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School of Social Work Celebrates the Class of 2020 at Virtual Convocation Ceremony
May 19, 2020

On Monday, May 18, Rutgers School of Social Work hosted a virtual convocation ceremony to recognize our BASW, MSW, DSW, and Ph.D. graduates. 

Families and friends gathered virtually in support of their loved ones who have spent years of hard work completing their programs and tackling countless hours of class time, research, and field work. In total, 836 students earned a degree from the School of Social Work this year, including 681 MSW students, 140 BASW students, 14 DSW students, and 1 Ph.D. student.

Dean Cathryn C. Potter welcomed guests to the ceremony and recognized the many sacrifices our students have made over the past months during the pandemic.

Along with the conferral of the degrees, the School presented the following awards in recognition of our students’ outstanding work:

  • Dean’s Dissertation Award: Ruby Orwenyo
  • Outstanding MAP (Management and Policy) Student: Zoe Getz
  • Outstanding Clinical Student: Dameon Stackhouse
  • Outstanding MSW Student: Quaniya Jenkins 
  • Dean’s Recognition Award for Excellence in Baccalaureate Social Work Education: Noelia Vicente
  • Dean’s Recognition Award for Excellence in Baccalaureate Social Work Education: Kendle Bryan
  • Brian C. Wright Social Work Award: Sara Wickizer

In addition, faculty and staff members were presented the following awards:

  • Outstanding Professor: Marla Blunt Carter
  • Most Supportive Professor: Mark Lamar
  • Most Innovative Professor: Natalie Moore Bembry
  • Outstanding Adjunct Instructor: Emily Atwell
  • Outstanding Doctoral Student Instructor: James Hart
  • Most Supportive Staff Member: Cynthia Reyes

To round out the program, student speaker Quaniya Jenkins, a member of the MSW Class of 2020, addressed the audience with words of encouragement and support. The audience was also treated to performances from Bryan Terrell Clark, an accomplished actor and singer/songwriter who has performed in Broadway’s record-breaking hit Hamilton, and Christiana (Danielle) Hicks, a member of the MSW Class of 2020 who is a singer, songwriter, speaker, and Top 10 contestant on NBC’s The Voice season 14.

Dean Potter concluded the ceremony with words of encouragement for the Class of 2020. “Graduates, you’ve been prepared for a long and impactful career in social work by an outstanding group of faculty and field instructors,” she said. “We wish you every success. We know each of you will find creative ways to make a difference in this world in the lives of people and in the communities you serve. You are entering a new world at a time of great crisis and need. You are the future of our profession. This is not the end of our time together. You are a Rutgers social work grad now, and you will lead alongside the school for years to come. We are so very proud of you. As Bryan said, history does indeed have its eyes on you. You are the class of 2020. Please be safe and well, and congratulations again.”

Congratulations, graduates, and welcome to the Rutgers School of Social Work alumni network!

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