Academics

Mariah Cowell receives top state award for MSW students

The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter President’s Award honored Cowell for her involvement in her community, leadership capabilities in her program and passion for macro social work through acclaimed research and policy practice.

Mariah Cowell.

Mariah Cowell, a master’s student at Carolina’s School of Social Work, was recently honored for her work in the community.

Awarded by the National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter, the NASW-NC President’s Award recognized Cowell’s involvement in the community, leadership capabilities in her program at Carolina and passion for macro social work through acclaimed research and policy practice.

“Social work is a profession that is dedicated to social justice and confronting systems of oppression,” Crowell said. “Social work has the potential to partner with communities and truly promote meaningful and radical change.”

At Carolina, Crowell is highly involved in her program, serving on the school’s social justice action committee and working as a community management and policy practice curriculum delegate. She also serves as the Macro Caucus chair, seeking to foster community, expand visibility for macro students within the school and plan events that promote preparedness for students to apply and enter the field.

Combining her love for research and support for her cohort led Cowell to a research assistantship that examined the graduate social work curriculum and school climate to explore student levels of preparedness to confront oppression upon graduation.

As part of her current field placement at the Duke Social Science Research Institute, Cowell has also presented her work regarding a program examining the experience of underrepresented women in the STEM field at the American Evaluators Association National Conference.

“I hope to contribute to research that is community action-oriented and promotes the core values of the profession,” Crowell said. “I also plan to continue onto to my Ph.D. to teach and study social work ethics and social workers preparedness to confront oppression in the field.”

While Cowell’s recognition has reached outside of her program, it has also not gone unnoticed by her program’s faculty members.

“Mariah combines her leadership, community involvement, passion, critical thinking, and research skills to create a kind of synergy that somehow still stands out even among the dedicated and accomplished students we have,” said Tonya Van Deinse, a clinical assistant professor at the School of Social Work.