Dean’s update: BHM & our commitment to social, racial justice

Dear SSW Community, February marks Black History Month, when we are invited to celebrate the role and contributions of Black Americans to American history. As Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway reminded us in a recent New York Times editorial, the recognition of Black History Month can be made deeper and more meaningful if it “produces […]

6 student fellows join school task force focused on racial justice and equity

The VCU School of Social Work has selected six students for new Racial Justice Student Fellowships as part of efforts in the school to conduct a self-examination of oppression and anti-Blackness. The students represent the Association of Black Social Workers at VCU student organization and the school’s three academic programs. Selected fellows are Rebecca Davidsson, […]

‘A beautiful moment’: Social work alum honored for nondiscrimination advocacy in Michigan

Sara Van Tongeren, Rev. Jane Addams and Jeffrey Sorenson pose with their social justice awards from the city of Holland, Michigan

VCU social work alum Sara Van Tongeren, Rev. Jennifer Adams and Jeffrey Sorenson received social justice awards from the city of Holland, Michigan, in January. For VCU School of Social Work alum Sara Van Tongeren (M.S.W.’08/SW), a “surreal” seven-hour city council meeting in August 2020 was delayed gratification for the passage of a long-awaited nondiscrimination […]

Social work faculty and student researchers presenting at SSWR 2021

Twenty-four VCU School of Social Work faculty and students, representing 26 research initiatives, will be part of the annual Society for Social Work and Research’s virtual conference Jan. 19-22, 2021. The breakdown: 15 faculty, eight Ph.D. students and candidates, and one post-doctoral student. Three faculty are also serving as co-chair or moderators for topical clusters. […]

‘Oh my, I got a scholarship!’ Fostering Success supports child welfare focus

Originally published in VCU’s December 2020 Impact magazine. Ebony Mack (M.S.W.’18/SW) couldn’t help but exclaim. She had just received an email, in 2017, naming her the first recipient of the VCU School of Social Work’s Fostering Success Scholarship. “I think I was at work, and it came through. ‘Oh my, I got a scholarship!’ I […]

Back stories: Named scholarships represent lost loved ones, legacy of care

The roots go back nearly three decades for three VCU School of Social Work scholarships that honor two former faculty members and an alumna. Family and friends have supported the legacy of these loved ones – and made a significant difference in the lives of current social work students – through the Pamela B. Nystrom Memorial […]

’73 classmates form volunteer dream team for social work fundraising campaign

Sherry Peterson (M.S.W.’73/SW) knew what a successful fundraising campaign looked like. Katharine Webb (M.S.W.’73/SW) was as connected an alumna as you could hope to find. Together, the VCU School of Social Work classmates – along with Sherry’s husband and fellow classmate, Bill (M.S.W.’73/SW) –  formed the perfect team, serving as volunteer chairs for the school’s […]

Going the distance: Colbys’ philanthropy will aid students from underserved populations

After earning his master’s degree at the VCU School of Social Work, Ira Colby, D.S.W. (M.S.W. ’75/SW), did a little bit of everything to make ends meet as a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. When a federal grant fell through a month before classes started, he took out student loans, worked with faculty […]

A proud alum, Odera returns to School of Social Work as director of field education

Stephanie Odera, Ed.D., keeps writing new chapters at the VCU School of Social Work. The two-time social work graduate (B.S.W.’04/SW; M.S.W.’06/SW), who also earned her doctorate of education from VCU in 2018, rejoined the school in October 2020 as the new director of field education. She has previously served at the school as an adjunct […]

Discussion explores systemic racism, disproportionality, equity in child welfare

The VCU School of Social Work and its Child Welfare Stipend Program hosted a panel discussion, Systemic Racism, Disproportionality, and Equity in Child Welfare: Our History and Where to Focus Our Change Efforts? Nov. 10, 2020. The panel session, available for viewing through the YouTube archive above, featured three alumni working in the field: Danika […]