Abby Sedaghatfar is a graduating senior that will be attending graduate school in social work this fall. She received the Lauren A. Woods Scholarship in the amount of $3,000 and was also named the VCU Phi Kappa Phi nominee for the Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship national competition. Abi was selected from among university-wide applicants and was recognized for her superior academic achievement, leadership and service experience at VCU, in the Richmond community, and through several international projects. As part of her application Abi submitted a paper about immigrants that was thoughtful, well-written, and raised important social justice issues, something she is very passionate about. In his recommendation letter for Abi’s application to the Lauren A. Woods Scholarship, Dr. Peter V. Nguyen noted “While I was impressed with Abigail’s intellectual ability, it was her deep-seeded passion and affinity for immigrants that caught my attention. As a professor, teaching the content is easy, but instilling passion must come from within. It is this passion that drives a person to be a great social worker – one that impacts lives and makes a difference.”
Jodi Mincemoyer was awarded the $2,500 MSW Phi Kappa Phi scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year. Jodi will start her concentration course work in the Fall 2009 semester and is expected to graduate in May 2010. She has extensive community service experience including working with the Virginia Organizing Project, serving on the Board of Directors for the Colonial Community Service Board, and serving on the Board of Directors for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. Jodi is completing her foundation year internship at Virginia Supportive Housing. Jodi has a strong commitment to social justice and activism, especially equitable access to education, opportunity, healthcare and housing. Jodi has multiple publications and describes herself as “a learner, seeker, teacher, and advocate”.
Salima Jiwa was awarded the $1,000 MSW Phi Kappa Phi Unit scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year. Salima will start her concentration course work in the Fall 2009 semester and is a student at our Alexandria, VA campus. Salima is expected to graduate in May 2010. Salima has volunteered as a teacher’s assistant, volunteered for a Head Start literacy program, and tutored undergraduate ESOL students. She also worked with immigrant families from Afghanistan and volunteered at a Children’s Hospital. Salima holds a Master of Arts in Child Studies from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and has multiple publications and presentations related to children and parents’ issues. Salima is completing her foundation internship at Herndon Middle School and describes herself as being “dedicated to using [her] knowledge, experience and skills to help others deal with their challenges and achieve their fullest potential”.
Mariette Klein, a first year doctoral student, was recently awarded the 2009 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Doctoral Scholarship Award for outstanding achievement in scholarship and leadership. Klein was Director of Volunteerism for AARP in Washington, D.C. before entering the Ph.D. program in Fall 2008.