Student Support

School of Social Work Awards and Scholarships

There are many financial awards available to MSW students during all phases of their enrollment at the School of Social Work. Some awards are based on academic achievement, while others are based on experience in the field.

Students may apply for various monetary awards ranging from $500.00 to $6,000.00. Scholarship applications are sent to all MSW students enrolled in the spring semester. In addition to the financial award, the recipient’s name for many of the awards will be engraved on a plaque at the School of Social Work and the student will be recognized at the annual awards ceremony. The Recruitment, Admissions, and Financial Aid Committee reviews and ranks all submitted applications.

Adah Hopkins Award

This award is designated for a current student who is balancing many obligations while attending graduate school, who is handling these obligations in a positive, professional manner, and for whom the award would assist them in meeting the educational demands of graduate school. A student may be nominated by a peer, faculty, and/or staff, but cannot self-nominate.

Becca Nimmer Marcus Award

This award is made possible by funds from Dr. Paul Marcus in honor of his wife, Becca Nimmer Marcus. Ms. Marcus received her MSW from the School of Social Work in 1983. The recipient must be a full-time MSW student who has identified the field of mental health as an area of professional interest and intends to practice in that area upon graduation.

Downing Field Education Award

This award is given to a current MSW student participating in an unpaid internship and involved in community organizing or advocacy.

Samuel and Ruth Blinick Memorial Award

This award was established by Art Blinick in honor of Samuel and Ruth Blinick. The recipient must be a full-time student who plans to work with the elderly population upon graduation.

Educational Opportunity Award

This award is made possible by funds from an anonymous donor dedicated to the field of Social Work with the hope that the fund will increase the number of minority social workers in practice. The recipient must be a full-time student who is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe, African-American or Latino heritage.

Frank Itzin Award

This award for Excellence in Field Education commemorates Frank Itzin, Professor Emeritus. This award is given to a student in field placement who demonstrates the highest level of attainment of the goals of field education: the integration of learning and practice. The award consists of a certificate and addition of the winner’s name to a plaque at the School of Social Work.

Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship was established in honor of Gabe W. Miller, who died in 2005 while a MSW student at the University of Denver. The recipient of this scholarship has an advocacy and/or community organization interest who demonstrates excellent promise in the social work profession.

Marietta Stevenson Award

This award is made possible by funds contributed in memory of Marietta Stevenson, first Dean of the School of Social Work. The recipient must have a policy interest which is supported by demonstrating leadership in class projects, student organizations, and/or community/internship experiences.

Mark P. Hale Award

This award, in honor of the second dean of the School, is designated for an outstanding MSW student who demonstrates potential for making a significant contribution to the profession of social work. The student is nominated by a faculty member.

Patchner-Ramanathan Award

This award is made possible by funds contributed by former Associate Professor Michael Patchner and retired Professor Pallassana R. Balgopal in memory of their parents. Applicants must be a full-time student who has identified health care or service to the elderly as an area of professional interest and intends to practice in that area upon graduation.

Ron Moorman Award

This award is made possible by funds contributed in honor of Ron Moorman, retired CEO of the Child Care Association of Illinois. The recipient must be a full-time student who has identified the field of child welfare as an area of professional interest and intends to practice in that area upon graduation.

Roxie A. Watson Memorial Award

This award is made possible by funds contributed in memory of Roxie A. Watson. The recipient must be a current MSW student who has succeeded in their academic pursuits despite encountering obstacles to success. The award shall be given to a student who demonstrated a desire to make a difference but who may not typically qualify for assistance with priority given to single parents, direct caregivers, and veterans with secondary preference given to students have encountered other significant personal obstacles.

Shirley Wattenberg Award

This award is made possible by funds contributed in memory of Shirley Wattenberg, Associate Professor emerita who was a faculty member from 1965-1988 at the School of Social Work. The recipient must be a full-time student who has identified the field of health care as an area of professional interest and intends to practice in that area upon graduation.

School of Social Work Alumni Board Awards

Made possible by the work of the Alumni Board. These monetary awards are given to two students each semester during their field practicum, in addition their names will be placed on a plaque at the School of Social Work. MSW students who have received no other financial support are eligible for this award.

Doctoral Awards

Our doctoral program prepares the next generation of researchers and policy analysts, as well as for the rigors of university-level teaching. Contributions toward these awards will provide important opportunities for their growth as researchers and teachers who will impact the lives of our most at-risk populations.

Ackerson Award for Excellence in Student Teaching

This award is given to a PHD student who excels in teaching while in the pursuit of a doctoral degree.  This award was established in 2015 by Dr. Barry Ackerson in honor of his family, and in support of doctoral students who place a high priority on outstanding teaching. More information

Cynthia Bell Fund

This award was established by family and friends of Cynthia J. Bell, PhD alumna. The award supports doctoral research in the areas of child welfare and law.

Daniel S. Sanders Fellowship

This award is made possible by funds from Christobel S. Sanders, whose husband was former Dean at the School of Social Work. The purpose of this award is to support a PhD candidate who has an interest in international social development.

Ernie Gullerud Dissertation Award

Established in 2000 by Ernie Gullerud, retired Associate Professor. This award is designated for a PhD student in support of dissertation defense.

International Dissertation Award

This award is made possible by funds contributed by former School of Social Work Professor Steven Andersen to support international students working on their dissertation.

John Poertner PhD Award in Child Welfare

This award will support PhD students specializing in child welfare.

Doctoral Research Fund

This fund will provide financial support for PhD students.

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