April 7, 2020 at 10:25 a.m.

Sad News for Our Community

Dear CSSW Community,

Today is the day we feared, and wished would never come. I write with heartbreaking news.

A beloved member of our own CSSW community, MSW student Susan Chuang, has passed away due to complications from infection with COVID-19. Susan was a member of both the Online Campus and Residential Campus communities, and she left her mark on both. There are no words to describe the pain and loss we feel. Susan was such a bright light – always thoughtful, loving, and gracious to all around her. She was driven to help those in need, without waiting to be asked. She was a true social work advocate, a great friend, and a devoted spouse and mom. She added so much to our School and our world, and was on a path to contribute so much more. Our grief will be profound and long-lasting.

We’ve been in touch with Susan’s family to extend our heartfelt condolences, and to offer support and assistance from the Columbia community. Let’s all keep in mind her loving family and circle of friends at this difficult time.

We will make plans to come together to honor Susan and celebrate her life. We will reach out again at a later date with information about ways to respect her legacy and share our memories.

Every life is precious. We feel this loss acutely, as we are all members of one community. I know we all grieve in our own ways, but let’s rely on one another, our friends, and our families for support. We also want you to be aware of additional supports that may be helpful to you and your friends and colleagues; they are listed below.

With deepest sympathy,




Melissa D. Begg
Dean & Professor
Columbia School of Social Work

NOTE: We have created a page in tribute to Susan on the School’s website, where all are encouraged to share memories and words of support for Susan’s family and our community. Please scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and add your comment.