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Welcome from Dean Cathryn C. Potter

Dear Students,

I am pleased to welcome you to Fall 2019 orientation.  We are very glad you have chosen to join us!

As dean, I am continually amazed by the reach of the Rutgers School of Social Work into local, state, national and international communities.  Students are an integral part of that work, and we look forward to partnering with you as you join the profession. As you will see, the quality and variety of our educational experiences is impressive. There are so many opportunities for you to find your niche in our community.

Our faculty members are doing all manner of very interesting research. Our centers and institutes are engaged in the kind of integrative research and practice that the profession is calling out for. Our professional part-time lecturers are social work leaders here in New Jersey and beyond. 

We are in a time where social workers are called to live out our values as professionals and as citizens. Many recent events have served as wake-up calls to our nation regarding the threats of racist, fascist, and neo-Nazi ideologies. Each generation is called anew to stand up against threats to democracy and stand for the vision embodied in our nation’s founding documents. Social workers are always called to the promotion of the social justice values that underlie our profession.

For members of an educational community that values social justice, difficult moments and controversial issues are opportunities for conversation, for creative thinking, and for action.  Here at Rutgers, you will find fellow students, faculty, and staff who are eager to engage with you in this journey.

This promises to be an exciting year. Today, you will get an introduction to our community and to your first steps as a Rutgers social work student. You are the future of social work; you will be creating new pathways for excellence and innovation in the profession. I look forward to watching your careers unfold. 

Our mission at Rutgers School of Social Work is to develop and disseminate knowledge through social work research, education, and training that promotes social and economic justice and strengthens individual, family, and community well-being, in this diverse and increasingly global environment of New Jersey and beyond.

Thank you for choosing social work and thank you for selecting Rutgers.  It will be a pleasure to get to know you over the coming months and years.


Cathryn C. Potter, MSW, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor

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