Student and Alumni Spotlight

At the UMSL Student Leadership Awards Banquet, The Student Social Work Association was honored with several nominations and awards including:

Way to go everyone! We could not be more proud!

Student Social Work Association Awards

Hearts for Hope Uganda - An Update

Last year, BSW Students Madeline Stroder, Natalie Chambers, Jacqueline Jones, and Robert Graham, who were awarded a $3000 grant for their project Library Program for Nakabango, Uganda. The organization that will receive the grant is called Hearts and Hope for Uganda. With the grant, they were able to create a library and develop a reading rewards program in Uganda. Funding was made by the Henry E Niles Foundation. Madeline Stroder visited Uganda in June, and sent in these photos of the library and some students enjoying the books!

Ugandan LibraryStudents enjoying the new library

Congratulations to Danielle Wehmeyer, Cathleen Church, Camisha Tucker, and Gregory Faupel, students in the Social Work and Human Service Organizations class!

They were awarded a $12000 grant by the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust to fund an AIDS tester as part of a Walk-In Testing Increase Initiative for the Saint Louis Effort for AIDS organization.

St Louis Effort for AIDS

Kathy Harris, BSW alumna, was recently awarded the Kirkwood-Des Peres Area Chamber of Commerce's "Citizen of the Year" for 2016. Click here to read about Kathy's accomplishments.

Kathy Harris

Zabrina Hamilton, MSW alumna, was honored as 2016-17 Hazelwood School District's Social Worker of the Year. Zabrina was praised for her advocacy for students and families and for being a great asset to the Hazelwood School District's social work department. Way to go, Zabrina!

Zabrina Hamilton - Hazelwood's social worker of the year

As announced in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tiffany Jackson, BSW and MSW Alum and Adjunct professor for the School of Social Work, has been named executive director of Room at the Inn, which provides emergency shelter for homeless women and families.

Tiffany Jackson

A Mother-Daughter Academic Journey

Check out this profile from the the 8/31/16 UMSL Daily of BSW Alumna Kimberly Clinton and her daughter, Kalynn.

Kimberly and Kalynn Clinton

Student Op-Ed Published

Christina Pritchard, second year MSW student had an Op-Ed published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on 8/24/16. Way to go Christina!
Check out the article:
Why make it so hard for kids to attend good schools?


Women in Leadership

BSW student Crystal Johnson and Angela Coker, UMSL associate professor of counseling in the College of Education, co-presented a research project at the Women in Leadership Conference in Columbia in June 2016. Their project, done in conjunction with Education PhD students Claire Martin and Jennifer Culver, was titled, "The Intersections of being a SisterScholar: Lessons Learned in Higher Education," and focused on leadership development and Black women.

Our social work alumni make very real differences in the lives of St. Louisans. One such alumna is Angela Ruppel, who serves as an oncology social worker at Mercy Hospital. See her terrific profile in the UMSL Daily.

Angela Ruppel


Congratulations to BSW Students Madeline Stroder, Natalie Chambers, Jacqueline Jones, and Robert Graham, who were awarded a $3000 grant for their project Library Program for Nakabango, Uganda. The organization that will receive the grant is called Hearts and Hope for Uganda. The funds will be used to create a library and develop a reading rewards program in Uganda. Funding was made by the Henry E Niles Foundation. Madeline Stroder will be visiting Uganda in June, 2016 and may be able to help with the project there.

Congratulations Graduates!

The School of Social Work is proud of all of our Spring and Summer Graduates!


BSW Graduates

BSW Graduates


MSW Grads

Who's Who Among Students

Whos Who 2016

Seven students from the School of Social Work were recognized at UMSL’s annual banquet honoring students for inclusion in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Students are honored based on leadership, academic abilities, and community service. Honorees from the School of Social Work were from left to right: Rachel Hanks, Kathryn Deeken, Celia McManus. Not pictured: Matthew Fanning, Crystal Johnson, Kelly Moulton, and Marcus Woodson.

AnnaHall at Graduate Research Fair

Anna Hall presented her research project, "A Systematic Review of Effective Interventions for Reducing PTSD Symptoms in Refugees," at the UMSL Graduate Research Fair. Her presentation was awarded second place in the Social Science and Business category.

Congratulations, Anna!

Crystal Johnson

Congratulations to BSW Student Crystal Johnson on being awarded the St. Louis Wednesday Club scholarship! Crystal describes her experience with the Wednesday Club of St. Louis:

"This past Wednesday March 2, was an amazing afternoon dining in Ladue, MO with the women of the Wednesday Club of St. Louis. The club was founded in 1890 as a means for the women to continue their intellectual growth through education, science, literature, arts, and philanthropy.

I was invited to attend as their guest of honor and recipient of the Wednesday Scholarship. The club members were very welcoming, celebratory, and inspiring as they cheered me on in my future success. I was afforded an opportunity to speak before the group and expressed my gratitude by vowing to 'pay it forward' in my service.  My award amount was $1,400."

Our students and Alumni continue to make us proud!


Anna Boston Award

MSW Student Anna Boston (pictured above getting the award from Christina Troisi) was selected for the 2016 Social Work Leaders in Health Care of Metro St. Louis – Distinguished Student Award. This competition is among Master of Social Work students, either full time or part time, who have a health related focus and are from one of the three MSW programs in St Louis. The Distinguished Student Award consists of a check for $500 to be used at the student’s discretion, a recognition certificate, and a one year membership in the SWLHC. Congratulations, Anna!!!

BSW Students Secure a Grant from the TEGNA Foundation

Congratulations to three of our undergraduate students, Amy McKinney, Janelle Miller, and Kelly Ragan, who applied for and were awarded a grant in the amount of $3,450 for the Center for Women in Transition. These students put together the grant proposal for their course in Human Service Organizations. The grant money will be used to renovate apartments for Women in Transition.


ESL students in Rwanda

Kirsten Weaver, a MSW 2013 graduate, has begun her second term as a English as a second language teacher in Rwanda. She also runs an after school Reading Club program with an enrollment of over 70 students. The program offers the opportunity for students to be engaged in reading, participate in debates, and practice their English skills.

Kirsten and her husband Doug, who oversees an art program, have also started two separate gender equality clubs. Each of the girls' and boys' clubs are facilitated by the students and centers on building confidence, developing stronger relationships, and and learning to become good leaders.ESL students in Rwanda

Kirsten and Doug continue to be actively involved in community outreach and look forward to continuing their service in Rwanda.

While in the MSW program, Ashley-Marie Hanna, a 2004 graduate, spent a semester in Mexico working in social services. After graduation she moved to Denver and worked as a school social worker.  During this time, she remembers immigration officers coming to a soccer game to check IDs and how frightening it was for everyone.

Since then, Ashley was accepted into a doctoral program in the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. She is now working on her dissertation which investigates the experience of Latino youth and young adults living in mixed-citizenship families.  Ashley recently received a Graduate Studies Dissertation Fellowship. This is a merit-based fellowship to assist particularly outstanding students who demonstrate the greatest academic potential and whose research and writing is of the highest caliber.  Congratulations to Ashley!


Under ConstructionZabrina (Grisby) Hamilton, a MSW 2002 graduate, has written an original stage play, Under Construction, which premiered in at the Ambassador in St. Louis on April 18. The play deals with African American men and depression.

Zabrina is a currently an elementary school social worker for Hazelwood School District, and CEO/Author of ZMG Books.