School of Social Work

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

Angela-Marie Rone, wearing a black top and blue jeans, sits in a chair in front of stairs and a sign reading School of Social Work.
Angela-Marie Rone at the School of Social Work. Photo: Thomas Kojcsich, Enterprise Marketing and Communications

VCU School of Social Work’s Class of 2024 featured a diverse mix of graduates and areas of interest. Here are highlights from a few of our newest alumni:

Child welfare advocate Angela-Marie Rone earns a second social work degree

Growing up in Yorktown, Virginia, she became interested in child welfare based on the experiences of friends who had spent time in the system.

“Growing up, I always felt like my friends were my family,” she says. “The relationships I have formed throughout my life mean so much to me. And so I just wanted to be able to help support, and figure out ways to best advocate for, those who have experienced similar situations as [my friends] in terms of trauma and abuse and neglect.

“I am really just passionate about supporting and encouraging personal growth and fostering youth development. That’s the reason why I really came into social work. When it comes to that intersection between the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system, those are the two systems that I just really have that heart for.”

Rone received her B.S.W. from VCU in 2023 and after graduating with her M.S.W. this spring, she will begin a full-time position at the Henrico County Department of Social Services, where she interned as part of her field placement.

»  See the full story at VCU News.

Angela Matijczak explores family, pets and LGBTQIA+ mental health 

Matijczak was drawn to VCU by the research and studies conducted by faculty in the School of Social Work. Its combined master’s and Ph.D. program was also a lure, as she received both degrees in May.

Headshot of smiling Angela Matijczak
Angela Matijczak

“It was really impactful and centered on the community,” she says of the program. “VCU has a fantastic, highly ranked social work program.”

LGBTQIA+ youth and their relationships with pets and family have been the main components of her research in recent years.

“I think that generally most people would agree the relationship you have with family members are the most important relationships you have. Your pets are part of your daily routine. Both of those are bound to have an effect on mental health in the LGBTQ+ population,” she says. “It’s important to be promoting mental health in this population. We want to help them be their most happy, joyful self.”

»  See the full story at VCU News.

Student Commencement speakers

Three graduates in black caps and gowns stand and smile in front of rows of empty chairs in the background
From left, Aaron Kemmerer, Emily Park, Fatima Batool

Aaron Kemmerer, Ph.D. Program: “I love the VCU School of Social Work. I found a lot of community. …” View Aaron’s interview on Facebook or Instagram, and watch his full remarks during the ceremony.

Fatima Batool, M.S.W. Program: “I love how engaged we are in having conversations and having a lot of discussions. I also really like how caring the professors are . …” View Fatima’s interview on Facebook or Instagram, and watch her full remarks during the ceremony.

Emily Park, B.S.W. Program: “One of my favorite things about my experience here is … having faculty and staff and peers who don’t run from hard conversations. …” View Emily’s interview on Facebook or Instagram, and watch her full remarks during the ceremony.

Categories Alumni, Education, Students
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