Carmelita L. Dotson | Outstanding Teaching Award

Carmelita DotsonCarmelita L. Dotson joined MTSU in 2004 and is a lecturer in the Department of Social Work teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. She earned a B.S. in Sociology at Tennessee State University, an M.S.S.W. with a concentration in Administration and Planning at the University of Tennessee, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Tennessee State University. Dotson has co-authored peer-reviewed articles, completed book reviews, presented with students, and given peer-reviewed presentations regionally and nationally. Her research studies the effect of various learning formats on student achievement, the impact of service-learning strategies on teaching, and culture versus climate relationship in organizational settings.

Dotson believes that students are lifelong learners who need a stimulating academic environment to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and academically. This notion is undergirded by Ujima (collective work and responsibility), part of her personal value base. She serves as faculty advisor for MTSU’s student chapter of the National Association for Black Social Workers and the Department of Social Work’s student cooperative committee, Ujima. She also mentors many students and faculty. Through the Division of Student Affairs, Enrollment and Academic Services, she has been regularly recognized by students as a faculty member who makes a difference. She was named the 2020 Tempest Award honoree by the American Association of University WomenMurfreesboro chapter for her work uplifting women throughout her career.

Dotson co-facilitated an inclusive teaching faculty learning community, facilitated the department’s professional learning community, is a member of the curriculum committee, and is instrumental in the department’s MT Engage major pathway. She engages in innovative course development, which includes service learning, connecting with professional practitioners in the community, and connecting theory to practice. Dotson is active in her community, including volunteering with nonprofit organization The Build Up Foundation, helping prepare over 400 Metro-Nashville students in grades 7–12 for college entry and success.