The School of Social Work 2015 fall commencement ceremony took place in the LBJ auditorium on Saturday, December 5. The convocation speaker, chosen by her peers, was Chelsea Jones, BSW ’15.

graduation fall 2015
Class speaker Chelsea Jones (bottom row, second from left) at graduation

Jones is a McNair Scholar, Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) pre-grad intern, and a Longhorn Distinguished Scholar. During her time at UT Austin, Jones made a number of contributions to the campus community through her involvement with the DDCE’s Afrikan American Affairs as the community relations director, the Orange Jackets, Texas Gospel Fellowship, Student Government’s Diversity and Inclusion Agency, the African American Culture Committee as committee chair, the Shared Services Steering Committee as the sole student representative, and the International Office as a peer advisor. Jones has devoted her time to serving underrepresented groups on campus and enjoys being an advocate for the needs of others.

“While today commemorates the end of us formally learning how to be effective social workers, the truth is that we’ve spent four years truly learning how to be more of ourselves,” Jones said. “I firmly believe that social workers aren’t made in college, they’re made through life experiences. We became social workers when we lost that close relative, but despite our pain we still had to comfort and take care of our loved ones. We became social workers when we witnessed poverty first hand, and found the resources to help ourselves and others in need. We became social workers when we realized that there was something different about our approach to problems and the ills of society, and while other majors see our sensitivity as a weakness, we use it as a strength. We became social workers far before we knew what college we were going to, or even that there would be a major to fit our passions so closely. And we have those in the audience to thank for helping us get here.”

Read the full speech. See more pictures of the convocation ceremony on the School of Social Work Facebook page.

Posted December 7, 2015.