Miki Tesh, a graduate student in the School of Social Work Ph.D. Program and a mentor in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre-Graduate School Internship program, has been awarded the 2012 Social Work Education Research Student Award sponsored by Social Work Education: The International Journal. She will receive $12,800 to support her dissertation research. She and another graduate student in the School of Social Work Program, Paula Gerstenblatt, are two of the three Americans who received this international award. Dr. Dorie Gilbert, a professor in the School of Social Work and the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, chairs the dissertation committees of both Tesh and Gerstenblatt.
Tesh’s dissertation research focuses on building the social work pedagogical discourse by highlighting the relevance of evidence-based teaching (EBT), best practices shown to have the most positive outcomes in how teachers teach and learners learn. The constructs proven by the empirical studies on EBT are aligned with many social work values and practices, such as valuing self-determination, self-efficacy, relationships, and motivation strategies. Her dissertation is a collection of four studies, including one that explores the extent to which social work students report experiencing the methods associated with EBT in their social work classrooms. Her work will also compare social work students to engineering, business and nursing students to explore ways in which social work students are unique in their achievement goal orientation, self-determination in learning, and situational motivation, building on previous research that indicates social work students tend to be more intrinsically as opposed to extrinsically motivated. This study also examines differences in how underrepresented students are motivated, which is relevant to social work’s focus on diversity.
According to Dr. Rick Cherwitz, founder and director of the IE Pre-Graduate School Internship program, Tesh has mentored more than a dozen interns. “During the last two years, Miki has coordinated, without compensation, all the IE mentors in Social Work. Because of her efforts we are now enrolling over 20 Social Work interns every semester, the vast majority of whom are first generation or underrepresented students,” said Cherwitz. “Many of these students have gone on to graduate school,” he said. “Once again, good scholars, make good mentors.”
For more information about Tesh and Gerstenblatt’s awards, visit the School of Social Work website.