Main Commencement Ceremony, Alumni Stadium
Boston College School of Social Work Diploma Ceremony
Diplomas are distributed to graduates.
The diploma ceremonies typically last for about two hours. Boston College does not distribute tickets so you can invite all your loved ones to join in the celebration although the University does ask you to register your guests (in early April) so that they can plan for seating.
The School awarded diplomas to 275 students, including 266 who earned master’s degrees and nine who earned doctoral degrees. Twelve students who graduated from the master’s program received named awards for their outstanding contributions in the classroom, the community, and their field of practice, and 19 students earned 4.0 grade point averages. Following Dean Yadama’s remarks, professor Tom Walsh read the names of the graduates, who received their diplomas, walked across a stage, and paused to have their photos taken with the dean. After students received their diplomas, Alejandro Olayo-Méndez, a Jesuit priest and an assistant professor offered a blessing in Spanish and English.
On Monday, May 20, the Boston College School of Social Work celebrated Commencement on the Burns Library Lawn with keynote speaker Tanya L. Sharpe, MSW, PhD ’07. Dr. Sharpe has been a community based social worker in the field of interpersonal violence since 1993. She is associate professor and Chair in Social Work in the Global Community at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Previously, she served on the faculty at the University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work for 11 years. She is also the founder of the Homicide Research Consortium (HRC), an international collective group of scholars focused on raising the standard of research and best practice for African American/Black survivors of homicide victims and violence through collaborative research and scholarship. Dr. Sharpe’s research focuses on examining sociocultural factors that influence the coping strategies of Black family members of homicide victims for the purpose of developing culturally appropriate interventions that can best assist them in their management of grief and bereavement. Dr. Sharpe was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Boston College School of Social Work in 2019, and was honored at a ceremony in February.
On Monday, May 21st, the Boston College School of Social Work celebrated Commencement on the Burns Library Lawn. Students heard from Larry E. Davis, dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and Donald M. Henderson Professor, the keynote speaker at the School of Social Work Diploma Ceremony. Dr. Davis has long been recognized as a leading scholar of the narrative about race in America and its role in social justice. His academic life has been dedicated to the creation of solution-based dialogues that promote a more racially equitable society. He has published widely and has written, edited, or co-authored seven books. He is the founder and leader of both the University of Pittsburgh’s Center on Race and Social Problems and of REAP, a consortium of race, ethnicity, and poverty centers across the United States. Dr. Davis is also the first person to receive both the Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award from the Council on Social Work Education and the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research.
On Monday, May 22nd, the Boston College School of Social Work celebrated Commencement on the Burns Library Lawn, the first such ceremony under the tenure of Dean Gautam Yadama. In addition to remarks from the dean, students heard from keynote speaker Eva Millona, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), who spoke on the imperative for students to get involved in helping those who are living in the margins across an increasingly global society.
Veiw Commencement 2017 Photo Galleries:
Eva A. Millona is Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the state’s largest organization representing the foreign born, and co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans, the lead national organization focusing on immigrant integration. She joined MIRA in 1999 and served as Director of Policy and Advocacy and as Deputy Director before becoming Executive Director in 2008, and she is now one of New England’s most highly quoted immigration experts. Prior to MIRA, Ms. Millona directed the refugee resettlement program in Central Massachusetts. In her native Albania, she practiced civil and criminal law, serving on Tirana’s District Court from 1989 – 1992, when she was the nation’s youngest district judge ever appointed.
Ms. Millona is also the co-chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants and serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2010, she co-chaired the nation’s largest immigrant integration conference, which MIRA hosted in Boston. She is a frequent speaker on national and international stages on immigration and immigrant integration. She is the recipient of over a dozen major awards, including the prestigious 2009 USCIS Outstanding American by Choice Award, the 2010 Wainwright Bank Social Justice Award, and the 2011 and 2012 Powermeter Award, presented to the most influential people for Latinos in Massachusetts.
May 23rd marked the 140th Commencement in the history of Boston College and the seventy-sixth School of Social Work Diploma Ceremony. This year, under bright, flawless skies, 266 soon-to-be social workers were awarded MSWs, while five individuals celebrated completion of their doctoral studies.
The School of Social Work Diploma Ceremony was held on Burns Lawn following the University Commencement, and its spirit mirrored the perfect weather – joyful, optimistic, aspirational.
“I assume you most likely did not choose the profession to make a lot of money,” said Dean Alberto Godenzi, in the final graduation remarks of his esteemed 15-year tenure as head of the School. “No, you chose this profession because you wanted to be a voice for the vulnerable, the marginalized, and the forgotten. You have every reason to be proud of what you do, because your work is essential; not just for those at the margins, but also, for the overall well-being of our families and our communities.”
The 139th Commencement of Boston College was held on Monday, May 18, 2015. Boston College School of Social Work graduates and their guests attended the Diploma Ceremony on Burns Lawn. 5 PhD and 256 MSW degrees were awarded to the graduates of the BC Social Work Class of 2015.
Fr. Ignatius Nze, Class of 2015, gave the Invocation followed by Greetings given by Alberto Godenzi, Dean of the School of Social Work; Anshika Hansen-Verma, Class of 2015; Armando Holguin, Secretary of the BC Social Work Alumni Association Board; and Marylou Sudders, Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services. Student awards and diplomas were presented, and the ceremony concluded with a Benediction by Rebeca N. Camargo, Class of 2015.
The 138th Commencement of Boston College was held on Monday, May 19, 2014. Boston College Graduate School of Social Work graduates and their guests attended the Diploma Ceremony on Burns Lawn. 5 PhD and 204 MSW degrees were awarded to the graduates of the BC Social Work Class of 2014.
Xuan Tho Phan, O.P., Class of 2014, gave the Invocation followed by Greetings given by Alberto Godenzi, Dean of the Graduate School of Social Work; Corina S. Laudate, Class of 2014; Cheryl Snyder, former President of the BC Social Work Alumni Association Board; and Darla Spence Coffey, President of the Council on Social Work Education. Student awards and diplomas were presented, and the ceremony concluded with a Benediction by Shameka S. Gregory, Class of 2014.
The 137th Commencement of Boston College was held on Monday, May 20, 2013. Boston College Graduate School of Social Work graduates and their guests attended the Diploma Ceremony on Burns Lawn. 8 PhD and 215 MSW degrees were awarded to the graduates of the GSSW Class of 2013.
Yvette Fishinghawk Bear MacDonald, Class of 2013, gave the Invocation followed by Greetings given by Alberto Godenzi, Dean of the Graduate School of Social Work; Caitlin Partyka, Class of 2013; Cheryl Snyder, President of the GSSW Alumni Association Board; and Marylou Sudders, Associate Professor and Chair of the Health and Mental Health Concentration at the Graduate School of Social Work and the former Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health. Student awards and diplomas were presented, and the ceremony concluded with a Benediction by Paula Charbonneau, Class of 2013.
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