Faculty Spotlight: Interview with Dr. Shawn Ricks

Q: What is your current job title (associate professor/professor/etc)?

A: Associate Professor and Department Chair.

Q: What is your current department?

A: Leadership and Educational Studies.

Q: How long have you been teaching at Appalachian State University?

A: This is my second year. 

Q: What course(s) do you teach for the Doctoral Program?

A: I teach Leadership in Organizations (EDL 7025). 

Q: What are your current research interests/projects/grants?

A: I am interested in the intersection of leadership and wellness for minoritized populations, in particular Black women. I have a burgeoning interest in trauma, and somatic wellness, for Black women. I am also working with a colleague in LES on a grant-funded research study Exploring the Relationship Between Trauma Exposure, Resilience, and Student Success at Historically Black Colleges & Universities.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Appalachian State University?

A: I love the mountains and the community feel--people are welcoming, laid back, and professional. It's a unique and wonderful combination!

Q: What advice do you have for doctoral students?

A: Please, please, please enjoy the process! Product is important; however, learning yourself throughout the process oftentimes provides lessons that will last and serve you well. Also, please spend some time getting to know yourself--your joys, your strengths, and your areas of improvement. Remember, as you work towards your dissertation--you are the expert in that area. Believe and bask in that. Lastly, please know that this process is not competitive. Faculty are here to support you, guide you, and mentor you. And we are ALWAYS rooting for you!!!!!

Q: What are some of your main goals as an instructor related to student learning?

A: I firmly believe students need a certain environment to learn. I started my teaching career at a community college, and that philosophy stays with me. My goal is to meet students where they are and take them as far as they can go (at that moment in time). I want students to have more questions than answers at the end of a course. I desire to create lifelong learners that are well in body, mind, and spirit.

Q: What is your favorite quote?

A: Wow!!!! I have several--so I am going to share two:

1. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ~Audre Lorde

2. "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." ~Wayne Dyer

Published: Sep 8, 2021 11:38am