School of SW Confers More Than 80 Degrees

Saturday, Aug 28, 2021

By Valerie Fields Hill 

School of Social Work


Summer Commencement Women Mavup Photo by: Randy Gentry
Summer Commencement Women Mavup
Photo by:  Randy Gentry



More than 80 students earned bachelor and master’s degrees in Social Work during the summer commencement ceremony Aug. 18.


Summer Commencement marked the second time in three months the University of Texas at Arlington held an in-person commencement exercise since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.


UTA held virtual commencement ceremonies in lieu of live events during the state-mandated lockdown in 2020. The university resumed in-person exercises in May with the Spring 2021 commencement ceremonies.


Summer Commencement Stage Phi Alpha Photo by: Randy Gentry
Summer Commencement Stage Phi Alpha
Photo by:  Randy Gentry

School of Social Work Dean Scott Ryan extended congratulations this week to the School’s graduates. He said they are entering the workforce at a time when Social Workers are most needed.


“So many of our neighbors are experiencing job loss, cutbacks in work hours and fear, anxiety and depression over their futures,” Dr. Ryan said. “We’re in times when parents, small business owners and school administrators – everyone, really - are worried over mask mandates, illness and caring for vulnerable children.”


“It’s quite a lot,” he said. “But our Social Workers are ready to connect workers to resources and families to the assistance they need. Social Workers are really poised to help struggling individuals in this pandemic environment we are in.”


The Aug. 18 commencement featured graduates of the School of Social Work alongside students who earned degrees from the College of Business. The Summer Commencement was held at the University of Texas at Arlington College Park Center.


Social Work Senior Associate Dean Debra Woody welcomed attendees and introduced the commencement speaker, Arlington City Council member Raul Gonzalez. 


Summer Commencement Hat Purpose Photo by: Randy Gentry
Summer Commencement Hat Purpose
Photo by: Randy Gentry


Gonzalez earned a Bachelor of Business Administration at UTA and was elected to the City Council in November 2020. He will serve until May 2022.


Before he was elected to the Arlington City Council, Gonzalez served for a decade, beginning in 2010, on the Mansfield school district’s Board of Trustees. He was president of the board from 2016 to 2018.


Gonzalez and his wife Kerry established the Raul H. and Kerry G. Gonzalez Endowed Scholarship, which is awarded annually to an Arlington or Mansfield high school student who will attend UTA.


To view more photos of Summer Commencement 2021, click here:


A recording of the commencement ceremony can be viewed by clicking on the following link.