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Student of The Year Awards
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Annually, one BSW and one MSW student from each accredited social work program in the state is nominated to receive the NASW-Michigan Social Work Student of the Year Award. Each student is recognized at a special regional awards ceremony for outstanding academic achievement, commitment to the Code of Ethics, leadership on and off campus, political and legislative engagement, and contribution to a positive image of the social work profession.   


Thank you to the Western Michigan University, Saginaw Valley State University, and Wayne State University for hosting this year’s awards ceremonies.


Congratulations to the 2019 Awardees:

  • Morgan McCarty- Central Michigan University, BSW
  • Raenece Johnson- Michigan State University, MSW
  • Latrice Robbins- Saginaw Valley State University, BSW
  • Robin Greiner- Saginaw Valley State University, MSW
  • Joy Jennings- Spring Arbor University, BSW
  • Angela Bonham- University of Michigan–Flint, BSW
  • Brodie Lobb- Adrian College, BSW
  • Kayla Strong- Eastern Michigan University, BSW
  • Zachary Ellsworth- Eastern Michigan University, MSW
  • Katherine Schmaltz- Madonna University, BSW
  • Natalie Taylor- Madonna University, MSW
  • Amanda Demerl- Oakland University, BSW
  • Candice K. Bryant- University of Detroit Mercy, BSW
  • Mitch Paradise- University of Michigan, MSW
  • Masuma Jinnat- Wayne State University, BSW
  • Dominique Golden- Wayne State University, MSW
  • Mikelle Wile- Andrews University, BSW
  • Allen Jay O'Carey- Andrews University, MSW
  • Jordan Pine- Calvin College, BSW
  • Morgan Martin- Cornerstone University, BSW
  • Rachel Ibarra- Grand Valley State University, BSW
  • Yvonne Gorajec- Grand Valley State University, MSW
  • Abigail Bowman- Hope College, BSW
  • Megan Dyke- Kuyper College, BSW
  • Mary Dempsey- Western Michigan University, BSW
  • Hannah Mills- Western Michigan University, MSW


Check out NASW-Michigan's YouTube Channel to view student acceptance speeches.



You Cannot Pour From An Empty Cup


On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, MSW candidate Natalie Taylor accepted the NASW-Michigan Student of the Year Award for Madonna University. At the awards reception at Wayne State University, Natalie treated the audience as she read a poem she wrote, “Cup Status”, about her life, supports, and a message to social workers. Read the poem below.


Watch the full Southeast Michigan Student of the Year Awards Ceremony on NASW-Michigan’s Youtube Channel at


I’d like to talk to you about something that might seem strange

but I promise it’ll make sense after this word exchange

I’m simply here to inform you of your cup status

options include beaker, goblet, glass, flute, mug or chalice

whatever your preference I here to remind

each cup is ready to receive, hold and contain by its design

whichever one you choose is up to you

but while I have your attention, I wanted to take some time

to let you about mine, just a thing or two

you see my clay was plucked from the purest of lands

then hand crafted from the finest of motherly hands

I was painted by childhood with the most vibrant of colors

as a teen fired in a kiln with the deepest dolor’s

yet I rise out of the darkness like rebel with a cause

I now chose to embrace my design rather than find my flaws

as student cup status I had a purpose and it was to receive

I am appreciative of that journey but thank god! now I must leave

as I begin this transition cup filled high

I look back once more, shed a tear and say my good bye

one foot in front of the other, chin to the sky

I can proudly say I am the cup that will provide

So If anything there are a few things from this poem

I’d like for you to take to your car

One, understand that cups are givers or receivers

But also maybe two way streeters

Because just a cup was designed to be

Pouring is another of its capabilities

Last but not least and I cannot express enough

You cannot pour from an empty cup

Past Award Recipients

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