2018-2019 Student Milestones

August 30 @ 9:34 pm
By Communications Office

Social work students at Columbia are required to spend three days a week in the field and the other two days in classes. But if they are often pressed for time, they are not easily daunted. During Spring and Fall terms of the past academic year, dozens of students won prestigious summer/postgraduate fellowships and awards, obtained grants to travel abroad for social work-related projects, or were invited to present papers on social issues at academic conferences. A number of students even created new milestones, as the following list of highlights reports.


Spring Term, 2019

  • Michelle Pacheco-Espinoza (MSW’21) was one of five Inspiraciones speakers asked to tell their personal stories on stage at the third annual Latinas LEAD Power Summit, which took place June 8, 2019, at the Latino Community Foundation in Colorado. The focus of her story was “Not from here. Not from there.”
  • At the CSSW graduation ceremony held on May 22, 2019, Samantha Arthur (MSW’19) was honored with the Dr. Peter B. Vaughan NASW-NYC Student Award for her exceptional leadership and commitment to social work values during her field internship for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth. Not only did she manage operations for the $1 million after-school enhancement program budget, but she also created a proposal to design and implement a mentoring program for women of color to position them for executive leadership..
  • Student leaders from the Asian Pacific Islander, Black, and LatinX Caucuses created a milestone for the School of Social Work, and for Columbia University, by organizing the first combined People of Color Graduation at a Columbia graduate school, held at Riverside Church on May 20, 2019.
  • In May of 2019, Emma Gamble and Cecilia Chu, both Class of 2020, received Summer Fellowships from the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School. Gamble used hers to work in Istanbul, Turkey, at Re:Coded, an initiative that aims to teach conflict-affected youth how to code so that they can find jobs and become leaders in their communities. Chu, meanwhile, worked at Pathways to Leadership in New York City, which provides mentoring and interactive programming for students who are challenged on a daily basis by stress, violence, and poverty.
  • Joseida Rosario (MSW’19) was selected for the Council on Social Work Education’s Minority Fellowship Program as well as for Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio’s Design Your Venture Program. She plans to launch a brand consultancy for therapists called The Healing Strategy, in Fall 2019.
  • Naseem Obaydou (MSW’19) received a Postgraduate Fellowship in Social Work from Yale Behavioral Health, under the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. She has been assigned to the Connecticut Mental Health Center, a provider of recovery-oriented mental health services and a major training site for psychiatrists and psychologists from the Yale Department of Psychiatry.
  • Sky Sealey-Otero (MSW’19) was offered a research fellowship from Stanford University’s American Voices Project. She will be joining classmate Bethany K. Miller (MSW’19), who was offered the role of a regional director for the project.
  • Ezra Whyde (MSW’19) was awarded the LGBTQ Post-Graduate Clinical Fellowship at Kip, an innovative psychotherapy program.
  • After being selected as a Venture for America Fellow, Caitlin Jones (MSW’19) received training and is now working as a network navigator at MOSourceLink, which supports entrepreneurs and small businesses across the state of Missouri by providing free and easy access to resources.
  • Two members of the Class of 2020, Caitlyn Passaretti and Sarah Rashid, created a milestone for social work graduate students in becoming the first MSW students to be accepted to the United Nations Association of New York Summer Scholars fellowships (previous fellows all had backgrounds in international and public affairs). Both spent this past summer in Cairo working on youth programs that had been created by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
  • Marleine Marcelin (MSW’20) was selected as an Education Pioneers Summer Fellow, a 10-week summer experience that previews the impact a graduate student can make in the education sector. She was placed at the Boston Public Schools’ Office of Social Emotional Learning and Wellness, which assists public schools with implementing the Whole Child Wellness Policy, in alignment with a new national model linking learning with health.
  • Ashley Lizarraga (MSW’20) met with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a delegate for the National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI)‘s 2019 Shadow Day program, held on May 23. Shadow Day is an annual event where foster youth travel to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress.
  • The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management accepted papers from seven members of the Class of 2019 for its Regional Student Conference held in late March 2019 in Washington, DC: Sarah Axtell, Darian Glenn Blanks, Sr., Kameron Corrine Mims-Jones, Caitlin Frankel, Crystal Montgomery, Katherine Nicole Seibel, and Catherine Isabel West.

Fall Term, 2018


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