With gratitude, the College of Health and Human Services at UNC Charlotte is excited to announce the establishment of the first graduate fellowship specifically designated for the School of Social Work, the Wahler-Gardenour Social Work Graduate Fellowship.
Established by Beth Wahler, director of the School of Social Work, and her wife, Kristy Gardenour, this fellowship was inspired by their commitment to supporting the development of future social workers who will impact the health and wellbeing of vulnerable, oppressed, or at-risk individuals and communities in North Carolina and beyond.
UNC Charlotte’s nationally-ranked Master of Social Work program prepares students to be social work professionals and leaders in areas of culturally-informed, community-engaged practice, policy and research.
At a time when the social work profession is experiencing record growth, the Wahler-Gardenour Social Work Graduate Fellowship will provide an annual needs-based scholarship, reducing financial barriers to graduate education for students from underrepresented communities, while rewarding leadership and unique learning experiences that lift up the field of Social Work within the Charlotte region.
Students will be eligible to apply for the inaugural scholarship during the 2022-2023 academic year.
“In my experience, some of the best social workers are people who have experienced and overcome great challenges and barriers in their own life journeys. It is our hope that this fellowship helps increase access to graduate education for students committed to the field of social work who might otherwise not be able to pursue their degree, so they can carry it forward and impact the lives of the people they will serve throughout their careers,” said Wahler.
Wahler and Gardenour are charting a new path for the School of Social Work and Niner Nation could not be more grateful and proud of their inspiring leadership and commitment. The fellowship has the power to transform the trajectory of our students’ lives, which in turn, directly impacts the quality of care the most vulnerable in our community receive.