School for Social Work To Award 112 Degrees at Aug. 18 Commencement

The Smith College School for Social Work will award 112 degrees—106 master’s degrees and six doctorates—at Commencement Friday, Aug. 18, at 4 p.m. in John M. Greene Hall.

Kimberlyn Leary, a scholar who advised the Obama White House on improving the lives of women and girls of color, is this year’s Commencement speaker. An associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and an associate professor in the department of health policy and management at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Leary is director of the Chan School’s Enabling Change leadership program for public health professionals.

As a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow, Leary served as an adviser to the Obama White House Council on Women and Girls for one year, developing an initiative that focused on improving the lives of women and girls of color.

Marianne Yoshioka, dean of the SSW, said the school is delighted that Leary will be part of Commencement.

“Dr. Leary’s work has provided an important lens regarding racialized experiences within the clinical process,” Yoshioka said. “We are fortunate, indeed, to hear her words of inspiration.”

Two graduating students will speak at Commencement:

This year’s ceremony will once again be livestreamed on Facebook.

Three exceptional social workers will receive Day-Garrett Medals at Commencement for outstanding contributions to the school and the field:

  • Jeana Hayes Carrier M.S.W. ’84, Ph.D. ’02;
  • Roberta Graziano M.S.W. ’68, D.S.W. ’89;
  • and Bok-Lim Kim, M.S.W., SSW Advanced Clinical Training Certificate ’64.

The Day-Garrett Award is named in honor of two leading social work educators: the late Florence Day and the late Annette Garrett. Garrett—who earned a master’s degree from the SSW in 1928—was appointed associate director of the school in 1935 under then director Everett Kimball. When Kimball retired in 1943, he was succeeded by Florence Day.

Following a longstanding school tradition, SSW Commencement celebrations will begin with a baccalaureate open to members of the graduating class Sunday, Aug. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Helen Hills Hills Chapel.

Graduation ceremonies will be followed by a reception in the Campus Center. A full schedule of this year’s SSW Commencement activities is available online.