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Dr. Brent Satterly Receives 2016 Lindback Award


Chester, Pa. – Dr. Brent Satterly of Westmont, NJ., associate professor and director of the bachelor of social work program in the Center for Social Work Education at Widener University, received the 2016 Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching.

“This year’s recipient was an early adopter of high-impact educational practices, especially those involving collaborative group work,” Dr. Stephen Wilhite, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, said.  “His approach to project-based learning is characterized by an energy, enthusiasm, charm, and engagement.”

Many of the same sentiments were echoed by Satterly’s students that said he is, “awesome.” And that “his sense of humor and kind heart make the classroom a place where you absolutely want to be.”

A teacher on all levels – undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral, Satterly attributes his success to his mentors and professors along the way, as well as his support system of family and friends. “I’m more than humbled to stand among my peers, to be recognized in this way is beyond what I have ever dreamed,” he said.

The Lindback Award is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated a history of teaching at the highest level. It is endowed by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, a Philadelphia-based foundation that provides grants to institutions of higher education for the promotion of excellence in teaching. The honor is bestowed annually to a member of Widener’s faculty.

“This professor’s reputation for highly effective engagement has led to this individual’s serving as a mentor to new faculty both within the department and across the university,” Wilhite said. “He also extends this engagement outside of the classroom. His leadership of both formal and informal co-curricular programming is an enduring memory of many alumni of the three programs in which he has regularly taught.”

Satterly is overwhelmed with the emotion of gratitude and humility. “I’m thankful for the teachers that have brought me to this point in my career, my students, who have looked up to me, my husband – Don (Dyson), associate professor of human sexuality at Widener, who is a visionary when it comes to teaching, and my parents, who instilled my intellectual curiosity.”

Satterly started his career at Widener serving as an adjunct professor teaching human sexuality studies to social work education in 1997. In 2004, after receiving his doctorate, Satterly was hired as an assistant professor of social work. Today, Satterly provides oversight of the BSW program, which includes program design, curriculum management, faculty support, and the reaccreditation process. He also teaches courses in the all three levels of the social work program and as an adjunct in human sexuality studies.

At Widener, Satterly also sits on a number of committees including the Middle States Steering Committee, Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Task Force, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Faculty Network, Experiential Learning Council, and he served as a faculty fellow from 2012-2015. He also served as advisor to the BSW student organization and as faculty chair at Widener from 2011-2013.

This year Satterly is looking forward to introducing a new course, “Spellcraft of Social Work,” which will connect the reading of Harry Potter with social justice.

Prior to joining the staff at Widener, Satterly, a licensed clinical social worker, worked in a number of clinical settings including: outpatient therapy, inpatient psychiatric, child welfare, sex therapy, family therapy, and in-home care.

“Coming to Widener, I never left the clinical realm,” he said. “There is a need for process and problem solving in everything we do as teachers.”

Satterly believes that this was truly a perfect fit for him.  As an undergrad psychology major, Satterly discovered social justice and he focused his attention on the appreciation of diversity, realities of oppression and justice while pursuing his master’s in social work and his PhD. in education.

He is a member of the Council on Social Work Education, Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, Inc., Pennsylvania Association of Undergraduate Social Work Education, Human Rights Campaign, and American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be a tobacco-free. Visit the university website,