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Master of Social Work Faculty

At Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, we are committed to providing you with an academic community of instructors and fellow students who enrich your learning experience with learnings from their own practitioner background. Our faculty members will help promote your personal and professional growth so you can achieve your goals both academically and in your career.

Faculty devote themselves to help develop ethical, empathetic leaders for clinical practice. They're here to support you through email, as well as virtual office hours through Zoom and more. Meet your MSW faculty below.


  • Program Director

    Suzanne Shatila, MSW, brings vast experience to her role as a Program Director for Saint Mary's online Master of Social Work program. In addition to her work as a field liaison for social work students enrolled in a distance education program,...

  • Faculty Member

    Dr. Knipe began her career in social work as a child protective services worker, practicing in both Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Within the CPS system, she has engaged in investigations, ongoing permanency work, and prevention services.

  • Associate Professor

    Dr. Michael Lee is a writer, researcher, and educator with more than fifteen years experience in community organizing, volunteer management, and fundraising in human services.

  • Faculty Member

    Sylvester Amara Lamin is a graduate from The Ohio State University College of Social Work, in Columbus Ohio, where he earned his Ph.D., MSW, and a Certificate in AIDS education.

  • Faculty Member

    Shelly Statz is the Field Education Director and a Core Faculty member of the Master of Social Work program. Shelly has been practicing clinical social work for over 20 years.

  • Adjunct Instructor

    Beth Johnson is originally from the Black Hills of South Dakota, she has called Minnesota home for 15 years now and quite enjoys the wide array of culture, outdoor activities and diverse experiences the Twin Cities has to offer.


    Julie Franks, DSW, LCSW, MTS is both a licensed clinical social worker and social work educator. Dr. Franks came to social work after earning her B.A.

  • Instructor

    Christine Kerno has been a clinical social worker and leader for 29 years.

  • Instructor

    Maima Fant, MSW, LICSW is a core faculty member of the Master of Social Work program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.