On May 14, 2009, exceptional B.S.W., M.S.W., and Ph.D. students were honored at the School of Social Work’s Annual Student Awards Ceremony which was held in the Student Commons Theatre on the Monroe Park Campus of VCU. Award recipients were nominated by faculty members and/or leaders of social work student organizations and were selected by an awards selection committee. Award recipients represent the ideals of the social work profession and excel in academics, leadership, and in service to the School of Social Work, the community, and to the profession. Students receiving the Elaine Rothenberg Award, the Social Justice Award, and the David Saunders Legislative Award will have their names inscribed on the award plaques that hang in the first floor hall of the Raleigh Building.
As part of the Awards Ceremony, students were also inducted into the Nu Rho Chapter of the Phi Alpha National Honor Society for social work students. The VCU Nu Rho Chapter of Phi Alpha was established in 2005 and its purpose is to “provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideals” and fosters high standards of education for social work students. The G.P.A. requirement for membership at the M.S.W. level is 3.85, with at least all foundation coursework completed. The G.P.A. requirement for membership at the B.S.W. level is at least 3.25 overall, with a 3.5 in all social work courses.
The following students were honored during the Awards Ceremony:
Elaine Rothenberg Award
Each year the VCU School of Social Work honors an outstanding student in the BSW, MSW, and PhD programs with the Elaine Rothenberg Social Work Award. As the Dean of the School of Social Work, Dean Rothenberg exemplified the following characteristics: academic excellence, service to the university, community and profession, and exceptional personal qualities of compassion and leadership. Awards were presented by Dr. Kia J. Bentley, Dr. Nicole Bromfield and Dr. Humberto Fabelo to 2009 recipients Jody L. Hearn (PhD), Amy Beddoo (MSW, Alexandria Campus) and Abigail Sedaghatfar (BSW).
The Social Justice Award
The Social Justice Award is given to a graduating BSW, MSW or PhD student who has demonstrated a commitment and dedication to the ideals of social justice through his or her demonstrated activities while a student in the social work program. Dr. Nicole Bromfield recognized 2009 recipient Brooke Anessa (MSW, Alexandria Campus), who received her award in the NoVA Student Awards Ceremony on May 2nd.
David L. Saunders Legislative Award
The David Saunders Legislative Award was established in honor and memory of Dr. David Saunders, associate professor of social work at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work. The award recognizes Dr. Saunders and his commitment to furthering social goals through involvement in the legislative process at all levels of government. Dr. Saunders was an active participant in the development of social policy in state and local government, and was well known and respected in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly. Dr. Mary Katherine O’Connor presented the 2009 David L. Saunders Legislative Award to Abidi Torres Dini (MSW).
School of Social Work Distinguished Service Award
This award is given to a School of Social Work student who has made an especially notable contribution to life at the School and University community through his or her exceptional leadership and service. The 2009 Distinguished Service Award was presented by Dr. Nicole Bromfield to S. Dougy Yoon (MSW).
Leadership and Service Awards
Social Work Leadership and Service Awards are given to graduates in the BSW, MSW and Ph.D. programs who have demonstrated leadership and service to the School, the University and to the community.
2009 Leadership Awards were presented by Dr. Kia J. Bentley to Ph.D. students Katherine Filipic and Sharon Foreman Kready; Dr. Nicole Bromfield presented awards to MSW students Joshua Boggan, Abby Torres Dini, Michelle Donachy, Rebecca Eisenman, Jayme Glover, Karen Vassar and S. Dougy Yoon; and Dr. Humberto Fabelo presented the BSW awards to Lori Miles, Alexis Richards, Anne Russell and Abigail Sedaghatfar.
Service Awards were presented by Dr. Nicole Bromfield to Margaret Brammer (MSW),
Shikita Davis (MSW), Ruby Eisenberg-Creditor (MSW) and Brandi Turpin (MSW), and by Dr. Humberto Fabelo to Adrienne Blankenship (BSW), Max Daniel (BSW), Alexis Holliday (BSW), Valerie Mack (BSW) and Rachel Parnell (BSW).
Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society
The VCU Nu Rho Chapter of the Phi Alpha National Honor Society was established in October 2005. The purposes of Phi Alpha Honor Society are to provide a closer bond among students of social work and to promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership BSW and MSW students who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.
2009 inductees into the VCU Nu Rho Chapter of the Phi Alpha National Honor Society are Hannah E. Abbey (MSW), Adrienne L. Blankenship (BSW), Tiana Ayeisha Bolden (MSW), Margaret A. Brammer (MSW), Lindsay Rae Cohen (MSW), Helen Catherine Suzanne Curtis (MSW), Lauren MacBride Dickey (MSW), Michelle R. Donachy (MSW), Kaneka Early (MSW), Ruby Ellen Eisenberg-Creditor (MSW), LaQuina Fulton-Garvin (MSW), Lindsey Nicole Gera (BSW), Connie Telisa Jones (MSW),Emily Janet Karlicek (MSW), Elizabeth Keener (MSW), Lori M. Miles (BSW), Laura E. Orbann (MSW), Carla M. Renner (MSW), Katherine Marie Rose (MSW), Kristina Marie Sawetz-Glasene (MSW), Anne Colby Stackhouse (MSW), Karen Yvette Taliferro (MSW), Christine Marie Trotta (BSW), Karen Anne Vassar (MSW), Nora McBride Vassar (MSW), Corinne Michelle Wilkinson (MSW), Stacie L. Winn (BSW), Jacqueline Withers-Johnson (MSW), Erin A. Woolard (MSW) and Lauren Michelle Zingraff (MSW).
Following the Awards Ceremony a dessert and coffee reception was held in honor of the award recipients and the May 2009 graduates.