Faculty & Staff


Dr. Jerome Lewis Blakemore, Co-Chair
Associate Professor

Jerome L. Blakemore joined the faculty in the fall of 2012. Dr. Blakemore is a full time faculty member and teaches in both the Department of Social Work and Department of Justice Law and Public Safety Studies. Before coming to Lewis Dr. Blakemore served as the Chair of the Department of Social Work at the University of Memphis. During his tenure at the University of Memphis he developed a new MSW program and also served as interim Director of the Universities African and African American Studies program. Dr. Blakemore holds an MSW from Western Michigan University and the Ph.D. from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Dr. Michael Lloyd, Ph.D., LCSW, CADC
Assistant Professor and Associate Chair

Dr. Michael Lloyd is an assistant professor and the Associate Chair of the social work department. Dr. Lloyd completed his Master’s Degree in Social Work and Certification for Alcohol and Drug Counseling (CADC) as well as his Ph.D. in Social Work.at the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. Dr Lloyd’s current areas of interest, research and scholarship include substance use disorders, LGBTQ issues, and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Lloyd teaches human behavior, practice and substance use treatment courses.

Barbara Nichols

Barbara Nichols joined the Lewis University Community in the Department of Social Work in 1990.
She serves as a professor and as the Field Education Director. She has over twenty five years of social work experience. She has worked in child welfare (DCFS), Medical Social work, Private Practice (Substance Abuse), and Community Organization and Prevention.

Barbara Nichols has served on many social service boards including the People's Resource Center, Life Link and the PADS program (Public Action to Delver Shelter). Currently she serves on the Program Review Committee Board for Guardian Angel Community Services in Joliet. She earned a MSW and MBA degrees from George Williams College.

Ellen Thursby, Ph.D., LICSW
Assistant Professor

Ellen Thursby joined the faculty in the fall of 2016. Dr. Thursby is an assistant professor as well as the MSW program director and has more than 20 years of experience working with young children, children with disabilities and their families, and adolescent parents. Her dissertation research was a narrative analysis of the decision making process involved in becoming a teenage parent. In addition to research on adolescent parenting, Dr. Thursby has researched the pedagogy of social work ethics in field education. Dr. Thursby has experience teaching theory, practice, and research courses.


Michele Latta
Department secretary
(815) 836-5162