LaMart Hightower

Associate Professor

Introduction Video

I was born and raised in Detroit MI and was educated in the Detroit Public School System. I earned my B.S. in Social Work in 1978 from Western Michigan University. I earned my M.S.W. from Western Michigan University in 1985. I later earned my Ph.D. in Human Service from Walden University in 2016. I am a License Master Social Work and Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Currently, I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at NMU.

After receiving my B.S I worked in a boys’ residential treatment program and later for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. After earning my M.S.W, I worked as a case manager for a homeless program. I later worked as a Family Therapist providing mental health and addiction therapy for adults and children in an outpatient program. While providing these services, I also worked as an on-call crisis social worker for a hospital in Grand Rapids assessing and referring individuals who presented themselves in the ER and needed assistance. I also worked as a case manager therapist in a residential addiction program for men providing addiction and mental health therapy.

I began teaching diversity classes at Grand Valley State University in the College of Education. I also taught diversity and social justice classes to MSW students at the Western Michigan University’s Grand Rapids’s Campus. 


Poster Presentation. A Phenomenological Study of Methadone Treatment for Opioid-Dependent Individuals Ages 50-55. The Association of Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA). November 3, 2017. Washington D.C.

Poster Presentation. Pre and Post-test of BSW students completing an addiction course. The Association of Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA). November 7, 2019. Boston MA

Presenter. A survey of diversity and social justice practices in BSW programs. The Future of Social Work Profession conference. June 27, 2019. Hong Kong.

Presenter. A Phenomenological Study of Methadone Treatment by Opiate-Dependent Individuals Ages 50-55 Years. The National Rural Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. June 14, 2018. University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie WI.

Presenter. Assessing emergent challenges in the development of cross-national collaborative research projects for social work undergraduates. International Social Work Conference. May 17, 2018. Minneapolis MN


Hightower L. & Johnson K. (2020). The importance of diversity and social justice in BSW programs: Implications for social work education in the US. The Hong Kong Journal of Social Work.

Hightower L. (2007) Poverty and education. Colleagues, GrandValleyStateUniversityCollege of Education, 11 


2018 Postdoctoral Fellowship of Walden University in the Human Service program.

2011-2012 Recipient of the Outstanding MSW Field Instructor for the School of Social Work, Grand Valley State University.

LaMart Hightower