Over the past 25 years, Dr. Handon has served as a field instructor for several universities. Since 2009, she has lectured at The Ohio State University – College of Social Work. She 2009, she has served as a part-time associate faculty member with graduate human services student online from Post University. In 2011, she began teaching online with Northern Arizona University (NAU) in their Public Agency Manager Department. In addition, she serves Indiana Wesleyan University (Central OH campus) as a part-time adjunct faculty member. Various undergraduate and graduate level courses Dr. Handon has taught have included: a) Ethics and Diversity; b) Research Methods in the Social Sciences; c) Managerial Ethics; d) Human Development Across the Life Spans; and e) Sociology.
Dr. Handon has earned the privilege of an outstanding career of 31 years in public service with a concentration in social work administration and delivery of child welfare services. Throughout these experiences, she has been humbled by the opportunity to mentor and teach families and children, undergraduate and graduate level students, young professionals entering into the field, and more experienced staff members who had settled into their careers. Subsequently, around the 23rd year of her career, she made a decision to prepare for her second phase of life / career, and then pursued her doctoral interests which have now transitioned into academia.
For nearly 20 years of Dr. Handon’s social work career, she had established an excellent rapport with colleagues across varied social work and administrative environments with local colleges and universities. This involved service as a field instructor for students assigned to do their practicum experiences with her local public child welfare agency. This even resulted in an award as the “Field Instructor of the Year,” following nomination from one of her student mentees. She also served as an appointed representative as a Commissioner and Board secretary for the Ohio Fatherhood Commission (2007-2009).
Dr. Handon has now combined both teaching and mentoring together as two key strategies as one prepares students to be creative in developing solutions for themselves and/or their clients; and to assist the students in discovering themselves as a professional. Thus, she’s been instrumental in helping students and others unfold their dreams, aspirations, and meet their personal and/or professional goals.
During the last two years of Dr. Handon’s doctoral training, she decided to concentrate on developing competencies related to her goal of teaching at the college level. One of her peers suggested that she contact someone at a partnering university where she had been involved while employed with my former county and state agencies. Fortunately, she was selected to lecturer a child and family policy course for one semester with graduate level students. She found this to be an awesome experience, as a clearly defined subject matter expert in the course topic.
Dr. Handon reflects on her own experiences as an adult learner. She wishes to bring the students with a refreshed level of creativity and higher level of analytical thinking. For example, while lecturing at The Ohio State University – College of Social Work, she used a variety of classroom techniques for a class of less than 30. This included a group project which examined policy, practice issues affecting children in the child welfare system. The class also examined the legislative process and rulemaking steps for Ohio based upon her professional background. The students were challenged and excited throughout the entire course. Upon completion of the class, Dr. Handon became more determined to become a member of an academic institution as faculty or in another related role.
Subsequently, Dr. Handon was selected to serve in an adjunct faculty role here at Post University within the Human Services department with online graduate human service students. This experience continues to shape and define her as a professor, teacher, and instructor. In an online environment one’s role as a professor is challenged in a unique way. It’s important to bring oneself into the classroom setting as if one was physically standing before the students. After teaching several classes, which has included curricula design, syllabus development, grading, teaching, mentoring, and on one occasion managing a sensitive conflict issue between two students, she is fully determined to make a difference in the lives of students.
Here are some key principles that Dr. Handon holds for herself and students whether in an online or face-face environment: 1) The instructor is an extension of the academic institution, therefore one’s conduct both in and outside of the classroom must reflect high standards of professionalism; 2) The instructor must always be prepared, which includes timeliness; pre-planning of assignments; be assured and confident, and uphold academic standards set forth by the institution; 3) The instructor must always assure core objectives and outcomes are clearly identified and met; 4) Instructors must maintain an open line of communication while treating the students with dignity and respect; and 5) Instructors must be creative, assure opportunities for growth amongst the students, be sensitive to diverse learning styles and needs of the students; 6) Instructors must be adaptable, flexible, and demonstrate a willingness to assist the students and academic institution when situations dictate a response; and 7) The instructor must always be scholarly in one’s approach and demonstrate being in a constant learning mode.
Finally, as a trained social worker and now academic instructor, Dr. Handon has always upheld the belief that all of us on earth are here for reason and purpose. As students matriculate through their academic programs, she believes one must play an integral role toward the success of the students’ career paths. What happens both in and outside of classroom will ideally shape the lives of students forever, and will likely impact in the provision of quality services onto their clients, communities of practice, and inside other settings.
Dr. Handon is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Empowerment Network Circle, a local coaching, mentoring, and consulting business. Since her retirement in 2009, she has played an integral role in providing states with technical assistance and training on “Understanding and Complying with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994, as amended by the Interethnic Adoption Provisions of 1996.” She has assisted as a consultant with the Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center; Served as a Grant Peer Reviewer for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Community Services; U.S. Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; U.S. Department of Justice: Office for Victims of Crime; and Consultant and Trainer for the National Resource Center for Adoption.
Dr. Handon has been married for over 33 years. She has one young adult daughter. Her favorite quiet times includes travel with her family, water aerobics, reading, listening to gospel music and surprisingly, the blackberry – online brick breaker game.
Dr. Handon has provided numerous presentations listed below on child welfare matters. In addition to her dissertation, she served as primary author on in a magazine related to a child welfare topic.