UTA Social Work Doctoral Student Receives National Award

Friday, Jun 03, 2016

Vivian Miller, a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work and a licensed master social worker, received the seventh cohort of the pre-dissertation initiative award from the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work May 27.

The purpose of the Pre-Dissertation Initiative is to provide support to doctoral students during the dissertation process and to help prepare them for an academic career in gerontological social work research and education.

The national award is granted to doctoral students who complete their first year of doctoral studies. Miller competed against other doctoral students across the country for the pre-dissertation award.

Vivian is a bright student and is well-deserving of this national award. She has a promising career ahead of her in gerontology and social work. Vivian represents UTA School of Social Work and the profession well,” said Dr. Noelle Fields, social work assistant professor.

The award includes an invitation to the 69th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America to be held in New Orleans, La. in November. Miller will receive a $1,200 stipend from the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work that will be matched with a $600 stipend from the UTA School of Social Work to help cover the costs of attending the meeting.

At the meeting, Miller will receive 10 hours of training delivered by renowned and nationally recognized faculty members who are experts and innovators in the field of gerontological social work.  Miller will learn research strategies, the dissertation process, teaching techniques and writing for research publications unique to the field of gerontology.

According to the National Association of Social Workers, gerontology is the practice and study of the aging process, with the primary goal of a social worker to address the specific challenges of the aging process by promoting independence, autonomy and dignity in later life for older adults.

Miller’s award includes one-year memberships to the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontological Education in Social Work. “I am so thankful and delighted to receive this honor. This award will help guide me through my dissertation process focusing on older adults. My professors and mentors in the UTA School of Social Work continue to point me to opportunities which help expand my knowledge of gerontological social work and they continue to encourage me to be a leader inside and outside of the classroom,” said Miller.

Miller is currently studying gerontology at UTA’s School of Social Work with an emphasis in social policy and programing for quality care delivery systems and services provided to individuals residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Miller obtained her bachelor’s degree in social work from Cleveland State University in 2012 and a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2015. Prior to attending UTA, Miller served as a licensed social worker at a rehabilitation and nursing home facility in Austin, Texas.