Welcome to the Fall 2013 issue of the Field Educator! We are entering our third year with a growing list of readers and subscribers. With the launch of this new issue, we are pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 Excellence in Field Scholarship Award: Robin Ringstad of California State University, Stanislaus. Dr. Ringstad’s article, “Competency level versus level of competency: The field evaluation dilemma,” opens the Field Scholar section.

The Field Scholar section also features two articles on field instructor perspectives: One, by Bronwyn Cross-Denny of Sacred Heart University and Janna C. Heyman, Yvette Sealy, Dana Marlowe, and Jill Cretella of Fordham University, explores the social attitudes of field instructors; the other, by Kirsten Havig of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, investigates field instructors’ perceptions of social justice and strategies to help interns promote social justice. In the section’s final article, Susan Elswick of the University of Memphis describes the Behavior Change Project, in which students increase their empathy with clients by undertaking a personal change within their own lives.

The Practice Digest section begins with an inspirational talk on the poetics of field instruction delivered by noted Chinese field educator Nai Ming Tsang to field instructors at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In the following article, Simmons School of Social Work field faculty members report on the recent inauguration of a remote field review. Next, field educators from the North Carolina State University Department of Social Work describe a capstone evaluation project. The final two articles in the section address the issue of cultural competence in field education: Faculty members from Howard University explore the application of relational cultural theory to field education; and a faculty member from Lock Haven University explains some of the cultural and historical factors that influence work with Guatemalan clients.

The Students Speak article is written by a student at Springfield College who is a certified alcohol and drug counselor. She describes her experience of field instruction based on cognitive-analytic therapy in her group work with substance abusers.

In this issue’s Conversation, Trudy Zimmerman, Assistant Dean of Field Education at the Boston University School of Social Work, interviews Marion Bogo, Professor at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, about the current state of field education. Bogo identifies three principles of field education: learning within a collaborative relationship, targeting individualized student learning interests within the framework of each particular school, and the importance of reflective discussions that focus on use of self. She emphasizes the need for students to have extensive and repetitive practice experiences, to observe and be directly observed, and to receive immediate feedback. She suggests that schools of social work should support internship agencies by using simulations in practice classes, by hiring highly-experienced social workers to provide additional student supervision, and by building better inter-organizational relationships.

In this issue’s Kudos, the winner of the 2013 Heart of Social Work Award, Michael Herskovitz, is honored by Anne Marie Montijo, Director of Field at Adelphi University School of Social Work. Mr. Herskovitz recently retired as Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Nassau County, New York. He has served as a field instructor for Adelphi for 30 years and as an adjunct field liaison for 28 years. Recently, he became a part-time employee of the Adelphi field education office.

This issue’s What We’re Reading includes summaries of current articles from international journals, such as The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning and Social Work Education: The International Journal.

Finally, upcoming contributions to the Life in the Field blog will include posts by a Simmons School of Social Work field instructor, the Director of Field Education for the Simmons BSW program, and a Simmons MSW student. Contributions to Life in the Field are encouraged from field educators, practitioners, and students from all schools of social work. Send submissions to [email protected].