Luke Kertcher, a MSSW student and graduate assistant for the MSSW program at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work (SHS), was recently named a CSWE Minority Fellow by the Council on Social Work Education.

CSWE’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) provides opportunities to underrepresented and underserved populations to support the mission of reducing the effects of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. Fellows must be in their final year of study at a CSWE-accredited institution, with intent to go into the profession of social work.

“As a first-generation college graduate, it’s affirming to know that people believe in me and my purpose as a future social work practitioner,” Kertcher said. “Education is always something that my family has valued, and this fellowship will help me to achieve my own goals of being as best prepared as possible for a new career in social work. I come from a family of resilience, persistence, and strength, and I am excited to see how I can contribute to the Minority Fellowship Program’s 50-year history.”

Kertcher, who comes from a family of Vietnamese refugees, plans to become a full-time school-based social worker in Texas while pursuing his LMSW and LCSW certificates. He is also interested in pursuing long-term opportunities in social policy practice, community organizing, and school leadership.

“Luke is an incredibly dedicated, capable, and humble person, who we appreciate deeply,” said Sarah Swords, assistant dean at SHS. “He is a valued member of our MSSW Program team who provides critical support to the Academic Affairs team.  We are exceptionally proud of his well-deserved recognition and know that he will make a great impact as a social worker.”