On Monday, May 13, Rutgers School of Social Work hosted a convocation ceremony to recognize its BASW, MSW, DSW, and Ph.D. graduates. Families and friends gathered at Jersey Mike’s Arena in New Brunswick in support of their loved ones who have spent years of hard work completing their programs and tackling countless hours of class time, research, and practicum work. In total, 851 graduates earned a degree from the School of Social Work this year, including 705 MSW grads, 128 BASW grads, 12 DSW grads, and 6 Ph.D. grads.

Rutgers School of Social Work Interim Dean Richard L. Edwards welcomed guests to the ceremony, and Rutgers University–New Brunswick Chancellor Francine Conway shared congratulatory remarks with the Class of 2024. Dr. Susan L. Parish, President of Mercy University and a Rutgers School of Social Work alum, delivered the convocation address. Along with the conferral of the degrees, the School presented the following awards in recognition of the students’ outstanding work:


  • Outstanding MSW Student in the Clinical Specialization: Deborah Halpern and Ganaia Swinton
  • Outstanding MSW Student in the MAP Specialization: Sarah Manship
  • Outstanding MSW Student in the Online Program: Kamiya Modh
  • Outstanding MSW Student in the Intensive Weekend Program: Thomas Kinloch
  • Outstanding MSW Student in the Blended Program: Patrick Allred
  • Outstanding MSW Student Studying in Newark: Olivia Cole
  • Outstanding MSW Student Studying in Camden: Danielle Luczak
  • Outstanding MSW Student Studying in New Brunswick: Deborah Wang


  • Outstanding Student in the Camden BASW Program: Prince Alvarado
  • Outstanding Student in the New Brunswick BASW Program: Latonya Johnson
  • Brian C. Wright Social Work Award: Jennifer Clarke


  • Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award: Catherine Buttner
  • Dean’s Honorable Mention for Dissertation of the Year Award: Alicia Mendez
  • Excellence in Faculty Mentoring in the Ph.D. Program Award: Emmy Tiderington
  • Ph.D. Professor of the Year: Lenna Nepomnyaschy

In addition, faculty and staff members were presented the following awards:

  • Outstanding Professor in Clinical Specialization: Tawanda Hubbard
  • Outstanding Professor in MAP Specialization: Karun Singh
  • Outstanding Professor for Excellence in Inclusion, Intersectionality, Diversity, Equity and Advancement (IIDEA) Teaching: Mary Beth Ali
  • Outstanding Professor for Innovative and Creative Teaching: Vivien Anthony
  • Most Supportive Professor: Rachel Schwartz
  • Outstanding Lecturer:  Frank Greenagel
  • Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching in the BASW or MSW Programs: Amy Geller
  • Most Supportive Staff Member: Janice Svizeny                             

To round out the program, student speaker Tymeera A. Freeman, a member of the MSW Class of 2024, addressed the audience with words of encouragement and support. Freeman is a proud native of Newark, New Jersey who plans to become a clinical social worker. She is committed to standing up for those who are marginalized and oppressed, aiming to empower and inspire others. 

Interim Dean Edwards concluded the ceremony with words of encouragement for the Class of 2024. “Graduates, you have been prepared for a wonderful career in social work by an outstanding group of faculty and practicum instructors,” he said. “We wish you great success and know your legendary class will change the world. We are so very proud of you!”

Congratulations, graduates, and welcome to the Rutgers School of Social Work alumni network!