The GSL program is designed to build community and connections between MSW students and strengthen the bond that students have with the School of Social Work by facilitating the exchange of accurate and timely information.  Each MSW student in the program is assigned to a GSL, a fellow student who has received extensive training on leadership, communication, and information on the School and MSW program.


What do GSLs do? 

GSLs serve as advocates and communication facilitators for MSW students, fielding questions about all of aspects of the graduate experience, including advising, field, registration, orientation, scholarships, deadlines, program policies, and more. They can track down accurate answers to questions quickly by reaching out directly to program administrators and connecting students to services and resources. Students who reach out to their GSL with a question most often receive resolution to their presenting issue within minutes or hours of posing a question.


How do I contact my GSL? 

Your GSL can be reached anytime via email or on MS Teams. Your GSL will be reaching out to you at least once every two weeks to check in via email or Teams conference. If you are unsure of who your GSL is or have not received a response to your inquiry within 24 hours, please email MSW, Graduate Student Intern Leads Makita Johnson (mxj1622@mavs.uta.edu), Skarlar Shelton (skarlar.egans@mavs.uta.edu), or Andrea Moreno (axm7516@mavs.uta.edu).


Mia Cozzarelli

Mia Cozzarelli (Intern)

Hello everyone, I recently graduated from my bachelor's in psychology at Texas State University (in the beautiful hill country). This will be my first semester as a Graduate Student Leader which I am very excited about. I'm hoping to learn new skills throughout this internship that way I can integrate them whenever I go into the work field. My career aspirations is to become a school social worker/college therapist, which eventually I can open up my own private practice and provide counseling for young adults. Currently I work at Hays-Caldwell Women's Center as a part-time shelter advocate. During my free time I like to go on hikes, stay at home with my dog and cat (Comet & Leo), go out with friends, travel, and go to car events with my significant other. Overall, I'm very excited to work with everyone and help each other out through our academic journey!
Farah Hannun

Farah Hannun (Intern)

Hello everyone, my name is Farah Hannun and I am currently in my first semester as a GSL intern, and I am in my second semester as a MSW student!

I received my bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in Womens and Gender Studies, here at UTA. I am looking forward to completing my degree and working with women and children as a social worker! In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends.  I am excited to start this new semester as a GSL intern and to be here to help and connect with everyone.
Makita Johnson

Makita Johnson (Intern)

Makita Johnson is currently in her last year of the advanced standing MSW program with a CAP specialty. She completed her BSW at St. Edward’s University located in Austin, TX where she resides with her partner, children, and four pets. She spends her time outside of work as an account manager at an IT company advocating for her community and in the best interests of others. She enjoys teaching others how to find and use their voice and working on projects to help create or redefine equitable and inclusive opportunities. 

Monique Lawson

Monique Lawson (Intern)

My name is Monique Lawson, and I am serving as a UTA GSL Intern. I am an MSW student here at the University of Texas at Arlington directing my specialty area on Mental Health and Drug Misuse. After graduating I will continue furthering my education in the same field area. My goal is to serve my community as an advocate for families and individuals in a private therapeutic setting. I hold two bachelor's degrees, one in Psychology and one in Social Science, both from the University of Texas at Tyler. As a hobby I am also presently working towards obtaining a certificate in Integrative Nutritional Health because I am passionate about holistic health and lifestyle. As your graduate student leader, I want to be your student peer and guide. My goal is to connect you to the right resources so that you can continue your educational journey with confidence. Striving for the betterment of our communities. We are all in this together!
Andrea Moreno

Andreea Moreno (Intern)

Greetings everyone! I was born in Dallas but raised on the tip of Texas, in the small city of Brownsville. I have a B.S. in Psychology and I am currently pursuing a Master's in Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health and Substance abuse. I have 4 years of social work and case management experience; I hope to expand my knowledge in this field that I am very fond of and I look forward to working and helping my fellow peers! 

Heather Rhodes

Heather Rhodes (Intern)

Hi Y’all! I am a GSL Intern in my foundation year of a Master’s of Social Work. I am a returning student after a career in real estate. I am currently a Mediator and Counselor (specializing in mental health and addiction). My direct practice in the MSW program is Children and Families and a certificate in Community & Administrative Policy (CAP). I am a native Texan! I have three kids Grace (23), Miranda (16), Colten (12) and a Bernese Mountain Dog named Huckleberry.
/sitecore/media library/Project/Website/Social Work/graduate student leadership/Nichola Rowan

Nichola Rowan (Intern)

Hi all! I am a GSL intern in my foundation year of a Master’s in Social Work.

I earned my Bachelor of Psychology in May 2023 from the University of North Texas, after serving in the US Air Force. Now, as an MSW student specializing in Community and Administrative Practice (CAP), I plan to focus on developing and working within areas of equal opportunity and leadership to add value and strengthen the lives of individuals, couples, families, and communities.

I am originally from the United Kingdom and now call Dallas home. But I still have my daily cup of tea and am an avid Harry Potter fan!
Angie Ruvalcaba

Angie Ruvalcaba (Intern)

Hello everyone! I am in my foundation year of the Master’s of Social Work program and the first semester as a Graduate Student Leader. I received my Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology and Chicanx Studies at the University of California, Davis, in 2018. I currently reside in San Jose, CA, with my husband, two children, and my dog. As a Graduate Student Leader, my goal is to support others in facilitating and enhancing their experience in the Master’s of Social Work program.
Skarlar Shelton

Skarlar Shelton (Intern)

My pronouns are she/her. I am a Texas native. I have a bachelor's degree in Family and Community Services from Prairie View A&M University. I have over 10 years of professional experience as a Case Manager, assisting individuals and families. My current concentration is Children and Families with certification in Administrative Leadership. I am a mother of 2. I am excited to join GSL to help and connect with my fellow peers. I am looking forward to connecting with others and becoming more involved with SSW.

Dunya Benghozi

Dunya Benghozi

Hi Mavs! My name is Dunya Benghozi (she/her) and I am towards the end of my MSW program. This will be my second semester serving as a Graduate Student Leader Volunteer. I received my undergrad in Kinesiology here at UTA and decided to take the social work route after some soul-searching. I am currently in my advanced year with a concentration in Mental Health and Substance Use with my ultimate goal of becoming an LCSW.

Fun fact about me is that I'm bilingual (Arabic), first generation daughter of immigrants, love tennis, working out (but also being lazy), traveling, all things self-care, cooking and dogs. It will be a busy year for us all, but I hope to gain more knowledge and offer my constituents the support and answers needed. I look forward to continuing this volunteer experience and want to assist other students in any way possible. Have a wonderful semester!

"A failure is not always a mistake; it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying."

Andwelah Givens

Andwelah Givens

Hello, I am Andwelah, and I am excited to be your Graduate Student Leader this semester!
A little bit about me is that I love to read, exercise, watch anime, go for runs, and learn new things. My favorite book is Atomic Habits by James Clear and highly recommend it to everyone.

I am super excited to start out this semester strong and steadfast!
Michelle Gonzalez

Michelle Gonzalez

Hello everyone, my name is Michelle Gonzalez. I am a first- generation student, I graduated with my BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology in December of 2021 from UNT Dallas. I am currently on my second year of the MSW program my concentration is Mental Health and Substance Misuse. I work full time as a Immigration Paralegal, here in the DFW area. I am really excited to be able to advocate in the future as a LCSW for the Hispanic/ Latino community. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, and reading when breaks are in session. I am excited as a second semester GSL volunteer to be able to assists my peers in sharing resources and information to help them grow!

Natasha Kastner

Natasha Kastner

I'm a first-generation foundation MSW student currently immersed in the advanced year of my mental health and substance misuse studies. Since high school (many moons ago), the field of social work has beckoned me. After several rewarding detours, including a sabbatical to raise our wonderful children, I'm thrilled to finally be on this leg of my journey! I am passionate about exploring the intricacies of neuroscience, specifically focusing on the profound impact of trauma. Having personally experienced the transformative power of EMDR and witnessing its positive effects on several of those close to me, I felt an undeniable nudge to extend that healing to others.  Alongside my studies, I plan to become certified to teach trauma- informed yoga.

After graduation, I am dedicated to obtaining my LCSW to assist others at the micro level. However, I foresee my career evolving across various social work capacities years from now. Already equipped with a bachelor's degree in communication studies and over a decade of retail management experience, I sense a natural inclination to transition towards a macro focus eventually. My desire to efficiently assist larger groups of people, interest in environmental justice, and curiosity about urban planning would be additional driving forces behind this possible shift. I’m eager to explore multiple avenues alongside my peers, contributing to positive change and putting a little good mojo back into our world!
Sandra Miller

Sandra (Sandy) Miller

Howdy, all! My name is Sandra (Sandy) Miller, and I am in my Advanced year (or years in my case) at UTA. This is my eighth semester as a GSL. I received my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State in 1994 and worked for many years as an adult probation officer before becoming a stay- at-home mom to my two awesome, smelly boys, now 13 and 18. My goal is to graduate when my oldest son finishes high school and enter direct practice in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, specializing in life changes, trauma-informed care, and religious trauma. In my spare time, I love camping, fishing, reading, and experimenting with new recipes for my brave friends and family. I also play a number of musical instruments very badly, much to the delight of my long-suffering family and neighbors. I love helping people find answers to their questions, and I have asked many questions myself since returning to school. Remember we are ALL in this together with the common goal of helping others. Let’s DO this!
Andrea Morin

Andrea Morin

I am in the final year of my Master's in Social Work program, specializing in Community and Administrative Practice. I currently work full-time as an Evaluation and Research Assistant at a non-profit. In this role, I contribute to evaluating several federally funded projects aimed at expanding the behavioral health workforce and enhancing mental health training in traditionally underserved areas.

My passion for macro social work was sparked during my undergraduate studies through a research project on the mental health challenges faced by the Mexican American community. This experience has informed my current focus on youth suicide prevention, an area that I am exploring for my thesis.

Outside of work and school, I enjoy working out and teaching my puppy new tricks. I look forward to the upcoming semester and serving as a Graduate Student Leader!
Katherine Morrison

Katherine Morrison

Hello everyone! My name is Katherine and I use she/her pronouns. I was born in Houston but raised in the DFW area. I have a B.S. in Rehabilitation Studies and I am currently pursuing a Master's in Social Work. This is my first semester as a GSL, and I currently work part-time as a nanny for two awesome kids. I look forward to working, getting to know and helping my fellow peers! Have a great semester!

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” -Taylor Swift

Linda Nguyen

Linda Nguyen (She/Her/Hers)

Hello! My name is Linda Nguyen and I am a GSL with an Advanced Standing MSW. I earned my Bachelor’s in Social Work at UT Arlington in December 2022. I am finishing up my year at UT Arlington for my Master’s in Social Work specializing in Children’s and Families. Later on, I also plan to take my LMSW and maybe my LCSW. I plan on focusing my skills in areas such as advocacy, child welfare, and community outreach to strengthen and motivate families and communities. I am a 1st generation Vietnamese-American, born and raised in Texas, and always ready to learn new things. I like crime, horror, and animal documentaries. I usually like to hang out with friends and family but I also have days where I need time for myself to recharge my social battery. I have 3 dogs and 1 orange porch cat.

Angie Outlaw

Angie Outlaw

Hello everyone! I am Angie and I am a Graduate Student Leader for Spring 2024. I am in my advanced year and my specialty is Mental Health and Substance Misuse.

I live in the San Antonio with my husband and my father. After my husband retired from the Army, we decided to make this area our home. We recently purchased a property in the country, and I am excited to live the “farm life”.

My undergraduate degrees are in Graphic Design & Media Arts and Human Science. I went back to school in 2020 and I had just graduated with my degree in Graphic Design when I decided that I needed to finish the degree I started. I enrolled in the summer of 2022, and I graduated from Texas Tech University in December 2022. I look forward to helping my constituents this semester.
DeLaina Pruitt

DeLaina Pruitt

Greetings! My name is DeLaina McBryde-Pruitt, and I am finishing up my foundation year(s) and starting my advanced year(s). I am a traditional part-time student and work full-time at a small private school where my son is in his senior year. I have a B.A. in Music/Business that I obtained from UTA many years ago and have returned to UTA to acquire a master's in social work. After finishing my foundation field work with the Academic Advising Office at UTA's School of Social Work Summer '23, I loved the work so much I decided to volunteer as a GSL. I can see myself excelling in an academic advising role for a university in the near future. In the meantime, I desire to advocate for my students at work, my constituents at school, and teach everyone the art of problem solving. I'm looking forward to serving you as a GSL.

Pauline Sias

Pauline Sias

Hello! I am a full-time student, wife, and mother of two very energetic boys. I graduated in May with my BSW from UTA. My next chapter is graduating with my MSW and becoming a licensed social worker so that I will be able to work in a school district with students and families. I have always had a passion for helping others, this passion grew when I worked as a Parent Liaison at a school that had many needs. Here is where I found my calling to become a social worker. As this journey has led me here to UTA I have also found a love for helping my fellow students achieve our academic goals and I am looking forward to assigning in this journey however I can.

Jasmine Walker

Jasmine Walker

Hello everyone, I'm Jasmine Walker, currently in my final semester at the UTA MSW program. Throughout my time in the program, the GSL chat has been incredibly helpful in quickly addressing my queries, eliminating the need to wait for advisor appointments. Additionally, I'm proud to be a member of the Phi Alpha honor society. Transitioning to a graduate program after completing your undergraduate degree at a different university can be overwhelming. I'm thrilled to have the chance to offer students the support that has been invaluable to me in navigating this outstanding MSW program. I look forward to assisting you on your own journey.

Contact Us

Regina Praetorius, PhD, LMSW-AP
Director of Graduate Programs