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Convocation 2020

Rutgers School of Social Work hosted a virtual convocation ceremony to celebrate the Class of 2020 on Monday, May 18th at 2 p.m. Programming included remarks from Dean Cathryn C. Potter, M.S.W., Ph.D. and other guests as well as the conferral of all degrees and presentation of awards to students. Watch a recording of the ceremony here.

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. A transcript of the ceremony can be downloaded here.

Order of Exercises 

  • Presentation of the National Anthem
    • Michael LaSala, Ph.D., DSW Program Director
  • Opening Remarks
    • Cathryn C. Potter, Dean & Distinguished Professor
  • Faculty & Staff Award Presentations
    • Cathryn C. Potter, Dean & Distinguished Professor
  • Student Speaker
    • Quaniya Jenkins, MSW Class of 2020
  • Conferral of Degrees and Presentation of Student Awards
    • Ph.D. Student Award Presentation
      • Allison Zippay, Ph.D., Ph.D. Program Director
    • PhD. Degree Conferral
      • Allison Zippay, Ph.D., Ph.D. Program Director
    • DSW Degree Conferral
      • Michael LaSala, Ph.D., DSW Program Director
    • MSW Student Award Presentation
      • Patricia Findley, Ph.D., MSW Program Director
    • MSW Degree Conferral
      • Patricia Findley, Ph.D., MSW Program Director
    • BASW Student Award Presentation
      • V. DuWayne Battle, Ph.D, BASW Program Director
    • BASW Degree Conferral
      • V. DuWayne Battle, Ph.D, BASW Program Director
    • In Memoriam: Troy Bundy Class of 2020
      • V. DuWayne Battle, Ph.D, BASW Program Director
  • Convocation Speaker & Performance, "History Has Its Eyes on You"
    • Bryan Terrell Clark
  • Student Performance, "Rise Up"
    • Christiana (Danielle) Hicks
  • Closing Remarks
    • Dean Cathryn C. Potter

Convocation Program

Download a copy of the 2020 convocation program.

Speaker and Performer Biographies

Bryan Terrell Clark

Bryan Terrell Clark is an accomplished actor and singer/songwriter who has performed in hugely successful Broadway shows and a wide range of popular television programming for various networks. 

After first performing in Hamilton in 2017, Terrell Clark returned to Broadway in December 2019, reprising his role as George Washington. Critically acclaimed, the show has garnered a record-setting 16 Tony award nominations, 11 Tony Award wins, a Pulitzer Prize for drama, and a Grammy. It also has a multicultural cast of talented actors playing America’s founding fathers in a rap musical that is energetic, empowering, and enlightening.

Terrell Clark made his Broadway debut playing the iconic role of Marvin Gaye in Motown: The Musical, which received a 2014 Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. He also starred opposite Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett in the acclaimed drama Fences at the Pasadena Playhouse. Additional theater credits include the Mark Taper Forum’s production of Immediate Family directed by Phylicia Rashad, the Alliance Theatre’s Sophisticated Ladies, and His Girl Friday at the Guthrie Theater.

In 2019, Terrell Clark appeared in Ava DuVernay’s highly acclaimed Netflix miniseries When They See Us, and Queen Sugar on OWN. He appears in Cherish the Day on OWN in 2020. Among his other numerous television appearances include CBS’s NCIS: New OrleansBlue BloodsPerson of InterestUnforgettableCSI: NY, and The Unit. He has also had roles on NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura, Fox’s Empire, USA Network’s Royal Pains as well as BET’s The New Edition Story and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. In addition, he appeared in the film Collateral Beauty, which was released in 2016 by Warner Bros.

As a singer, songwriter, and producer, he was co-writer on Mary J. Blige’s “Irreversible” on the album My Life II and has performed with such artists as Maxwell, Brandy, Ne-Yo, Anita Baker, and many others.

Terrell Clark’s production company Artists Park Productions has a creative collaboration with INE Entertainment, a leading independent production company on a series of digital and television projects.

He is the co-founder of inDEFINED, an initiative that inspires and teaches young people to use their voices to erase constrictive labels in our society.

Terrell Clark graduated from the Yale School of Drama and Temple University. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and currently lives in Los Angeles, California.


Christiana (Danielle) Hicks

Christiana Danielle is a singer, songwriter, speaker and Top 10 contestant on NBC’s The Voice season 14. Growing up Christiana engaged in various musical opportunities within her community, including singing in church, hospitals, youth centers and facilities for the elderly. Music was an integral part of her life, but all that came to a sudden halt when a mysterious throat infection resulted in emergency surgery. Christiana was told she may never sing again. Vowing to recover, she miraculously regained her voice and made a declaration to giving back through music. In addition to enjoying singing, Christiana is very passionate about mental health and social work. She is honored to be a Rutgers University 2020 graduate, with a master’s degree in social work as she strives to bring awareness to mental health issues and the power of music to underserved communities.


Quaniya Jenkins

Quaniya Jenkins is a first-generation college student and considers herself a leader who is passionate about change. As a native of New Jersey and a MAP (Management and Policy) student at Rutgers School of Social Work, she is committed to making positive changes in the State’s impoverished communities. Quaniya earned her BA in social work at Rutgers University and is a May 2020 MSW graduate. She is highly respected at the School of Social Work, and a faculty member has noted, “Quaniya exemplifies all that social work is about: passion and commitment to serving and fighting for those who are disadvantaged, marginalized, and oppressed.”

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