College of Social Work Celebrates Spring 2024 Graduates and College-Wide Award Recipients

College of Social Work 2024 Awards with a scroll, star badge and Florida State University seal

On May 3, 2024, the FSU College of Social Work celebrated its spring 2024 graduates at its semesterly graduation event. This semester, 37 BSW students and 129 MSW students, including 87 Online MSW students from across the United States, graduated. 

The event also included honoring the College of Social Work award recipients, nominated and selected by their peers. Award recipients include:

Elizabeth J. Piccard BSW Student of the Year: Lucy Lawrence

"Dean Springer and Lucy Lawrence"
"Dean Springer and Lucy Lawrence

Dr. Carol Campbell Edwards, BSW Program Director, presented Lucy with her award and read from her nomination letter, describing all her accomplishments working with the Macro Social Work Student Network, Payment4Placement FSU Chapter, the Arts & Athletics Program, and the National Association of Social Work Florida Chapter. 

"Lucy is one of the most well-known BSW students with an extensive history of service and leadership within the College of Social Work and in the community. She has demonstrated effective advocacy skills, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to social justice," Lucy's nominator wrote. "Collectively, these experiences speak volumes about her ability to manage multiple priorities with excellence and grace."

Patricia V. Vance MSW Students of the Year: Jesmel Moreno and Renee Souvenir

"Jesmel Moreno, Dean Sprinter and Renee Souvenir"
Jesmel Moreno, Dean Sprinter and Renee Souvenir

Fran Gomory, MSW Program Director, presented two MSW Student of the Year awards as they both were selected and tied for the honor. 

"Jesmel always goes above and beyond when it comes to her classes, her assistantship, her internship, and so much more. She inspires me to be a better social work student, and it's been an honor seeing her grow as a social worker and leader," wrote Jesmel's nominator. "She has such a drive to change the world and be a better advocate and is constantly educating herself on how to better serve her communities."

Renee's nominator wrote, "Renee always made class engaging and welcoming. Honestly, every class I had with them was better just because of the energy and passion they brought to class."

Doctoral Student of the Year: Sonnie Mayewski

"Dean Springer and Sonnie Mayewski"
Dean Springer and Sonnie Mayewski

Dr. Stephen Tripodi, Doctoral Program Director, presented Sonnie with her award, sharing that just in the past year, she has made presentations at seven national and international conferences and has numerous research articles published or in progress for peer-reviewed publications. 

"This year, she is among the first students to complete the Biomedical Entrepreneurship Graduate Certificate Program through the FSU College of Medicine and Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship," Dr. Tripodi shared in her nomination letter. "Recently, Sonnie developed a collaboration with the FSU College of Nursing's Institute on Digital Health focused on health technology approaches to identifying social determinants of health and health risk factors among high-risk gender and sexual minorities. Sonnie also began developing an online and mobile health research app designed to address identifying psychosocial needs and interventions for high-risk patients and families in Florida."

Dianne F. Harrison Scholarship: Elizabeth Curley and Esaa Sabti Samarah Samarsky

"Elizabeth Curley and Esaa Samarah"
Elizabeth Curley and Esaa Samarah Samarsky

Dr. Stephen Tripodi also announced two doctoral students for the best dissertation prospectuses reviewed by the Doctoral Program Committee. The award is named after Dr. Dianne Harrison, who served in several leadership roles at FSU, including dean of the College of Social Work. 

Dr. Tripodi shared that Elizabeth was honored for the prospectus, "A Pilot RCT of INTER: a Co-Parenting Alliance Program for Incarcerated Parents." He also congratulated Esaa, who could not attend, for his prospectus entitled, "Do Supervisors Drive Policy Implementation in Child Welfare? Formative Evaluation of Structured Decision-Making in Arkansas." 

Institute for Family Violence Studies Director's Award: Paige Reynolds Dupree

"Paige Reynolds Dupree"
Paige Reynolds Dupree

The final student award went to Paige Reynolds Dupree, an MSW student, for her dedication and commitment to ending all forms of family violence.

"As one of the most energetic and sparkling members of the institute's team, Paige has worked on such important projects as Sexual Violence Dynamics training for judges, as well as Working in Multidisciplinary Teams training for child welfare providers, among others," wrote Karen Oehme, the institute's Director, in her nomination. 

Instructor of the Year: Kimberly White

"Dean Springer and Kimberly White"
Dean Springer and Kimberly White

This year, the Instructor of the Year award, which recognizes the college's adjunct instructors, including many doctoral students, went to Kimberly White. Kimberly is an adjunct instructor and two-time FSU graduate who earned her MSW in 2003. 

"Kimberly White goes above and beyond each semester for our online students," wrote her nominator. "She is committed to educating new social workers by demonstrating the skills they will need during the weekend workshops with infectious energy and a warm presence. The College of Social Work is so lucky to have her. "

Professor of the Year: Carol Campbell Edwards

"Dean Springer and Carol Campbell Edwards"
Dean Springer and Carol Campbell Edwards

Dr. Carol Campbell Edwards, who completed her Ed.D. degree in Educational Leadership and Administration at the FSU College of Education this year, was recognized as Professor of the Year. She is the Director of the BSW Program and Professional Development, an Associate Teaching Professor, and a graduate of the College of Social Work, earning her BSW (1984) and MSW (1985). 

"Carol did such a wonderful job this year with LEAD Day!" shared her nominator. "She gave me a chance to shine as an MSW student and reconnect with my Saint Leo roots. I have also seen the guiding hand she is with other students in the program, and she deserves to be recognized for the influence she has had on FSU CSW!"

Field Educator of the Year: Harry Rohr

"Dean Springer and Harry Rohr"
Dean Springer and Harry Rohr

Harry Rohr, Residential Director at DISC Village in Tallahassee, Florida, was honored for his work with students in their field placements. 

"Throughout my internship, Mr. Rohr has consistently demonstrated an unparalleled depth of knowledge on all aspects of DISC Village and the National Association of Social Work (NASW). His expertise in these areas has shaped my understanding of the field and equipped me with the necessary skills to thrive as a clinical social worker," wrote his nominator. "He has taught me to approach each individual with empathy, understanding, and cultural sensitivity, recognizing that their experiences and backgrounds shape their unique journey toward healing. By integrating evidence-based practices with holistic principles, Mr. Rohr has underscored the importance of addressing the complex interplay between physical, emotional, and social factors in the lives of our clients."

Staff Member of the Year: Cathy Nipper

"Dean Springer and Cathy Nipper"
Dean Springer and Cathy Nipper

The college also announced a new award announcing a brand new recognize the hard-working staff of the College of Social Work. The inaugural Staff Member of the Year Award was presented to Cathy Nipper, the dean's Executive Assistant who served 6 deans for more than 20 years.

Cathy is also retiring in 2024 after 35 years of service at Florida State. The college honored Cathy’s service by also naming the award after her for all future recipients.





 Spring 2024 Graduation Event

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 - 08:56 AM
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