April 11, 2019

Adventist Educator Named U. of Michigan Social Work Teacher of the Year

LAKE REGION—Daicia Price was selected by University of Michigan’s School of Social Work students as the 2019 Teacher of the Year and recognized last...

LAKE REGION—Daicia Price was selected by University of Michigan’s School of Social Work students as the 2019 Teacher of the Year and recognized last month in an award presentation at the university.

Price, one of 50 Social Work faculty, was nominated by a member of the Michigan Social Work student body and selected based on a submitted essay detailing some of the remarkable ways she influences students in her classes.

“When you have a solid foundation and are using your God-given talents, you can never go wrong,” said Price in a later interview. “It’s about listening to what people need and being supportive; that’s what I’ve learned. When we talk about being an example and letting our light shine, this is what I’m here for.”

Price credits her success largely to the nurturing she received as a student at Peterson Warren Academy. Three generations of her family thrived at the school which has a teaching philosophy of “Education for now and eternity.” As a former student, parent, school board member and supporter, Price is clear that her formative years at Peterson Warren Academy instilled an understanding of God’s love and her role in the world as an agent of change. “Peterson Warren Academy faculty and students nurtured me as a part of a community that fostered an understanding that God had a purpose for me,” she said. “The environment and education that developed an ability to utilize critical thinking, develop my own values, and be creative and bold has been the core of my personal and professional achievements.”


The Ypsilanti Church member decided to pursue formal training as a social worker and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Studies in the area of Urban Education as a King, Chavez, Parks Future Faculty Fellow. She has gained clinical and macro practice experience in juvenile justice, community mental health, housing, schools and foster care. Her primary research interests are focused on developing professionals that are prepared and capable of working with children, youth and their families. When preparing for licensure examination as a clinical social worker, Price has aligned the decision-making with her Christian knowledge of treating others as God treats us.


Price joined the University of Michigan School of Social Work (UMSSW) Ann Arbor-based team as a lecturer in 2014 and advanced to professor rank last year. Prior to becoming a part of UMSSW, she served as Clinical Practice Improvement Specialist in Wayne County with a focus on workforce development. During her time there, she was instrumental in creating a centralized student training program that included collaboration with University of Michigan Detroit Clinical Scholar program. 


In 2013, she was recognized as distinguished Alumna of the Year by Eastern Michigan University; in 2012, she was recognized by Peterson Warren Academy.


Her dedication to her students has not gone unnoticed and some of their quotes include:


“This professor has influenced my life by providing an example of a true champion of social work values. She encouraged me to know that I am capable and resourceful to handle any given situation.”


"I do not feel I would have been able to have the confidence and be in the field of social work without this professor. She gave me the tools and opportunities needed to become an effective social worker, especially with underserved populations.”


“This professor brings transparency, humor, and authenticity to the classroom in a way that invites her students to do the same. Having her as an instructor has had a profound impact on the quality of my experiences in the program.”


“She sees strengths in each of us and invests in our growth in whichever ways best support a student. This professor is an integral part of the SSW community, one whose spirit and drive is contagious.”


 She reports that her selection as commencement speaker for UMSSW, Teacher of the Year and the Erma Henderson Award are by far her greatest accomplishments, since the selection was made by the students with whom she engages.


Price believes that awards that were selected based on her interactions with others is a true testimony to how God can use us as a demonstration of His love, grace and mercy.