Social work

Fall 2011 Newsletter

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Fall 2012 • Spring 2012 • Fall 2011

Welcome to Our Newsletter

We are thrilled to be able to share with you the first edition of the California State University, Northridge Department of Social Work e-newsletter. 

In May we graduated 75 MSWs, and a majority of those graduates have already embarked on their social work careers. 

Our MSW program is in the midst of some exciting growth. Please take a moment to read about our most recent accomplishments and the many additions the coming year will hold.

MSW Faculty at Spring 2011 Commencement

New Off-Site Programs

The CSUN Department of Social Work continues to expand and is currently offering an MSW program at sites within Los Angeles County where demand for an MSW has been expressed.  We are excited to announce the launching of a second cohort of the CSUN MSW program at the Department of Public Social Services in the City of Industry, and we are also thrilled to announce that the CSUN MSW program has been launched at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.  These off-site MSW Programs utilize the same curriculum as the on-campus MSW program, and are accredited by the College of Social Work Education.  As a result of our expansion, we have welcomed several new faculty members as instructors in these programs.  The Department of Social Work is excited about our continued growth, and we are thankful to the Tseng College of Extended Learning for their support in helping to deliver these new off-site MSW programs.

Student Awards, Scholarships and Fellowships

Several of our recent graduates and current student have received awards, fellowships and scholarships at  Department, Campus and State levels.   

Ryan Grady, MSW Student, Class of 2012 

In May 2011 Ryan was selected by CSUN President Jolene Koester and the CSUN Hearst Scholarship Committee to represent California State University, Northridge as the 2011-2012 Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award Scholar. In addition, he was awarded the $3,000 Hearst Scholarship. Ryan then went on to compete against scholars from 22 other CSU campuses and was selected to be the Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar. This award comes with an additional $10,000. Ryan will be honored on September 20th, with a reception at the CSU Chancellor's Office in Long Beach. 

Terriel Cox, MSW Graduate, Class of 2011 

Terriel was honored with the prestigious Nathan O. Freedman Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Student and the Association of Retired Faculty Memorial Award. Both awards are presented to a CSUN graduate student who shows the best record of distinguished scholarship, has a minimum GPA of 3.5 and has made significant contributions to their field of study. She also received the Excellence in Field Practicum Award (see below). 

Nancy Menjivar, MSW Student, Class of 2012 

Nancy was selected by the Office of Graduate Studies to receive the Graduate Equity Fellowship for the 2011-2012 school year. Nancy will receive a monetary grant as part of the fellowship and plans to obtain a doctorate and pursue an academic career in teaching and research.       

Noach KaplanAmber Roth and William Scoles, MSW Graduates, Class of 2011  

All three graduates were selected by the faculty to receive The Lieber Family Graduate Scholarship in Social Work for their excellence in the area of research.

Patrick BarnesAndrea Baxter, Danielle Beegle and Miranda Fierro, MSW Graduates, Class of 2011 

All four graduates were awarded the Jean E. Daniels Award for their leadership and academic accomplishments.

Miriam Cossio and Terriel Cox, MSW Graduates, Class of 2011 

Both graduates were selected by the field faculty to receive the Excellence in Field Practicum Award.

Dina Dubinsky, MSW Student, Class of 2012  

Dina was selected by the Department Scholarship Committee to receive the scholarship for Academic Excellence for the 2011-2012 school year.

Marilyn Rivas, MSW Student, Class of 2012 

Marilyn was selected by the Department Scholarship Committee to receive a scholarship for Excellence in Field Practicum for the 2011-2012 school year.

Dominique Furukawa, MSW Student, Class of 2012 

Dominique was selected by the Department Scholarship Committee to receive a scholarship for Excellence in Community Leadership for the 2011-2012 school year.

Rudy Castro, MSW Student, Class of 2012 

Rudy was selected by the Department Scholarship Committee to receive a scholarship for Academic Excellence for the 2011-2012 school year.  

New MSW Alumni Association Chapter

We are very excited to announce that the Master of Social Work Alumni Association (MSWAA) Chapter became an official chapter of the CSUN Alumni Association on July 1, 2011. Membership is open to any CSUN graduate who is a member of the CSUN Alumni Association.

The 2010/2011 board members are:

  • Luis Curiel, Class of 2008, President 
  • Heather Lang, Class of 2010, Vice-President 
  • Marvin Milian, Class of 2008, Treasurer 
  • Leah McGowan, Class of 2010, Secretary 
  • Tracey Downs, Class of 2010, Chair of Community Involvement Committee
  • Hilda Quigley, Class of 2010, Chair of Membership Committee
  • Frank Costello, Class of 2007, Chair of Communications/Newsletter Committee 

The chapter will be hosting events throughout the year focusing on networking and professional development for MSW alumni,  socializing, and raising money for scholarships for current and future MSW students. The first official chapter event will be held on October 29, 2011 from 2 to 5 p.m. 

Modeled on last year's successful Fall Alumni Event that was sponsored by the Department of Social Work, the afternoon will include networking, catching up with old friends and faculty, a silent auction to benefit the MSW Alumni Scholarship fund, and a special alumni panel titled "A Few Years Out: What Next?" Invitations for the October 29th event will be sent shortly by e-mail, so please hold the date! It's going to be a great afternoon!

Some of the goals of the Masters in Social Work Alumni Association chapter include:

  • To create opportunities for MSW alumni to become more connected to and interactive with the university, its students, community members, agencies and organizations.
  • To honor and showcase our alumni.
  • To strengthen and improve the chapter, which in turn, will provide additional financial and personal resources to promote the welfare and intellectual progress of current and former students at Cal State Northridge.
  • To raise funds to create scholarships for MSW students, conduct mixers and other social gatherings that promote the mission of MSW Alumni association.

If you would like more information or are interested in becoming a MSWAA member, email Heather Lang at   or click here. Whether you are a current or new member of the CSUN Alumni Association, please contact the CSUN Alumni Relations office (818) 677-2137 or at the website and let them know you would like to designate your membership dues to the MSW Alumni Chapter: a portion of your membership dues goes directly to the MSWAA Chapter to help further our chapter activities!

Department Events

Information Sessions for Prospective Students  

Held in the Whitsett Room, Sierra Hall 451 from 6pm until 7pm on the following days:  

  • October 12, 2011
  • October 26, 2011
  • November 16, 2011
  • December 7, 2011  

3rd Annual Diversity Day

The event will focus on immigration and is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 3, 2012.    

Please look for future Department of Social Work Newsletters for more information about what is happening in the program. We appreciate your support and please feel free to forward this on to anyone who might be interested. Hope you have a great semester!


The Faculty and Staff of the Department of Social Work at California State University, Northridge