Commencement celebrations started Friday, May 20, with the traditional School of Social Work barbecue, which this year had to be moved indoors due to inclement weather.

graduation may 2016The School of Social Work 2016 convocation ceremony took place in Bass Concert Hall on Saturday, May 21. The convocation speakers for the ceremony were Elizabeth Dorantes, BSW ’16, and Shana Rubenstein, MSSW’16.

“Denis Saleeby writes that ‘the strengths perspective honors two things: the power of the self to heal and right itself with the help of the environment, and the need for an alliance with the hope that life might really be otherwise.’ I have had social workers uncover in me the power to heal and the hope that life might be otherwise, and now it is our job, and our privilege to work with others to heal, hope for, and create a world that might be otherwise,” Rubenstein said (read the full speech, pdf).

“The real social work did not begin when we stepped into the classroom to have those discussions. We’ve been doing social work all along. It was after school, when we cared for our parents dealing with addictions, depression, and grief. We’re parents, raising a child while we work tirelessly to find the time to work on group projects. We’re students in recovery advocating for issues on a greater scale. We’re students with disabilities, navigating through spaces that were made without us in mind. We’re immigrants living with so much pride but very real fear that our family could be separated at any point. We’re a small class, but nonetheless, powerful,” Dorantes said (read the full speech, pdf).

See more pictures of the barbecue and convocation ceremony on the School of Social Work Facebook page.