Scholarships and honors

The desire to make a difference in people’s lives through social work should never be hindered by financial barriers. So, in addition to working with the VCU Office of Financial Aid, the school offers a broad range of scholarships, research assistantships and awards.

Scholarships

For more information on any of the scholarships listed on the following pages, contact the Office of Student Success.

Honors

Each year the VCU School of Social Work recognizes outstanding students who have contributed leadership and service to the school and/or university, and who have otherwise distinguished themselves through commitment and dedication to a particular area of social work. Faculty and students may nominate outstanding students to be recognized for the following awards. Honorees are presented with the awards at the school’s annual Student Success Awards Ceremony and Reception.

Elaine Rothenberg Social Work Award

Each year the VCU School of Social Work honors an outstanding student in the B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs with the Elaine Rothenberg Social Work Award. As the dean of the School of Social Work, Rothenberg exemplified the following characteristics: academic excellence, service to the university, community and profession; and exceptional personal qualities of compassion and leadership. One student from each program is eligible for the Elaine Rothenberg Social Work Award.

David N. Saunders Legislative Award

The David N. Saunders Legislative Award was established in honor and memory of David N. Saunders, Ph.D., associate professor of social work. The award recognizes Saunders and his commitment to furthering social goals through involvement in the legislative process at all levels of government. Saunders was an active participant in the development of social policy in state and local government, and he was well-known and respected in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly.

School of Social Work Social Justice Award

The Social Justice Award is given to a B.S.W., M.S.W. or Ph.D. student who has demonstrated a commitment and dedication to the ideals of social justice through his or her activities while a student in the social work program.

School of Social Work Leadership and Service Awards

The School of Social Work requests nominations from students and faculty for determining those graduates in the B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs who have demonstrated leadership and service to the school, the university and the community.

The Helen Pinkus Award

The Helen Pinkus Award is given jointly by the Virginia Society for Clinical Social Work and the VCU School of Social Work to honor Pinkus’ contributions to the practicing and teaching communities. Pinkus, a noted clinical educator and faculty member in the VCU School of Social Work, was a founding member of the Virginia Society for Clinical Social Work. At the time of her death in December 1978, she was teaching clinical casework in the VCU School of Social Work. The award recognizes a student who is achieving a standard of excellence during her or his preparation for clinical practice.

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Membership

Phi Kappa Phi is a national honor society promoting the pursuit of excellence in all academic fields. Founded at the University of Maine in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi recognizes outstanding achievement by students, faculty and others through election to membership. Graduating students with excellent academic credentials and demonstrated leadership qualities are nominated by the School of Social Work for Phi Kappa Phi membership each year.

Phi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work Students

VCU Chapter/Nu Rho
The purposes of Phi Alpha Honor Society are to provide a closer bond among students of social work and to promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work. Phi Alpha offers membership to B.S.W. and M.S.W. students, faculty and practitioners. Eligible students will be invited via email to join during the spring semester.