PhD Student Liz Premo Receives National Recognition for Her Teaching

Many PhD students teach during their time in the doctoral program, but for some, teaching takes on a special meaning. At the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work, we have many excellent PhD students who are also excellent instructors and teach a number of courses throughout our programs. 

One of those PhD students, Liz Premo, was recognized nationally as the 2022 recipient of the Student Award for Teaching in Social Work by the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE).  

The GADE Student Award for Teaching in Social Work, “is given to an individual doctoral student who has demonstrated outstanding qualities as a social work educator. … [evidenced by their] impact, creativity, and overall effectiveness as an instructor.” 

As PhD Program Chair and Assistant Professor Tova Walsh explains, “Liz shows exceptional ability, dedication, and passion for teaching. During her time as a doctoral student, she has served as a reader/grader, independent instructor, and course developer. As a 2022-2023 Teaching Mentor for the College of Letters & Science, Liz mentors new and experienced TAs from across campus, applying her deep knowledge and experience to assist others in learning to implement effective teaching methods.”  

This isn’t the first time Liz’s impact as a teacher has been recognized. In 2021, she received the award for Excellence in Instructional Continuity during the height of the pandemic from UW-Madison. As Liz explained then, “COVID-19 has underscored the importance of recognizing that students have complex lives outside of the classroom that influence how they engage within the learning environment.” 

Unsolicited, two students in our Part-Time MSW program gave Liz shout outs recently. “A thousand thanks to Liz Premo! She got me through my statistics class and managed to get me to like statistics by the end of class, which is no easy feat!” Caitlin McGahan said. 

Jackie Kaminski said her class with Liz, SW 920 Child Youth and Family Policies and Services, was her favorite while in the program. “This class gave me confidence in my research abilities along with a deeper understanding of the process involved in making policy change.”  

The GADE committee who selected Liz for this award noted, “The committee was very impressed by your demonstration of outstanding qualities as a social work educator.” We couldn’t agree more. 

Liz’s research focuses on early childhood development, parent mental health, and family well-being. She is particularly interested in understanding how policies and services can support families during the early childhood years, especially for families experiencing poverty and other structural inequities. Between 2020-2022 Liz participated in a national task force convened by the Council on Social Work Education to develop a curricular guide to serve as a resource for social work programs interested in developing curricula in infant and early childhood mental health. Her contributions to the recently published guide1 demonstrate her commitment to efforts to strengthen social work education.  

As the winner of GADE’s Student Award for Teaching in Social Work, Liz will receive a certificate and a $1,500 award at the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting in Anaheim, CA in November. 

Congratulations to Liz Premo for the recognition of her outstanding teaching!