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Congratulations to the Field Students of the Year

Field practice is the cornerstone of professional social work education. Field education in the BSSW and MSSW programs is a critical component of each student’s academic program. These students’ ability to thrive during such a difficult time is a testament to the amazing things they will go on to achieve. Congratulations to the UTCSW Outstanding Field Students of the Year.

Nashville Field Students of the Year

Mabel Escoto Davis
Nominated by Catherine Loftis Smith, LAPSW: Program Officer
“Mabel is so much more than an intern. We look to Mabel as a colleague, and have rich conversations. Mabel draws connections from philanthropy to social work in a sophisticated manner. Mabel’s insight during our racial equity journey and a participatory grant making process has been incredibly helpful. She is a leader in her classes, the Coalition for Black Social Workers, and in her internship.”

Astasia Watkins
Nominated by: Dr. April E. Stewart, MSCJ, LCSW, MPA | Clinical Director
“It has been a pleasure having Ms. Watkins as a Student Learner. She is a fast learner and demonstrates professionalism in conduct and practice. Ms. Watkins secures many attributes and skills such as compassion, flexibility, creativity, critical thinking skills, and organization. She also possesses leadership qualities and provides peer support to the MTSU BSW Student Learner.”

Online Out of State MSSW Outstanding Field Student of the Year

Kelly Bremken (Podoloff), Portland, Oregon
Nominated by Dr. Steve Kochis, Field Instructor
“Kelly integrated extremely well with our shelter.  She did have the advantage of having worked at Oregon Humane Society years ago but a lot has changed since her time with us.  Most obvious of which has been operating during a pandemic, civil and political unrest, and a massive natural disaster (wildfire) that consumed large areas of land in multiple locations around the state simultaneously.  This included several communities within the Portland metro area and our state capital just South of our shelter.  While it was great that Kelly was familiar with our organization and many of its employees, there were risks with having so many friends on the staff.  She navigated the balance of confidentiality, professionalism and personal relationships quite well.”

Online MSSW Outstanding Field Students of the Year

John Ibanez
Nominated by:  Morgan Holzapfel
“This student has surpassed all expectations for our work with social work interns. Clinically he is advanced and demonstrates the knowledge that I hope each student entering the profession is able to obtain. As a team member and colleague, he is exceptional in the areas of professionalism, reliability, maturity, and organization. To add, his personality, demeanor, teachable attitude is attractive in team settings. What he has accomplished with his clients during this time is significant.”

Kandra Preston
Nominated by:  Pratik Patel
“Kandra went above and beyond all expectations for interns at our facility. Kandra is a fast learner and was able to take on caseload after 2 weeks of shadowing and facilitating 2 groups a week. She is very proactive in her learning, not scared to ask questions and continuously looking for ways to improve her craft. Kandra’s empathy and listening skills allowed her to connect with clients instantly. She made a profound impact on the treatment of all of her clients using a multitude of interventions. Kandra also displayed outstanding observation skills which allowed her to make sound recommendations for her clients.”

Lauren Baker
Nominated by:  Jessica Shea (Field Instructor) and Lakeisha Conway (Field Liaison)
“Lauren is eager to learn and share information. She came into internship with a foundation of knowledge and eagerness and confidence to jump right in. She brings up thoughtful discussions in supervision, shares personal stories, and shares resources with others. She is willing to grow with feedback. Lauren is highly responsible and ethical, as well, and has excelled in internship.”

Janequa Jackson
Nominated by:  Stephanie Nelson
“Ms. Jackson has shown growth and eagerness to learn her role as a School Social Work intern. She has completed any task that is given and ask questions when in doubt. Ms. Jackson has shown her ability to build rapport with the students and parents that she’s providing services to. Ms. Jackson has shown professionalism as well as following her code of ethics. She has excelled in the transition from virtual to in-person learning. She has co-facilitated groups as well as providing individual and family sessions. Ms. Jackson has done well in using the different assessment tools, completing student and parent interviews, and completing the necessary reports for treatment.”  

Knoxville MSSW Field Students of the Year

Savannah Lindsey
Nominated by Laura Bryant, Field Instructor
“Savannah is the kind of student you hope for. She arrived to field this year with an eagerness to learn, grow, and develop her skills a macro-level social worker. Savannah brought with her extensive knowledge and experience in fundraising for a local non-profit in her home state of Florida. She continued her fundraising while at UT, her work was highlighted in the Daily Beacon, and she because the number one fundraiser at the organization. Everything Savanah worked on was carefully crafted and executed. From trainings and programs to a grant proposal that was funded, Savannah was able to see the grant project through from concept, inception, execution, and final write up.”  

Brittany Brosky
Nominated by Leann Brewer, Field Instructor
“I feel that Brittany has taken full advantage of what the field experience is supposed to be. She has been fully engaged every time she came to work. She constantly asks for more patients to see. The entire time she was at field she was with patients, in group or other staff talking about patients. I never had to worry if she was working. Brittany was great with the patients. I never had a complaint from a patient about her, and I did give her some tougher cases.”

BSSW Campus and Online Outstanding Field Students of the Year

Isaiah Challen – BSSW Campus Field Student of the Year. Nominated by Jessica Carlton, Field Instructor
“Isaiah is very cheerful, thoughtful, and compassionate towards others.  He is consistently prepared and has first-rate communication skills. I consider myself fortunate to have had Isaiah on my team and expect him to have a very bright future in Social Work.” 

Taylor Fahel – BSSW Campus Field Student of the Year
Nominated byBekah Lankford, Field Instructor “I believe Taylor is very deserving of this award because she has done Amazing in field. She has a natural ability in decision making and leadership. She is able to build rapport with young students, adolescents and parents, (Which is not always easy). Taylor is thoughtful and kind to everyone she encounters.  She is eager to learn new ideas and willing to take on any challenge given. There’s no doubt in my mind that the social work profession is her calling and she has been a joy to work with this year.”

Amanda Casteel – BSSW Online Field Student of the Year
Nominated by Lindsey McElvy, Field Instructor
“It should go without saying that she is a remarkable social work student, with an eye and heart for not only growing her knowledge of social work, but also seeking out many opportunities in the social work field. She quickly proved herself to be an independent worker, very versatile and a humble individual.  Amanda has been a valued member of our organization whom I’ve learned I can rely on regardless of the difficulty of the task.”