September 30, 2021

Alum combines social work, biology, teaching and mentoring in her job

By: Mykayla Capeles

Tamara Savage came to the University of South Carolina in 2011 to get her doctorate at the College of Social Work. Now a professor, she incorporated social work, community-engaged research, and biology into one course.

Before getting her degree at UofSC, she worked as a social worker for children at a homeless shelter, worked in hospice, and served as an adjunct instructor at UNCW. After having some experience in teaching, she realized that she wanted to pursue a career in teaching social work full time.

“I loved teaching and even taught some research classes as an undergrad because my research professor was going out of town and asked if I could teach,” Savage says. “I was always the kid in the class who was asked to help someone with their work.”

Students from both the social work and biology courses research the same environmental justice topic from their unique perspectives, then share their knowledge. Students leave this course realizing that biology and social work have plenty in common when it comes to viewing and addressing environmental injustice.

Outside of the classroom, Savage is a part of UNCP’s ASPIRE Program, a mentoring program and safe space for students experiencing homelessness. Her past experiences allow her to connect with these students and make sure they know that ‘As long as I'm alive, you'll have somebody in the world.'

Through her hard work and dedication, Savage got the Adolph L. Dial Endowed Award and was a recipient of the UNCP Outstanding Teaching Award.

Read the full story, written by Chris Woodley, on the College of Social Work website.

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