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Awards and Recognitions

Outstanding Field Instructor is Patty Garza, TJJD

Student nomination:

Mrs. Garza has been nothing but amazing while completing my final field internship within the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD). She has provided all of her interns with the right opportunities to increase their advocacy, social work skills, and self-care practices. She has given me a multitude of opportunities to reach out to other staff, participate in activities, coordinate community partner site visits, and engaging in reflective supervision.

Outstanding Task Supervisor is Leslie Casarez, Disability Office at TAMU

Student nomination:

Since starting my time at Disability Resources, Leslie has gone above and beyond in her supervision and day to day to ensure I get the best experience I can as an intern. I was unsure how I would fit in to not only the office, but to the role in which I was filling. However, her guidance and supervisory approach helped me grow in confidence and accomplish tasks I did not think I could at the beginning. She didn’t throw me in the “deep end”, but she also has not held my hand the entire time. She started with shadowing, and then shadowed me, and eventually when we felt comfortable let me started to see students on my own. Even in moments where I didn’t think I would be able to lead a specific meeting, her vote of confidence and genuine belief that I could do it was evident and made such a difference in my work. She is clearly very passionate about her job, and loves working with students and in the disability field. Additionally, we spent a good amount time discussing work like balance, ethical practice, and other foundations of social work in our supervision. I think Leslie more than deserves the outstanding task supervisory award. Her dedication to the field, her dedication to upholding the core values of social work, and her excellent supervision made a difference on me as a learner. Thank you for her consideration.

 Congratulations, you have been recognized by your Field Placement Agency and the Texas State University School of Social Work Office of Field Education as Outstanding BSW, MSW Foundation and MSW Advance Interns for the Fall 2022 Semester.   Your work ethic, modeling of Social Work values, dedication and commitment to your field practicum did not go unnoticed. Thank you for being an exceptional student in field!


BSW: AJ Goodman

AJ is a self-motivated social work intern.  He demonstrates superior technical abilities and exceptional work quality. AJ takes the time to fully understand the scope of projects and displays a keen attention to detail. He is always ready and willing to take up any on-the-spot assignment without hesitation. In addition, he has excellent communication and leadership skills.  He has truly been an asset to our agency as he demonstrates a sincere desire to be in the helping profession.


MSW-F: Katie Young

Katie is an outstanding asset to our team at Family Promise! She challenges our team with hard questions, advocates for clients, represents our organization professionally and is an active learner, always asking questions about how she can perform at an even higher level.


MSW-A: Alexa Palomo

Alexa consistently practices with the national ethical standards in mind, and it is clear that it drives her participation in all calls. She has been working in a setting that would overwhelm and challenge most social workers as it is within the Austin Police Department providing crisis response to crime victims and their families. She is insightful and challenges her own beliefs and biases about the officers that she works with but also the system of policing. She is able to identify not only the gaps in policies but also the challenges that officers, detectives, and their civilian supports [like victim services crisis teams] face. She has been open to new experiences and has addressed calls that were triggering. She has maintained an awareness of her own reactions to secondary traumas and practiced effective self-care on-scene but also off-shift.

 As one of her projects, she elected to interview officers about their experiences and the impact of social movements and political actions on their job. She maintained an open mind despite coming into this role with her own biases relative to policing. She has also kept a balance in this, recognizing and addressing situations where the investigative processes are not as victim-centered and trauma-informed as we would prefer. She has advocated with detectives and officers to help decrease the impact of these processes on the victim.

 One call that stands out to me is a traffic fatality that she co-led with me [her field supervisor]. This call was pretty triggering for Alexa for multiple reasons, but she was still able to address the needs of victims and also practice effective self-care. In this case, the family of the victim showed up on-scene in droves. Our role was to provide the notification of the victim's death but also provide support and resources however we could.  After I provided the notification of death multiple family members became agitated or acutely panicked. Alexa took it upon herself to seek out the family members who broke away from those I was with and to provide empathetic, safe support to them as they processed the news and considered next steps. Though she initially was intimidated by the size and scope of the scene as well as the agitated and almost violent response the family, she was able to hold space for family in a safe and appropriate way.  Alexa is easily someone I would gladly work with again and I would trust her clinical and social work skills. She has consistently been a strong foundation on the night shift crisis team despite the challenging nature of our work and the schedule itself. I cannot speak highly enough about Alexa as a person and as a social work professional.