By Simon Baker, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. –Campbellsville University’s Carver School of Social Work recognized students for completing the Baccalaureate of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs during a pinning and hooding ceremony recently at Campbellsville Baptist Church.
Dr. Michelle Tucker, dean of the Carver School of Social Work, welcomed everyone to the ceremony.
Alyonah Kidd of Liberty, Ky., who graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work, said the reason each of her classmates chose to major in social work was a personal decision.
“Perhaps some of us had a direct experience with a social worker,” Kidd said. “Maybe you didn’t accept the adage, ‘Help me accept the things I cannot change,’ but instead, you work to change the unacceptable things.
“Maybe you want to be on the front line of changing policy or procedure. Or as I have, you chose social work because that special person in your life inspired you.”
Kidd said a career as a social worker will be overwhelming and demanding.
“There will be deadlines and dilemmas, and times will get tough, but we must remember the interest that was sparked in us,” she said. “That reason “why” has brought us here today,” Always remember your ‘why’ because each one of them ultimately brought us all here today.
“Go be the change!”
Kalon Moody, Master of Social Work director of field education and assistant professor of social work; Neil Caldwell, assistant professor of social work; and Dr. Melissa Ketner, assistant professor of social work, introduced the BSW graduates.
Dr. Kimberly Mudd-Fegett, associate professor of social work and PCWCP coordinator, and Dr. Renee Smith conducted the pinning of the BSW graduates.
The candidates were as follows: Lakayla Berry of Clarksville, Ind.; Sarah Brown of Parksville, Ky.; Lauren Ferriell of Raywick, Ky.; Lily Ford of Russell Springs, Ky.; Rachel Ford of Republic, Mo.; Mercedes Fulkerson of Louisville, Ky.;
Megan Hanners of Grayson, Ky.; Abigail Johnson of Campbellsville, Ky.; Megan Jones of Somerset, Ky.; Alyonah Kidd of Liberty, Ky.; Elizabeth King of Barstow, Calif.; Stephanie Marion of Lebanon Junction, Ky.; Stephanie Murphy of Louisville, Ky.; Tina Patty of Louisville, Ky.; Melia Rainwater of Somerset, Ky.;
Mishal Seyal of Louisville, Ky.; Carley Shanks of Science Hill, Ky.; Ashley Shell of Bowling Green, Ky.; Alexis Sosh of Junction City, Ky.; Angei Varona of Louisville, Ky.; Ashley Williams of Harrodsburg, Ky.; and Hillary Winters of Calvert City, Ky.
Moody, Caldwell and Dr. Melissa Ketner, assistant professor of social work, introduced the Master of Social Work hooding candidates. Dr. Dianna Cooper-Bolinskey, Master of Social Work program director and associate professor of social work, conducted the hoodings.
Hooding candidates were as follows: Roxanna Aldrete of Rochester, Minn; Peter Anderson of Ringgold, Ga.; Kendall Armstrong of Bremen, Ky.; Elizabeth Barker of Reedley, Calif.; Sara Bice of Evans Mills, N.Y.; Bobbi Bledsoe of Louisville, Ky.; Rachel Bloedel of Chicago, Ill.;
Tammy Brock of Williamsburg, Ky.; Rebecca Burns of Lebanon, Maine; Martha Carlisle of Lexington, Ky.; Carly Cerrie of Lexington, Ky.; Julianne Chapman of Gansevoort, N.Y.; Alaina Combs of Louisville, Ky.; Rebecca Crisp of Pineville, Ky.;
Kethia Dorceus Pierre of Raeford, N.C.; Alexandria Duncan of Louisville, Ky.; Karen Dunsbergen of Knoxville, Iowa; Deon Farrow of Ashland, Ky.; Karah Geyer of Lexington, Ky.; Kathryn Grabowski of Southbury, Conn.; Crystal Grijalva of Fresno, Calif.;
Whitney Hampton of Eagle, Idaho; JoyceLyn Hardin of Hazel, Ky.; Sherina Hartman of Mannsville, Ky.; Savanna Haycraft of Clarkson, Ky.; Sarah Hayes of Campbellsville, Ky.; Briana Henderson of Lexington, Ky.; Courtney Hilbert of Springfield, Ky.;
Leeanna Holler of Mayslick, Ky.; Emely Hutson of LaFollette, Tenn.; Stephanie Jarman of Belton, Mo.; Jennifer Jennings of Radcliff, Ky.; Eryn Johnson of Independence, Ky.; Valcinda Joseph of Fairbanks, Alaska; Brianna Juarez of Bowling Green, Ky.;
Sarah Just of Reedley, Calif.; Andrea King of Mansfield, Ohio; Elizabeth Kinsel of Trenton, Ohio; Jacqueline Kirkbride of Zanesville, Ohio; Caitlin Larson of Marion, Iowa; Benjamin Law of Eltkon, Ky.; Autumn Leber of Taylorsville, Ky.;
Nicole Lehman of Cincinnati, Ohio; Lacey Lewis of Ashland, Ky.; Dawn Livingston of Clarksville, Tenn.; Rose Maurrasse of Grayson, Ky.; Jessica McGraw of Roanoke, Va.; Haley McGraw of Glendale, Ky.; Michelle Melton of Cheektowaga, N.Y.;
Ruby Mena of Merced, Calif.; Sara Meuth of Henderson, Ky.; Morgan Mills of Bowling Green, Ky.; Alicia Mueller of West Bend, Wis.; Meleah Murray of Bolivar, Mo.; Jennifer Nance of Louisville, Ky.; Grace Ortega of Louisville, Ky.; Sharma Owens of Salem, Ore.;
Sarah Palmer of Owensboro, Ky.; Chloe Parks of Manchester, Ky.; Kristen Phillips of El Paso, Texas; Gena Prater of Vine Grove, Ky.; Elizabeth Quakenbush of Seattle, Wash.; Cheyenne Rouse of Louisville, Ky.; Amy Russell of Hustonville, Ky.;
Darla Soliz of Fresno, Calif.; Tiffany Souza of Southport, N.C.; Corinne Strong of Midland, Ohio; Dayna Utley of Madisonville, Ky.; Alina Vizcarra Merced, Calif.; Anna Willis of Louisville, Ky.; Kirsten Wind of Mount Prospect, Ill.; and Destiny Wright of Somerset, Ky.
Combs introduced herself as “a mother, a wife, a business owner and a second chance student.”
“You see,” Combs said, “I have had more second chances than I deserve in life. I am a 9th-grade high school dropout, a person who is in long-term recovery from SUD, and I am a formerly incarcerated person who now uses all my experiences on both sides of life that I have been blessed to live to help and fight for folks who have been and still are in the darkest of places.”
Combs said she is the second person in her family to go to college and the first to earn a master’s degree.
“You see, breaking generational cycles and setting the stage for my children is the real success in my story,” she said.
Social workers, Combs said, “are the glue that holds society together.”
“We are led by our passion and empathy,” Combs said. “We are the bridge that joins social and emotional well-being and professionalism. We are diverse in every way and if we see that someone is treated unfairly or unjustly, you better get out of our path.”
She said, “Going through the Carver School Advanced Standing program was not easy, some days I wanted to quit. Some days I cried, and some days I fought.”
“Whether or not you are just now beginning to embark on your lives and careers as young social workers,” Combs said, “or you are coming back to collect another piece of your education, or if you are like me, old, and getting a second chance to build a career and make a difference in the world, just remember, the code of ethics, and that the world can always use more heroes.”
Dr. Jennifer Lanham, associate professor of social work at Campbellsville University, inducted the following students into the Phi Alpha society: Alexis Sosh, Alyonah Kidd, Carley Shanks, Lauren Ferriell and Mishal Seyal.
“Phi Alpha is a social work honor society,” Lanham said. “BSW students must achieve a 3.5 GPA, and MSW students must achieve a 3.75 GPA.”
Lanham said the candidates were elected to the society based on their scholarly achievement and interest in social work.
“The highest honor that one can receive in social work at Carver School of Social Work is being extended to you because you are now a proven candidate for initiation and have met all the requirements of our organization,” Lanham said.
Dr. DeNika VanCleave, associate professor at Campbellsville University recognized Alyonah Kidd, and Rachel Ford for being involved in the Social Work Community Service Club.
“The purpose of the social work club is to provide the opportunity for students to serve the community through group and voluntary projects,” VanCleave said.
Dr. Anne Adcock, Bachelor of Social Work program director and professor of social work, gave closing remarks.
Kendall Armstrong, who graduated with a Master of Social Work, gave the opening prayer, and Lakayla Berry, who graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work, gave the benediction.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with an enrollment of nearly 12,000 students. The university offers over 100 programs of study including doctoral, masters, bachelors, associate and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.