota and I am an Assistant Professor in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin – Superior. My path which has lead to this position includes 30 years in the field ranging from working in downtown Detroit to working on the L’Anse Reservation of Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I have worked in many branches of the social work field including: work with children and families, child welfare, crisis intervention, higher education, intimate violence programs, health and mental health programming, and substance abuse. I have written grants for and developed many programs for my community, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, including: the Niimigimiwang (Dancing in the Rain) Office on Violence against Women, the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Tribal Social Services, and development of the Student Services Department for Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College. I enjoy bringing such a broad spectrum of field work to the classroom in micro, mezzo, and macro social work practice.

Teaching and Learning Philosophy

My teaching philosophy focuses on 3 areas: 1. engaging students with the material so they are excited about learning and seek understanding; 2. immersing students in the material so that they can retain and apply knowledge; and 3. scaffolding knowledge both in breadth and depth to use critical thinking skills and develop global applications of knowledge.

I want students to be excited to come to class. I believe that if students are excited about the material, they are more likely to retain the material. I engage students through sharing real life experience as a social worker in both a metropolitan area and a Native community setting. To develop professional skills and critical thinking, I expand on foundational theories and social work skills by developing scenarios in which students practice real-life applications through role play. Lastly, I focus on the application and interconnections between concepts, courses, and venues. I believe that this interconnectivity increases the student’s confidence and competence in the application of knowledge in novel situations.