MSW program celebrates Colorado Springs graduates


The Newman University Colorado Springs Master of Social Work (MSW) program celebrated its 2021 graduates during a May 15 hooding ceremony.

The Colorado Springs outreach location started in 2005 and has helped hundreds of graduates realize their dream of launching a career to serve others.

Graduates of the program are always invited to walk during the university’s traditional commencement ceremony held in Wichita, Kansas, but the 500-mile trek can be hard for some. Faculty and administrators started the popular tradition of offering a local hooding celebration as a convenient alternative.

Roxxi Davis, MSW Program Director

Roxxi Davis, Ph.D., addressed the graduates: “For you, and for those who have supported and encouraged you, the achievement of this educational milestone is a time for both celebration and reflection.”

She added, “Your degree represents a process of transformation you have undergone. Through countless hours of hard work, self-reflection and new experiences and challenges, you have become more fully yourselves and grown both personally and professionally.”

A total of 17 graduates celebrated this semester. During the program, guest speaker MelindaJoy Mingo, Ph.D., talked to the graduates about the importance of the field in which they’ve chosen to practice.

“Social work is founded in such noble principles and purposes, but yet, the rewards can often be challenging, the rewards can be few or even no rewards at all,” said Mingo.

“You are necessary. People are struggling. Not just coming through (the COVID-19) pandemic … but it is the pandemic of life. It is the pandemic of every day waking up and sometimes not feeling like a human being. Not knowing where a person is going to get their next meal or child care. And you are needed.”

In addition to recognizing the graduates’ completion of the MSW program, one graduate received the MSW Distinguished Student Award. Each graduating class votes for a student who has stood out during their time in the program. The award is presented to a recipient chosen based on leadership observed among students, which includes a commitment to social work and serving the community.

The 2021 MSW Distinguished Student Award was bestowed upon Brooklyn Stern.

Stern’s professors described her as “eager to learn; a student leader and a supportive classmate … (who) hasn’t been afraid to ask, or provide responses to, some of the complicated and multi-layered questions that tend to come up in social work class discussions.”

Adrienne Canno, director of field education, said, “Brooklyn has excelled during her time with the Newman University Master of Social Work program. She came to the program driven, dedicated, excited … enthusiastic about social work and furthering her education with the goal of working with children and families.”

The MSW Colorado Springs 2021 class

The 2021 MSW spring graduates are listed below in alphabetical order.

  • Christopher Brinkley
  • Mary Margaret Duffy
  • Matthan Ibidapo
  • Zeilyn Joe
  • Courtney Kahl
  • Madison Kay
  • Jessica Marchese
  • Vincent Miller
  • Adam Morris
  • Carrie Murphy
  • Deborah Patton
  • Joyce Salazar
  • Danielle Sena
  • Kelsi Shannon
  • Brooklyn Stern
  • Danielle Thomas
  • Lorrine Williams


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