430 grads set to earn Social Work degrees

Friday, Aug 12, 2022

By Valerie Fields Hill
School of Social Work

Summer 2022 Commencement


More than 430 Social Work students will earn their degrees during commencement ceremonies this month in Arlington.

Commencement begins at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at College Park Center, on the University of Texas at Arlington campus.

The School of Social Work is among nine colleges conferring degrees during UTA’s summer commencement ceremonies at that time.

The colleges of Architecture, Planning, & Public Affairs, Business, Education, Engineering; Liberal Arts; Science and the Honors College and Division of Student Success also will confer degrees with the School of Social Work.

The College of Nursing and Health Innovation will recognize and celebrate its graduates during a separate ceremony at 11 a.m. on the same date at College Park Center.

Elizabeth M. Beck, an attorney and U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, will speak at Commencement. She spent more than eight years in the 223rd Maintenance Company, which was based in Grand Prairie.

In 2005, Beck deployed as a sergeant to Taji, Iraq, a rural town about 30 miles north of Baghdad, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After returning from Iraq, Beck completed a bachelor's degree and, later, a Master’s in city and regional planning at UTA. She worked as a transportation planner at the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Beck earned a law degree at Texas A&M University School of Law while she worked at North Central Texas COG. Now, she represents employees in wage disputes.

Among the summer Social Work graduates are Nibedita Shrestha, who will earn a doctoral degree and 377 others who will receive Master's diplomas.

Fifty-four students will receive their bachelor degrees.

“We couldn’t be prouder of these students who have completed their studies, persevering through the ongoing challenges of COVID and other public health emergencies,” Social Work Dean Scott Ryan said.

“They truly are exceptionally resilient. It is my hope they will take this resilience – this superpower they have developed during these times into a world that desperately is searching for resilience.

“Social Workers can lead in this way.”

The 432 Social Work graduates are entering the profession at a time career specialists are referring to as a “job seeker’s market”.

“Social workers are in high demand this year,” said Social Work career coach Jennifer Luna in her 2022 job outlook podcast for The New Social Worker, an industry magazine.

Luna, who is director of the DiNitto Center for Career Services at the UT-Austin’s Steve Hicks School of Social Work, said 2022 graduates will find employment in disciplines previously not as accessible to them.

“Our job market is fairly different than what we’ve seen in years. The job market is great,” Luna said in the latest episode of Conversations on Social Work Careers.

“We’ve seen jobs in different areas, such as diversity and inclusion. We’ve seen jobs opening up in libraries, with police departments and particularly in mental health. There are also a lot of remote jobs available.”


To watch more of Luna’s podcast, click here:


For postings on Social Work job postings, go to:



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