School of Social Work

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

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Message from interim dean, President Rao on racially motivated violence

Dear SSW Community, It is heartbreaking to be writing to you again so soon, after the confirmation that the shooting Sunday in Laguna Woods, California, is being investigated as a “politically motivated hate incident,” according to authorities. We grieve for the Taiwanese community, and for the  five victims, including John Cheng, who was fatally shot […]

Interim dean’s message: Race-based mass shooting in Buffalo

Dear School of Social Work Community, This weekend while our community celebrated new graduates and change makers, we were also faced with unspeakable violence. We join the world in grieving for the families of 10 victims who lost their life in a racially motivated hate crime.   I write to express my grief and anger, as […]

Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D., LCSW, to serve as interim social work dean

Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D., LCSW, comes by her passion for the transformative power of higher education naturally – it’s in her genes. Gomez assumes leadership as interim dean of the VCU School of Social Work on May 16, 2022, after serving for nearly two years as associate dean of academic and student affairs. Dr. Gomez succeeds […]

It takes two: Summer Jones is the name to know for social work Commencement

Spring Commencement for the VCU School of Social Work had a distinctly Summer feel to it in 2022. Among the nearly 300 graduates who received degrees on May 13 at the Siegel Center, two stood out in the list of graduates: Summer Jones and … Summer Jones. That was not a typo. Summer Caroline Jones […]

New Ph.D. graduate Shenita Williams brings school social work experience to role as assistant professor

Shenita Williams, Ph.D., brings plenty of practical experience to her new role as an assistant professor in teaching in the VCU School of Social Work – not to mention a VCU perspective as a three-time graduate and newly minted doctor of education. Williams (B.S.W.’93/SW; M.S.W.’95/SW; Ph.D.’22/SW) has also served as an adjunct faculty member with […]

‘We can do this together’: Felicia Smith and daughter Raeven earning M.S.W. degrees

Felicia Smith‘s journey to earning her master’s degree in social work was decades in the making and slowed when she had complications during the pregnancy with her first daughter, Raeven, 26 years ago. The wait was worth it, as it led to mother and daughter syncing their career paths. And on Friday, May 13, 2022, […]

Ph.D. alumni award winner Bricout reinvents while maintaining value-driven purpose

John C. Bricout (Ph.D.’98/SW) has embraced the disruptive nature of innovation, reinvention and, as he calls it, working outside the box. All the more reason to find grounding in several key tenets developed as a doctoral student at the Virginia Commonwealth School of Social Work. Twenty-four years after earning his Ph.D., Dr. Bricout has been […]

Alum Forte earns NASW-Maryland Lifetime Achievement Award for ‘exemplary’ career

VCU School of Social Work alum James Forte (M.S.W.’78/SW; Ph.D.’90/SW), whose “contributions in teaching, scholarship and the social work profession are exemplary,” has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers’ Maryland chapter.   Dr. Forte is a professor of social work at Salisbury University, and he has published more than 40 […]

Social Work retains top 30 national ranking

The VCU School of Social Work continues its longstanding place among the nation’s top graduate schools of social work with a No. 28 ranking from U.S. News & World Report in its 2023 Best Graduate Schools list, released March 29, 2022. VCU is tied with seven other schools at No. 28 out of 298 ranked […]

VCU offering online undergraduate social work courses for Fall 2022

The nationally ranked Virginia Commonwealth School of Social Work is launching a selection of online courses for its Bachelor of Social Work degree, providing more flexible access for students who aspire to become change-making social workers and help address the critical need for mental health professionals in the commonwealth. Junior-level social work courses will be […]

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