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Social Work doctoral student receives SREB fellowship

Posted Sept. 21, 2016
Reported by: Claire Jordan,

Tenesha Littleton
Tenesha Littleton

Tenesha Littleton, a doctoral student at the University of Georgia School of Social Work, has received the Doctoral Scholars Program Award by the Southern Regional Education Board. She is one of five fellowship recipients in the state of Georgia, and the only social work awardee. The award provides financial support as well as career advisement and networking opportunities.

The Doctoral Scholars Program Award invests in scholars from underrepresented groups working on a doctorate who seek a career at a college or university. The program began in 1993 when SREB members noticed a disparity in the number of racial and ethnic minority faculty members compared to the number of students of color on college campuses. The fellowship seeks to support students like Littleton who want to conduct research and teach in the university system long-term. The SREB is comprised of 16 member states in the southeast.

Littleton, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Tulane University in 2004. Two years later she received the Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the UGA School of Social Work as well as a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in community empowerment and program development. She became a doctoral student last year.

“I am excited about conducting research that can directly inform interventions for vulnerable children and families both at the clinical and policy level,” Littleton said. Littleton’s research centers on the intersection of child maltreatment and mental health.

The award provides three years of direct financial support from SREB and two years of support from the awardee's institution, for a combined total of five years' support.

“We are thrilled that Ms. Littleton received this prestigious fellowship,” said Associate Dean Shari Miller. “The resources and support the SREB provides are not only  an investment in  individual scholars with potential to make meaningful contributions to social work, but an investment in  the future of social work research and education. Ms. Littleton has a great deal of promise as a burgeoning scholar; we are delighted she will receive well-earned support during her doctoral studies here at the UGA School of Social Work.”

Competition for the award is intense. Sixty-eight doctoral students applied for five fellowship slots in the state of Georgia for the 2016-2017 academic year. Littleton is the fifth social work doctoral student in Georgia to receive the award since the fellowship was established in 1993. Past social work recipients—all from the UGA School of Social Work—are: Giselle Balfour (current student), Omar Sims (PhD 2011), Aisha Tucker-Brown (PhD ’07), and Karen Watkins (PhD ’07).

For more information about the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, visit