Clinical instructor coordinates the School of Social Work’s Teaching Support Program, which bolsters faculty knowledge, capacity, and skills.
This is the latest in a series from the University of Maryland, Baltimore's Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) highlighting a student, faculty, or staff member. Read previous DAC Spotlights.
Victoria Stubbs has 20 years of social work experience in the nonprofit social services and academic field. She is a full-time clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW) and the developer and coordinator of SSW’s Teaching Support Program, whose mission is to provide pedagogical support to faculty to bolster instructor knowledge, capacity, and skills for the purpose of creating and maintaining “brave spaces” within SSW. Stubbs defines “brave spaces” as classroom environments that acknowledge the challenges both students and faculty have when attempting to discuss difficult and/or sensitive topics such as race, power, privilege, and various forms of oppression for the purpose of learning.
“Brave spaces” are created when students and faculty commit to actively engaging in “The 6 Pillars of a Brave Space,” which speak to the struggle with creating “safety” in a classroom, recognize the humanness of all involved, and acknowledge the need for individual and collective responsibility and accountability. Informed by the research of Brené Brown and Theresa Wiseman, the pillars are: vulnerability, perspective taking, leaning into fear, critical thinking, examine intentions, and mindfulness. Through the Teaching Support Program, Stubbs conducts classroom observations, facilitates peer coaching circles, maintains a faculty wellness space, and offers training and coaching to faculty.
Stubbs earned her bachelor’s degree in English and women’s studies from Syracuse University and a master’s in social work from Howard University. She began her social work career as the transitional housing coordinator at My Sister’s Place, a domestic violence shelter in Washington, D.C. She later became the program coordinator and not only worked one-on-one with survivors, but also facilitated groups and workshops, conducted trainings for volunteers, coordinated programming for the shelter, and supervised staff. Stubbs later worked at Iona Senior Services in Washington as a community case manager and then as the director of community programs, overseeing five programs and managing a large D.C. government grant.
In addition to her work at SSW, Stubbs maintains a private practice in Washington, where she provides therapy to individuals and couples. Her specialization areas include LGBTQ identity issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, ethical non-monogamy, and overall personal wellness. She also is the author of Untangled: A Black Woman’s Journey to Personal, Spiritual and Sexual Freedom.