School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.

2022 Annual Report - Uncommon Cornerstone: Celebrating 105 years + an unlimited future. Collage of images from throughout the school's history.

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work marked its 105th year in social work education in 2022, celebrating its history and the unlimited opportunities the future holds. The school’s Annual Report for the 2021-22 academic year highlights uncommon and exceptional students, faculty, alumni and community partners. 

Among those highlights:

Art of Black motherhood

Assistant Professor Nicole Corley, Ph.D., explored Black motherhood by connecting with 26 mothers across the country who created collages to tell their personal stories. “A lot of the mothers said, ‘oh, but I’m not an artist, I’m not creative,’ “ Dr. Corley says. “I had to remind them: You’re a black mother. You are the ultimate creative!” Learn more

An audio pilot

Utilizing a new medium for her Clinical Social Work Practice II class, Assistant Professor in Teaching Cassie DeSena-Jacobs, D.S.W., LCSW, wanted to inspire students and give them a way to share their work outside the classroom. The result was a hybrid model focused on producing podcasts. “This kind of creative project is, in my opinion, what education should be, especially at the master’s level,” says one of her students. Learn more

Leading by lending a student voice

B.S.W. student Oscar Kemp has been a leader in the School of Social Work and across VCU – and now he’s gone national. The Council on Social Work Education has named Oscar as one of its first two student board members, joining M.S.W. student Wendy Hernandez-De La Cruz of California State University-Monterey Bay. Learn more

Right at home at the White House

Alum Allison Gilbreath made two policy advocacy trips to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2022, bringing along fellow alum Sophia Booker the second time. “Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around it … who gets to go to the White House?” Booker says. “For me, just being in that space as a social worker meant a lot to me.” Learn more

Making a difference daily

After earning her M.S.W., alum Sofia Hiort-Wright found a niche in VCU’s athletic department and never left. Twenty years later, she was recognized with a university lifetime achievement award as a diversity champion. “Every day I hope to make a difference in people’s lives, and all of us in social work want to do that,” says Hiort-Wright, now a senior executive associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. Learn more

New faculty: Unsurpassed expertise

We are pleased to welcome seven new full-time faculty who started their first full academic year in Fall 2022. They include three teaching faculty who joined in the spring and one of whom is now director of field education; and four tenure-track faculty with a focus on research. Learn more

Categories Alumni, Community, Education, Faculty and staff, Research, Students
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