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Cotter named Outstanding Doctoral Student

Katie Cotter is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Doctoral Student Award.

Cotter received her MSW from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2011, and entered our doctoral program that fall.

She was presented her award in May at the doctoral program graduation reception, by Sheryl Zimmerman, associate dean for doctoral education. Zimmerman offered the following comments when presenting the award:

“Katie has an excellent grasp of social work theory, and her methodological and statistical skills are top notch. She has a knack for taking complex statistical concepts and procedures and making them understandable to others. Katie is a quick study who has high potential for future scholarly contributions to the social work knowledge base. Katie is in the top tier of doctoral students who have graduated from our program, and she shows all the signs of a highly promising research scholar.


Katie is a quiet go-getter. This fall, in addition to writing her qualifying paper and dissertation proposal, she taught a statistics class at A&T, audited a PhotoVoice class, served as a teaching assistant for an MSW course, co-ran six seminars on social justice for MSW students, applied for and received a $2,000 grant, and was accepted to teach this summers’ online Apples course.


Given the myriad of activities that Katie participates in, it is astounding how many articles she has co-authored. Katie is currently an author on 13 manuscripts that are published, in press, and under review.


Katie has a very positive interaction style and a good sense of humor, and she is an excellent listener. She conveys a sense of respect and appreciation for divergent viewpoints, and she conducts herself with a high level of scientific integrity and professionalism. She is never too busy to help a colleague and she helps her peers see their own strengths and talents. Katie has incredible patience and is generous with her time, always helping fellow doctoral students who have a question about the statistics that she so easily grasps.


The life of a doctoral student is very stressful, but Katie always has a smile and a kind word of encouragement to help keep us all going.”