Commencement 2022

Group of 2022 graduates smiling

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences celebrated the graduation of its Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO), and PhD in Social Welfare students on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

The master's degree ceremony took place in-person at the Maltz Performing Arts Center's Silver Hall; the school of graduate studies ceremony took place at the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center at 2:30 p.m. This year's convocation ceremony also took place at the Veale Center but was only open to undergraduate students. All of the ceremonies were live-streamed for off-campus viewing.

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb (LAW ’18; MGT ’18) addressed the class of 2022 at convocation, just four years after earning his own two degrees from Case Western Reserve. Supreme Court Justice Melody J. Stewart (PhD ’08; JD) delivered the Mandel School's diploma ceremony address.

Sunday's celebrations marked the university’s first indoor ceremonies since 2019, and President Eric W. Kaler’s first CWRU Convocation since taking office last July. Kaler honored university trustee Frank Linsalata, who previously chaired the board and the university’s $1.82 billion capital campaign, with the 2022 President’s Award for Visionary Achievement.

The Mandel School hosted a reception for its graduates in Noble Commons following the master's degree ceremony.

Adrianne Fletcher with all of the Mandel School's Black graduates

Case Western Reserve University's Black Student Graduation was held on Friday, May 13. Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Adrianne Fletcher was the keynote speaker and 2022 graduate Kyle Thompson was the student speaker.

Watch how CWRU celebrated Commencement 2022

2022 Mandel School Student and Faculty Awards

Congratulations to all of our 2022 award winners!

Irene Sogg Gross Award

Ariana Wilin

The Irene Sogg Gross Award was established by Milton Gross to honor the memory of his wife, Irene Sogg, a 1940 Mandel School graduate. The award is presented to a member of the graduating class, chosen by their peers, in recognition of outstanding interest and accomplishments in the areas of humanitarian service.

Sylvia and John A. Yankey Community Service Award

Gabriela Leskur

The Sylvia and John A. Yankey Community Service Award is presented to a graduate who has actively engaged as a volunteer in one or more successful community service activities or projects while a student at the Mandel School. The spirit of the award is to recognize a student who exemplifies Professor Emeritus John A. Yankey's dedication to community service and his desire to strengthen the nonprofit sector. The award brings public attention to the extensive commitment of students to the nonprofit sector, and provides an opportunity to highlight both the student's involvement and the nonprofit organization.

Norma C. and Albert I. Geller Student Award

Tara Daniel

The Norma C. and Albert I. Geller Student Award is awarded to a Mandel School student who has done significant work in child abuse prevention. The nominee can be a student who graduated in the August, January or May terms.

Dean's Award for Outstanding Student Achievement

Hind Salih

The Mandel School Dean's Award for Outstanding Student Achievement is presented to a graduate whom faculty feel exhibits academic achievement, exceptional service to the school, and exemplary performance in field education.

Arol Schack Dissertation Award for Outstanding Social Welfare Doctoral Students

Kylie Evans, Tyrone Hamler and Fei Wang

The PhD in Social Welfare doctoral program's Arol Shack Dissertation Award for Outstanding Social Welfare Doctoral Student was established through donations from friends and alumni of the program along with a matching gift from Gigi Nordquist. The fund honors the many years of work and dedication that Arol Shack devoted to the doctoral program, its students and faculty members as the department assistant.

One to two awards are given each year depending on funds and the number of applications received. Funds are used to support the student’s work on his/her dissertation research. The expectation is that the work funded through this award will be completed by the end of the one-year grant award period. Full-time and part-time students who have an approved prospectus, a dissertation chair and have passed the Qualifying Exam, are eligible to apply. Any dissertation topic is accepted.

A faculty committee reviews the applications for the dissertation award and makes recommendations to the chair of the doctoral program based on the merits of the proposals and the financial needs of the applicant. Formal recognition of the award occurs at the graduate studies awards ceremony each spring. This year's winners were announced in December 2021.

Outstanding Field Instructor Award

Alan Hejduk, MSSA ’06

The Outstanding Field Instructor Award recognizes one individual for their incredible work, as well as their commitment to students and to the future of the profession. Field instructors are the social workers in the agencies who work without extra pay to help students apply classroom theory to the realities of today's service delivery challenges, develop their professional skills, and grow their identities as professional social workers.

John A. Yankey Outstanding Teacher Awards

The Outstanding Teacher Awards honor Professor Emeritus John A. Yankey, who was nominated a record number of times as "Outstanding Teacher" in both the MSSA and MNO degree programs for his ability to enlighten, motivate and inspire students. Each award is a testimony to the tremendous talent and commitment of our faculty members.

  • John A. Yankey Outstanding Teacher Award for Adjunct Teaching

    • Fei Wang
  • John A. Yankey Outstanding Teacher Award for Full-Time Teaching

  • John A. Yankey Outstanding Teacher Award for the MNO Program

    • Jennifer Madden, PhD; MNO ’95

Dean’s Discretionary Awards

The Dean's Discretionary Awards are not issued every year—only when there is a clear individual who shines and embodies the criteria of each of the respective awards.

Distinguished Service Award

Bridget Wiles, MSSA ’11

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a social worker for outstanding contributions to the social work profession, the community and the Mandel School.

Grace Longwell Coyle Award

Nancy S. Wadsworth, PhD ’06; MSSA ’70

The Grace Longwell Coyle Award honors one of the finest educators in social work history. It is given to a person who embodies the spirit, commitment and innovation shown by Grace Longwell Coyle, whose work in the YWCA provided her with a platform for her exploration of group work. As a result of her scholarly pursuits and sincere dedication, Grace Coyle not only created a discipline, but positioned the Mandel School as the nation’s leading resource in group work theory. 

Herman D. Stein Distinguished Social Work Educator Award

M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad, Jr., PhD

The Herman D. Stein Distinguished Social Work Educator Award is an exceptional award given only when a body of work is deemed significant and a recognized contribution to social work education and the profession, as evidenced by scholarly pursuits, leadership and academic excellence. The award honors Herman D. Stein, Dean Emeritus of the Mandel School, for his life’s work, extraordinary body of knowledge, and commitment to social welfare both in the U.S. and abroad—he was a social work luminary whose work changed the face of international social welfare.

Advocate for Human Rights Award

Celia Williamson, PhD; MSSA ’94

The Advocate for Human Rights Award is awarded for significant contributions as a leader, role model and creator of opportunities for others.

Advocate for Social Justice and Leadership Development Award

Hon. Justice Melody J. Stewart, PhD ’08; JD; Commencement Speaker

The Advocate for Social Justice and Leadership Development Award is the Mandel School's highest honor, given to a recipient for their many significant contributions to promoting social justice, empowering communities, shaping public policy, informing social change and transforming lives.

2022 CWRU Graduate Awards

Each spring, faculty and students are nominated for awards offered through the School of Graduate Studies, and more than one hundred awards are given from across the university during the annual awards ceremony. Congratulations to this year's award winners from the Mandel School!

Diekhoff Award Nominee

Megan R. Holmes, PhD

Diekhoff Awards recognize outstanding graduate mentoring and teaching. Up to four Diekhoff Awards are given annually, two for mentoring and two for teaching. Faculty members who receive these awards must have an appointment in a department awarding degrees through the School of Graduate Studies. Nominations are made by graduate students, faculty members and student associations.

Ruth Barber Moon Award

Sarah Balser

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Research Award

Meagan Ray-Novak and Cheryl Ross Appline

The Graduate Student Council's Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence Research Award provides funding to CWRU master's and doctoral students who are conducting research with historically marginalized populations. The grant addresses critical gaps across disciplines in the research and application of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Social Justice Research Fellowships

Tyrone Hamler, Hyunjune Lee and Gabriela Leskur

Social Justice Fellowships for Graduate Students are awarded to students who are helping to advance the Social Justice Institute's mission to create a more just world.

Marie Haug Award

Charnissa Boulware, MSW, CNM and Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

The Marie Haug Award is presented annually to a graduate student who has shown exemplary performance in their gerontological studies. The award was established in 1990 to honor Dr. Haug’s pioneering work in aging at Case Western Reserve University, who co-founded the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing's University Center on Aging and Health in 1978. This year's winner was announced in March 2022.