Meet Ananda Newmark, recent Ph.D. graduate
Ananda Newmark, Ph.D., completed his doctorate at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work in 2016. His dissertation, “Student Engagement in Undergraduate Social Work Education Among ‘At-risk’ Students,” examined how B.S.W. students engage in their academic experiences, especially those identified as at risk. Newmark found that first-generation college students engage less with their peers, faculty and the social work profession than their non-first-generation college counterparts. Newmark’s research fills a gap in the literature, offering a foundation from which to understand how B.S.W. students engage in their college experiences.
Newmark’s focus on student engagement stems from over a decade of work ensuring student success with B.S.W. students, in particular those who are at-risk, first-generation college students and transfer students. Newmark is the first to research student engagement among B.S.W. students using the National Survey of Student Engagement.
As the VCU B.S.W. program director, Newmark has developed two articulation agreements with area community colleges, providing access to a B.S.W. education for first-generation college students and transfer students whose opportunities to complete a four-year degree are often limited. In addition to his administrative duties, Newmark teaches senior capstone classes in the B.S.W. program, preparing graduating cohorts for professional practice or graduate education.
Newmark currently serves as B.S.W. program director and is an associate professor in teaching at the VCU School of Social Work.