The Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin is proud to have two students recognized with fellowships from the Council on Social Work Education.

Madison Haiman, a second-year doctoral student at SHS, received the CSWE Doctoral Student Policy Fellowship for the academic year 2023-2024, while Luke Kertcher, a MSSW student and graduate assistant for the MSSW program at SHS, was recently named a CSWE Minority Fellow by the organization.

Haiman’s fellowship provides awardees with structured curriculum and an experiential learning placement with a congressional office or government relations firm to learn the process of translating research into policy proposals/briefs, and effective communication of research. Haiman’s research primarily focuses on social work in women’s healthcare, perinatal mental health/substance use, and interventions for mothers and birthers. With this fellowship, she plans to continue to generating research with the goal to influencing policy and improving the health of women and birthers. 

“When I saw this fellowship, I saw a way to increase the impact my research has and create lasting change through policy,” Haiman said. “I am excited to have an opportunity to influence policy, especially given the current state of maternal and reproductive health and health policy in the U.S. and in Texas.”

Kertcher’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), meanwhile, 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. 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.

“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.”