ETSU student receives statewide ‘M.S.W. Student of the Year’ honor

Published 12:55 pm Sunday, April 12, 2020

JOHNSON CITY— Megan “Meg” Dew, a second-year master of social work (M.S.W.) student at East Tennessee State University, recently was named the recipient of the 2020 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Tennessee Chapter M.S.W. Student of the Year.
The award is usually presented at Social Work Day on the Hill in Nashville. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was cancelled, and the ETSU Department of Social Work, located in the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, was notified of Dew’s award.
“This is a highly competitive award, with nominations coming for students from across the state, so we are extremely proud that Meg rose to the top and was chosen for this distinction,” said Dr. Mary Mullins, chair of the Department of Social Work.
Dew, who will graduate with her M.S.W. this May, has served as president of the ETSU Master of Social Work Student Association. (MSWSA) and as the M.S.W. student liaison on the Northeast Tennessee branch of NASW. While at ETSU, she is also pursuing a Certificate in Clinical Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Studies (CCADACS) offered through the ETSU Department of Social Work.
“Meg has excelled in her accomplishments, both at ETSU and in the community, and integral to these accomplishments is her social work knowledge, skills, attitudes and values,” said nominator Dr. Donna Cherry, associate professor of Social Work.
Dew has worked as a family intervention specialist with Youth Villages, providing behavioral support in the home to at-risk youth and families involved in the justice system. She concurrently invested in social justice community activities through the Holston Valley Unitarian Church (HVUUC), where she organized and advocated for marginalized groups as well as provided additional leadership as a sexuality educator for youth, ages 14-17.
“These formative experiences launched her into pursuing her M.S.W.,” Cherry said. “Now in her second year of the ETSU M.S.W. program and nearing program completion, Meg has been remarkably productive. Last spring, while preparing to present at the NASW-TN Legislative Conference on Human Trafficking, she also attended an Alternative Spring Break focused on the same issue.”
Dew is in her second year working as a coordinator for the Diversity Educators at ETSU. Through this position, she uses her social justice knowledge and skills to mentor undergraduate students to become peer educators, focused on enhancing civil dialogue through several pathways (e.g., interfaith dialog, racism, Safe Zone training, World Aids Day, human trafficking, etc.). Her students present to classes as well as student organizations. To date, Dew has mentored 23 students who, in turn, have made facilitated presentations at over a dozen different campus and community events to a combined total of over 600 students.
“Meg epitomizes social work,” Cherry said. “She focuses all her energy and efforts toward her professional development as a social worker leader, benefitting students and community members alike.”
To learn more about ETSU’s Department of Social Work, visit

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