Grant, fellowship, scholarship recipients selected

Jennifer  ScottJennifer Scott, right, recipient of the NASW Foundation Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship in Welfare Policy for the 2014-15 academic year, discusses her poster presentation at the NASW National Conference with NASW member and conference attendee Helen Woodbury, from Johns Creek, Ga. Scott is a social work doctoral student at the University of Texas-Austin.

The NASW Foundation has chosen the 2014-15 recipients of its scholarship, fellowship and chapter research grant programs.

Social work and NASW chapter candidates were selected for the Jane Baerwald Aron Doctoral Fellowship Program; the Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship; the Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial MSW Scholarships; the Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial MSW Scholarships; and the Ruth Fizdale Program.

“The NASW Foundation is one of the largest supporters of social work students who attend schools of social work across the country,” said Bob Arnold, NASW Foundation director. “The Foundation is pleased to be able to award over $80,000 to social work students and NASW chapters as an investment in the social work profession.”

According to the Foundation, a generous grant from the New York Community Trust Robert and Ellen Popper Scholarship Fund supported the expansion of the Blackey Fellowship and Lyons Scholarships for the 2014-2015 award cycle. In addition to the education award, recipients will be offered professional mentoring and funding for leadership development opportunities. The recipients are as follows:

NASW member Jennifer Scott, a social work doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin, received the NASW Foundation’s Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship in Welfare Policy.

The fellowship provides partial support to social work doctoral candidates who are engaged in dissertation research in welfare policy and practice. Scott was selected based on her dissertation, titled “Working on the Margins: Latino Immigrants, Citizenship and Low-Wage Labor in Texas.”

A poster detailing her work on the subject was presented at the poster exhibit portion of the NASW national conference in July. The objectives of Scott’s dissertation and research are to:

  • Develop an understanding of and explore how Latino immigrants in low-wage jobs get by, and how their experience is shaped by their immigration status;
  • analyze current poverty policy and its impact on Latino immigrant communities, taking into account the impact of immigration status on work and family outcomes; and
  • develop recommendations for poverty policy based on existing support structures and collective practices.

Doctoral candidate Jagadisa-Devasri Dacus received the Jane Baerwald Aron Doctoral Fellowship. The fellowship provides partial support to social work doctoral candidates who are engaged in dissertation research in health care policy and practice. Dacus is a student in the social welfare program at the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York. He was chosen for his research study that focuses on sustained HIV-negativity in black MSM (men who have sex with men) in New York City. The study aims to identify and understand the strengths and resiliency that contribute to the maintenance of HIV-negativity in black MSM.

The Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial Scholarship is awarded to MSW candidates demonstrating an interest in or experience with health/mental health practice, and a commitment to working in African-American communities.

The four recipients of this scholarship are:

  • Annalise Everett, MSW student at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration;
  • Walter Raleigh Higgs, MSW student at the Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston;
  • Teresa Thompson, MSW student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York; and
  • Mathieu Joshuah McNeil, MSW student at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.

The Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarships are awarded to MSW candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to working with, or who have a special affinity with, American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino populations.

The 10 recipients are:

  • Daisy Arriaga, MSW student at Lehman College in New York;
  • Ariel Goldberger Blau, MSW student at the Silver School of Social Work in New York;
  • Pamela Bryan, MSW student at the University of New Mexico;
  • Vanessa Corbera, MSW student at the Boston College School of Social Work;
  • Adriana Escobar, MSW student at the University of California Berkeley School of Social Welfare;
  • Chelsea Dynea Kolander, MSW student at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Social Work;
  • Theresa R. Moran, MSW student at Texas State University;
  • Meagan Shapanus, MSW student at Bridgewater State University School of Social Work in Massachusetts;
  • Angela Liliana Suarez, MSW student at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration; and
  • Olga Mariana Swenson, MSW student at California State University, Long Beach.

NASW’s Ohio and South Carolina chapters received funding from the Ruth Fizdale program, which provides opportunities for chapters to conduct pilot research projects targeted to a specific emerging issue.

Through support from the program, NASW-Ohio will work on a project that has two parts. One is to gather information and data to find out the cause of Ohio social workers’ educational debt, and the other is to study these findings and determine the need for an educational relief program.

NASW-South Carolina has worked to address the safety of social workers while they’re on the job. With Fizdale funding, the chapter will conduct research to determine safety needs and, based on research findings, make recommendations to inform policies that can improve social worker safety.

“This year’s award recipients exemplify the spirit for which these awards were established,” said NASW Foundation staff member Kerri Criswell. “The Foundation is pleased to support the academic endeavors of these future leaders.”

For more information, visit the NASW Foundation.