Commencement Awards

Mandel School Student & Faculty Commencement Awards

Nominations are held every spring to recognize outstanding Mandel School faculty members and graduating students for their exceptional achievements in the classroom and community. All awards are not given every year. Student and faculty commencement awards are presented during the Mandel School's Diploma Ceremony in May each year. Nominations for the 2022 awards are open until Friday, April 15.

Mandel School Diploma Ceremony Student Speaker

Nominate one of your classmates to speak as a representative of the Class of 2022 at the Mandel School's Diploma Ceremony on Sunday, May 15.

Mandel School Diploma Ceremony Student Speaker Nomination Form

Irene Sogg Gross Award

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.

Irene Sogg Gross Award Nomination Form

Outstanding Field Instructor Award

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.

Outstanding Field Instructor Award Nomination Form

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 MSW 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: Full-Time Teaching Nomination Form

John A. Yankey Outstanding Teacher Award: Adjunct Teaching Nomination Form

John A. Yankey Outstanding Teacher Award: MNO Program Nomination Form

Sylvia and John A. Yankey Community Service Award

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.

Sylvia and John A. Yankey Community Service Award Nomination Form

Norma C. and Albert I. Geller Student Award

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.

Norma C and Albert I. Geller Student Award Nomination Form

Arol Schack Dissertation Award for Outstanding Social Welfare Doctoral Student

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 on Dec. 17, 2021. Congratulations to the recipients of the 2021–22 Arol Shack Dissertation Award!

Kylie Evans | For her proposal, An Examination of Relational Resilience Among Adolescent Girls and Emerging Adult Women Exposed to Childhood Intimate Partner Violence.

Tyrone Hamler | For his proposal to investigate the prevalence and predictors of decisional conflict among non-dialysis dependent African Americans over the age of 50 who are diagnosed with advanced chronic kidney disease.

Fei Wang | For her proposal to examine primary caregiver’s stressors and depressive symptoms for those that provide care for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Dean's Award for Outstanding Student Achievement

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.

Dean's Award for Outstanding Student Achievement Nomination Form

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.

Advocate for Human Rights Award

The Advocate for Human Rights Award is given to a recipient who has made significant contributions to the social work profession as an education innovator, role model and creator of opportunities for others.

Advocate for Social Justice and Leadership Development Award

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.

Distinguished Service Award

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

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

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.