Posted on March 29, 2023 by Amanda Cerreto

Laura Gallardo

Laura Gallardo

March 29, 2023 – Laura Gallardo, a Master of Social Work student, has been selected to participate in the prestigious advanced clinical social worker fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, CT. She will begin her studies next fall.

laura-gallardo2.jpgThe Post-Master's Fellowship is a two-year training program providing advanced training for social workers aiming to provide excellent clinical interventions with children, youth and families, and become leaders in the field of clinical social work.

Gallardo enrolled in the social work program at UTSA after completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Houston. She was drawn to the program because of its specialization in cultural competence.

“The program turned out so much better than I could have imagined,” Gallardo said. “The things we're learning are cutting edge, and my developing knowledge of cultural competence and cultural responsiveness really helped throughout the interview process. The program is so amazing and should be celebrated.”

“I am excited that one of our alumnae will also be an alumna of the Yale Child Study Center in just a few years,” said Jelena Todić, assistant professor of social work. “I am not surprised that Laura was among only two people selected for this highly selective national fellowship. She came to our program with outstanding talents, skills, and experiences.”

Gallardo plans to pursue clinical social work, which includes psychotherapy, therapeutic intervention and working one-on-one with clients. More importantly, she wants to work in that clinical space through a lens of social justice – tackling the sociopolitical systems that impact her clientele as well as working with the individual. She is hopeful her time at Yale will help her achieve these goals.

“I hope to be a clinician that is able to be culturally responsive in interventions,” Gallardo said. “I hope to specialize in culturally responsive health care services for Latino children and I’m looking forward to the training available and resources available to aid in my growth as a new clinician at Yale.”

gallardo3.jpegSocial Work Fellows in the program participate in both multidisciplinary and discipline-specific training, which includes didactics, intensive supervision and direct practice, with engagement in an elective project and/or area of specialization in the second year of the training program. The second-year elective is chosen by each individual Fellow and tailored to their specific interests and career goals.

The rigorous work won’t be a change of pace for Gallardo, according to Todić. “Laura actively participated in the opportunities at UTSA to learn and lead, including applying and being selected for the Archer Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C., proactively seeking mentorship, and serving as an elected Social Work Student Council leader,” she said. “I look forward to seeing where this career-changing opportunity takes her! No doubt, she will be a powerful change agent.”

Gallardo’s broader goals include furthering her education so she is able to impact practice as it pertains to Latino children specifically, potentially earning a doctoral degree along the way. She encourages fellow social workers to know their worth and not undervalue themselves, because it could lead to amazing opportunities just like this fellowship.

“To be able to challenge myself to live somewhere new and experience new culture is already a step toward learning more,” Gallardo said. “I hope it will give me both personal and professional growth.”

— Amanda Cerreto