Meet the 2021-2022 NASW Foundation Scholars!

The NASW Foundation is proud to announce its 2021-2022 scholars. This exemplary group of master’s degree students is receiving $66,000 in awards from two programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion and assist NASW student members pursuing a variety of social work specialties:

Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarship—awarded to master’s degree candidates in social work who have demonstrated a commitment to working with, or who have a special affinity with, American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino populations.

Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial Scholarship—awarded to master’s degree candidates in social work who demonstrate an interest in or have experience with health/mental health practice and have a commitment to working in African American communities.

The NASW Foundation is awarding a total of 10 Gosnell Memorial Scholarships in the amount of $4,000 each and six Lyons Memorial Scholarships in the amount of $4,333 each. The Lyons scholarships were partially funded by a generous $20,000 award from the Tamara L. Harris Foundation in December 2020.

The Jane B. Aron Doctoral Fellowship and the Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship are paused in 2021-2022 (fellowships not awarded) to examine how they may be repositioned to best meet needs of social work scholars.

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Highlights: NASW Foundation Scholars

Follow this link to learn about all 2021-2022 recipients >>

Nicole Balbuena, University of California, Berkeley (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)

Nicole is a second year MSW candidate and Title IV-E scholar at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). In 2019, she earned her bachelor’s degrees in Sociology, Nicole Balbuena, University of California, BerkelyChicanx/Latinx Studies, and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

During her undergraduate studies, she established the first college, “Healthy Emotions and Attitudes in Relationships Today” (HEART) club through the support of Laura’s House, a domestic violence agency that provides support to victims of abuse in Orange County (OC). Here, she provided a safe environment for UCI students and at-promised youth in Santa Ana and Anaheim to discuss and raise awareness of intimate partner violence.

André Marcel Harris, University of Houston (Pronouns: He/Him/His)

André is an MSW/PhD dual degree student at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, specializing in Political Social Work.André Marcel Harris, University of Houston He serves as President of the Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) University of Houston chapter. He is a burgeoning, published social science researcher with research interests concerned with how the sociopolitical determinants affect the health of sickle cell and rare disease patients and black men.

André recently completed his MSW field placement requirements via the Austin Legislative Internship, a competitive program that places students in offices of the Texas House of Representatives. He served Texas State Representative Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston) of District 139. André serves on the Executive Board of the Sickle Cell Association of Houston and serves several other advisory boards for sickle cell and rare disease organizations.

Modupe Olayinka Billie Edogun, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)

Modupe is originally from Lexington, Kentucky. A love for science and problem-solving led her to the Georgia Institute of Technology where Modupe Olayinka Billie Edogun, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering. She worked in medical device sales for 10 years before deciding to pivot to another type of problem-solving.

Modupe is fulfilled by getting to know people, making them feel comfortable, and working collaboratively to identify healthy and productive coping strategies for life’s obstacles. As a rising final-year MSW student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she is formally pursuing her passion of helping others to live their best lives despite past experiences or current challenges.

To learn more, about these and all the 2021-2022 awardees please follow this link. Visit the NASW Foundation website to read about our scholarships, fellowships, and awards.

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Thank you for your support and friendship!

The Foundation Team

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