Associate dean, faculty receive sport social work legacy awards

The Alliance of Social Workers in Sports awarded Drs. Moore and Newman with inaugural "Sport Social Work Legacy" awards at this year's 10th anniversary gala.
Drs. Moore and Newman sitting at a table during annual symposium

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Union, NJ (June 17, 2024) – In a milestone celebration marking the 10-year anniversary of the Alliance of Social Workers in Sports (ASWIS), Drs. Matt Moore and Tarkington Newman were honored with the inaugural Sport Social Work Legacy Award at the annual symposium gala.

ASWIS has been at the forefront of integrating social work principles into sports, promoting the well-being of athletes and supporting professionals who work in the industry. This award was introduced to honor exceptional contributions to research and practice. 

Recently appointed Associate Dean of Student and Academic Affairs, Moore was honored with the Sport Social Work Legacy award for his overall impact on the field. His contributions include co-developing ASWIS, establishing the Sport Social Work Journal, and creating many educational opportunities in sport social work.  

“This award is a testament to the collective efforts of many dedicated individuals within ASWIS,” said Moore. “Our work in promoting the integration of social work and sports is just beginning, and I am excited about the future advancements we will achieve together.” 

Moore’s innovative approaches and commitment to the field have left a legacy and have been pivotal in advancing the profession. 

Newman, Director of the Sport Social Work Research Lab, received the award in recognition of the lab’s outstanding contributions to sport social work research. Their work has been instrumental in investigating the use of sport and recreation to promote positive youth development. Further, Newman’s research dedicated to advancing sport social work practice has provided valuable insights and has helped shape the future of interprofessional mental/behavioral healthcare teams, particularly within collegiate athletics. 

“It is an honor to help advance sport social work as a unique specialization within our profession, but I’m just building upon the foundation laid by trailblazers, including colleagues like Dr. Moore,” Dr. Newman said. “Research that explores the unique role of sport social workers—as licensed mental health professionals—is a critical next step as we continue to advocate for mental and behavioral health promotion among athletic communities.” 

The awards presented to Moore and Newman underscore their dedication, innovation, and profound influence on the profession, as well as the college’s commitment to excellence in all areas of social work. 

As the field of sport social work continues to evolve, the contributions of pioneers like Moore and Newman will undoubtedly inspire future generations of social workers dedicated to integrating the principles of social work within the realm of sports. Their legacy will continue to shape the future of the profession, promoting the well-being of athletes and supporting the professionals who serve them. 

For over 85 years, the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky has been a leader in education. Our mission is clear: Through rigorous research, excellence in instruction, and steadfast service, the CoSW works to improve the human condition. Always, in all ways.

As the state’s flagship university, our mission is actualized through our deeds. Our faculty are renowned academicians dedicated to fostering the development of high-quality practitioners and researchers. As a college, we promote community and individual well-being through translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. We are committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world.