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Molly Swick, Ed.D.
Instructor, Foundations of Education, Adult and Higher Education


Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)
Counseling, Adult and Higher Education (CAHE)

Research Interests:

Raised on the shores of Sunny California and the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming, Dr. Molly Swick brings a unique perspective to education. Her core commitment is excellence in teaching, and she has devoted her life to inspiring future and current teachers by presenting for various teacher education organizations, as well as being a role model in her own classroom. In her 20 years of teaching, Dr. Swick has taught health, physical education, and educational foundation courses in high school, community college and university settings. She currently teaches for NIU’s Colleges of Education and Health and Human Sciences.

The title of Dr. Swick’s dissertation is Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of Hope: An Autoethnography in a Social Justice Classroom (2013). The purpose of this qualitative study was to test concepts derived from Paulo Freire’s writings within the educational context of a contemporary college classroom. Critical theory served as the conceptual framework, as Dr. Swick attempted to shed light on how education can be used to bring about social, political and economic changes in society.

Dr. Swick recently received the prestigious NIU Presidential Commission Sharon Howard Women Who Make a Difference Award (2015). In the past several years, Dr. Swick has been recognized by faculty, staff and students for the following: PCSW Outstanding Mentor Award Honorable Mention (2015), Ask Me... I Can Help NIU Spring Campaign (2015), Most Valuable Professor (MVP) by NIU’s Men’s Basketball Team (2015), Most Valuable Professor (MVP) by NIU’s Women’s Volleyball Team (2014), the NIU College of Education Mentoring Appreciation (2013), and the Student Advocacy Award by the NIU Student Association Senate (2012).


Ed.D. Adult & Higher Education. Northern Illinois University, 2013
Dissertation Title: Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of Hope: An Autoethnography in a Social Justice Classroom
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Jorge Jeria

M.S.Ed. Secondary Education. Northern Illinois University, 1993
Area of Concentration: Health Education

B.A. Radio/Television/Film. California State University, Long Beach, 1990

Molly Swick


(815) 753-9326
Graham 421

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Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations

Graham Hall 223