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UMD Alumna Awarded for Commitment to Social Justice

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UMD Alumna Awarded for Commitment to Social Justice

‘Tis the season to be generous and many find themselves looking for ways to give back. This year, a UMD grad is receiving recognition for her hard work and dedication. Dawn Peterson, (‘05) was recently awarded the 2012 Outstanding Master of Social Work (MSW) Field Supervisor and Civic Engagement Award by the UMD Department of Social Work. Peterson is the Clinical Director at Woodland Hills in Duluth, a multi-faceted agency that provides a continuum of services for young people that promote behavioral, mental and chemical health as well as physical well-being.

The award honors a field supervisor who has shown exceptional personal and professional civic engagement, and goes “above and beyond” in their work with MSW students and in their communities. “Civic engagement” includes providing quality supervision to students completing their field placements, encouraging students’ involvement in their communities both in their fieldwork and outside of field activities.

Peterson received her Master of Social Work from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2005. A licensed Clinical Social Worker, she has provided clinical supervision to residential and day treatment programs at Woodland Hills since 2009. She started with Woodland Hills in 1989, providing supervision to youth at the Chisholm House Work Program.

Dawn was nominated by MSW alumni for her commitment to social justice and civic engagement, by her encouragement of field student’s participation in a variety of community events including Take Back the Night, Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA), and discrimination and racism roundtables and discussions in the Duluth community.

Additionally, the alumni indicated that “Dawn will not give her field placement students the answer to their academic and philosophical questions, but she will challenge them to critically think in order to reach a conclusion on their own.”

Dawn was recognized by the department and her peers at the Annual Fall Field Supervisor Training Luncheon on October 2, 2012. She was congratulated on her wonderful achievement, and also thanked for all the work she has done for UMD students and for Duluth communities. She’s a prime example of the amazing work UMD alumni are doing academically, within their communities, around the country and across the globe.

We are happy to share Dawn’s achievement with you. Now it’s your turn! Let the UMD Alumni Association and your fellow UMD alumni know what great work you’re doing by submitting an Alumni Note. It’s easy to do. Visit and fill out the “Update Your Contact Information or Alumni Note Submission” form. It can be about yourself, or about a fellow coworker or friend! Let us know about awards, promotions, weddings and births.

We know our alumni are up to great things, and we want to spread the good news. Submitted notes will be considered for recognition in the Bridge, the UMD View and on the UMD Alumni website.