Bachelor of Social Work Class of 2022 Celebrated at Virtual Convocation
St. Thomas University held a Virtual Convocation to celebrate the School of Social Work’s graduating class of 2022.
The ceremony was livestreamed on STU’s YouTube channel and is available to stream HERE. It included traditional elements of an in-person Convocation, including remarks from the president, address to the graduates, and valedictory.
Graduating students Dana Richardson and Lauren Ripley served as co-valedictorians. They reminded students to use the qualities and skills they developed at STU as they head into the field of social work.
"We have learned throughout this program the many important values and principles of Social Work. This includes advocating, outsourcing, personal reflection, group work and so on,” Richardson said. "One of the main learnings that will continue to impact our future careers is community. Social Work is not only an individual profession but a cohesive one as well; we cannot advance in this career without the help and support of each other."
Ripley added that although the graduates completed the entire 15-month program virtually, never meeting in person, they developed a strong bond with each other.
"This bond has continued long past our virtual learning ending. We now support and cheer one another on as we begin and pursue our social work careers, further educational pursuits, and other fantastic things."
The Hon. Graydon Nicholas, Chancellor and Endowed Chair in Native Studies, spoke to the graduates about being leaders in improving the lives, opportunities, and knowledge for society.
"Many of you will be involved with child welfare agencies, education, and policy development. You will have the privilege to shape systemic changes to improve the lives of youth, families, and communities," Nicholas said. "The future can be a path of hope and positive partnership for better tomorrows for all of us in this province and country."
STU President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell told the graduates that social workers provide a vital service to their community and that society will be better because of their efforts.
“Remember that the power you have to affect change may be realized one person at a time. When you are weighted down with the worries and the magnitude of the social injustices and issues that surround you, remember that a simple act of kindness can make someone’s life better. Any time you are able to make a difference in someone’s life, that’s a gift to you. That’s a victory. Remember your victories. They can serve as a source of inspiration."
Medal and Prize
Both the University Medal for Academic Excellence in the Bachelor of Social Work and the Fay Nagler Levine Memorial Prize went to Lauren Ripley of Sydney, NS.