Two social work professors to be named fellows

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2024

By Jaelon Jackson
School of Social Work

Tracy Orwig and Noelle Fields

Two social work professors will receive the title of Distinguished Fellow by the National Academies of Practice this semester.

Dr. Noelle Fields, associate professor, and Tracy Orwig, associate professor of practice will be recognized at the organization’s annual meeting March 15-16 in Jacksonville, Fla.

This recognition reflects their outstanding contributions to social work research, education and their leadership in interprofessional practice.

"My career has allowed me the opportunity to work closely with interprofessional teams to collaborate and provide patient-centered care,” Fields said.

“I have seen firsthand when individuals on a healthcare team have not collaborated well due to communication barriers, not knowing one another's roles or responsibilities, or due to ethical conflicts" Fields said.

Orwig echoed the significance of interprofessional collaboration.

"Interprofessional collaboration is fundamental to my experiences in gerontological social work. As a clinical social worker with older adults, I collaborated with colleagues in medicine, nursing, and physical/occupational therapy/speech therapy,” Orwig said.

As a social work educator, Orwig’s courses include interprofessional learning activities such as virtual hospital simulations.

Both honorees emphasized the critical role of collaboration in their respective careers.

Orwig highlighted her involvement in developing and integrating Interprofessional Education modules. "My experience has helped with the development and integration of IPE by providing me an opportunity to utilize my social work practice skills to inform modules and learning activities that can help students work on interprofessional teams," Orwig said.

Fields also expressed gratitude for her interprofessional collaborations, which span various areas of research, including Alzheimer's disease and caregiving, social robotics, and transportation mobility in later life.

"I am very grateful for my interprofessional collaborations that spark innovation and creativity as well as allow me the opportunity to promote holistic approaches to research, education, and practice," Fields said.