CUSSW Students Honored with NASW-NYC Awards

May 16, 2008 @ 4:00 am

For Immediate Release

May 16, 2008

New York, NY – Cory Jones and Nichelle Roberts, 2008 master of social work candidates at Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW), have been selected to receive awards from the National Association of Social Workers-New York City Chapter. The awards will be presented during the School’s Commencement Ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center on May 19.

Roberts will be awarded with the Georgia L. McMurray Award, which is only given to one student out of all six graduate schools of social work in New York City. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and contributions a graduating student has made to services to children and families. This is the fourth consecutive year that a CUSSW student has won the McMurray Award.

“I am delighted and humbled to receive this award,” says Roberts. “My life dedication is to the pursuit of education and equality for all youth. I am most thankful to my parents and brother for their support of my education and goals.”

Roberts specialized in Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming (AGPP) at CUSSW with a focus in school linked and school based services. Born in Trinidad but raised in Bloomfield, CT, Roberts comes from a family of educators. Prior to pursuing her master’s degree in social work at CUSSW, Roberts was an elementary school teacher for seven years. Her experience in the education system exposed her to the work of social workers and their integral role in serving as a bridge between parents, communities and the schools. After graduation, Roberts will be working as a social worker at Jumoke Academy, a charter school in Hartford, CT. In the future, she plans to establish her own urban school to help youth attain their goals.

Jones will be awarded the Student of the Year Award, which recognizes students who have demonstrated professional commitment, identity and values through student leadership, practicum practice or academic projects.

Jones specialized in AGPP at CUSSW with a focus on contemporary social issues. Prior to coming to CUSSW, she was a case worker for child protective services in Austin, TX for three years. The experience motivated her to apply for her master’s degree in social work. While completing the program at CUSSW, Jones interned at the United States Office of Probation and the CUSSW Social Intervention Group. “It is a great honor to receive this award,” says Jones.“ I was given a great education at the School and feel very fortunate to be among an intelligent and compassionate student body that is so dedicated to this field.” Jones will be returning to her native home of Texas where she will take a supervisory role with the Department of Family and Protective Services. In the future, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in social work.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 153,000 members. NASW-NYC represents the collective expertise and experience of more than 10,000 members in New York City. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its policy work and advocacy.

For more information, please contact Jeannie Hii at 212-851-2327 or