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Nada Elias-Lambert

MSW Program Director & Associate Professor of Social Work

“As a social worker, I work to promote social change and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in my teaching, scholarship, and service. I developed the Bystander to Upstander program to empower faculty and staff to transform from bystanders to upstanders to build communities that support difference and unify against intolerance.

As an educator, I am given the opportunity to create an environment that can help others learn the knowledge, values, and skills required to make those necessary changes to improve our society.

Having said that, I believe it is critical to allow space and encourage everyone, but especially individuals with diverse identities, to share their voice and allow that voice to be heard. I believe that for many students, staff, and faculty with diverse identities, this space is not always readily available, and they often thrive when given this opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas in a space where those thoughts and ideas are truly valued and acted upon.”

Nada Elias-Lambert is an associate professor and the graduate program director in the Department of Social Work at TCU. She also recently served as the inaugural School of Interdisciplinary Studies Diversity Administrative Fellow and the Inclusive Teaching Coordinator with the Koehler Center. Elias-Lambert earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s and doctorate in social work at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Before joining the TCU family in 2013, Elias-Lambert served in the US Peace Corps where she worked as a youth development volunteer. She has many years of social work practice experience with a variety of populations. She has experience developing and implementing gender-based violence prevention programs. Elias-Lambert teaches social work undergraduate and graduate courses such as Research Methods and Intimate Partner Violence. Elias-Lambert’s research focuses on upstander interventions to prevent gender-based violence in university settings.

Elias-Lambert developed and implemented an upstander intervention program titled Bystander to Upstander: Transforming Culture. The goal of the program is to provide a sustainable way (via a train-the-trainer component) for participants to transform from bystanders to upstanders to build communities that support differences and unify against intolerance. Participants learn to identify harmful behaviors such as sexual violence, racism, and sexism. Participants also learn how to apply upstander skills to impact positive change and promote cultures of nonviolence. Elias-Lambert has conducted exploratory research studies to assess participant perceptions and motivations for involvement in the upstander intervention program to continue to improve the quality and accessibility of the program.