Welcome to our commencement web page!
When the Spring 2020 commencement ceremony at Coleman Coliseum was postponed due to COVID-19, it prompted a deeper look into how we celebrate our students’ accomplishments, and, how we share those stories. The result is this page, which will house feature stories, videos and social media links each commencement cycle, starting with our amazing Summer 2020 grads!
Additionally, we’ve uploaded three awesome profile picture frames on Facebook. Visit our Facebook page and/or search for the “University of Alabama,” “School of Social Work,” and “Commencement 2020.” Tag us w/ #UASocialWorkGrad when you upload your frame to social media, and when you share commencement photos during commencement week.
Past Commencement Coverage
Each semester, we highlight a handful of inspiring graduates who have navigated interesting paths to earning their degrees. From overcoming adversity to finding their passion through research and field placements, these stories are a just a snapshot of our amazing students and the remarkable work they do.
Congrats to these special Summer 2020 graduates:
Cynthia Perry, MSW
“Better late than never.”
“If at first you don’t succeed …”
Both of these phrases aptly describe Cynthia Perry’s path to completing her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Alabama School of Social Work.
Perry, a seasoned social worker, with over 11 years of experience in the social work profession, has a comprehensive background in various areas. This experience includes expertise in the area of medical social work, child/adult mental health, child welfare, child welfare policy, residential, and two years of post-graduate studies in special education-cross categorical.
Perry first applied to UA’s MSW program in 2004, just two years after earning her Bachelor of Social Work degree at Tuskegee University. At that time, she was keen to complete graduate school while her family was still young, but she wasn’t accepted to UA. She was also turned down by Auburn University’s MSW program.
Then, more than 10 years later, after the admonitions, encouragement, and support of a cherished friend and mentor, Perry re-applied to UA.
Angie Smith, MSW
After Angie Smith she lost her husband Thomas to undetected heart disease in 2018, she began her Master of Social Work through The University of Alabama’s primarily online program.
Tragically, seven months before her husband passed away, Angie lost her brother Bryan to a similar undiagnosed heart problem. Bryan had been “the biggest Alabama fan,” but honoring the memory of her loved ones isn’t the only reason she chose UA. She heard about the hybrid program (including online coursework, skills labs and field education placement requirements) from colleagues and friends who had recommended it, and she did her own research as well.
Her experience with the faculty and staff of the program was excellent, and she finished her MSW in just three semesters, graduating in May 2020. She plans to return to campus on Aug. 1 for commencement, as the spring ceremony was delayed until summer due to COVID-19. She’s excited about being able to wear honors cords from two different honor societies, Golden Key International and Omega Nu Lambda, an honor society exclusively for online students. “Finishing a master’s is an accomplishment in and of itself, but wearing those cords brings an extra level of pride,” she said.