Welcome alumni and friends!

Message from interim director Jim Reinardy

Dear alumni and friends of the school of social work,

Greetings to you, and especially to those of you who are new to the alumni role, having just graduated this past spring/summer. I can’t tell you how impressed I was by how everyone—faculty, staff, students, our community faculty, and field supervisors—rose to the occasion this spring semester in moving and adapting to online and remote learning. This is not the kind of stuff that happens from administration on down, but can only happen when everyone is in tune with and dedicated to the mission of the school.

The pandemic will continue to greatly affect our actions as a learning institution. The campus will not be a place to hang around or to meet and greet. Social media and communication technology will become even more important as we try to connect with one another as a learning community. And they will be especially important as we connect with you. Professional schools like SSW can’t survive without input and connection from the community they want to serve.

The key source of learning is not from textbooks but from lived, informed experience. So please keep in touch with this alumni page, and with the school's Facebook page. Recently, we have been putting special effort into using Facebook to keep you and all of our constituents informed on many happenings that affect our practice. We have been especially focusing on keeping on events, webinars, and actions related to racism and social and youth work.

We very much value you and understand the important role you play as members of our SSW community. If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to Zer Vang, our alumni director, vang0655@umn.edu or to me at jreinard@umn.edu.

Stay safe and keep well,

Jim Reinardy

SSW alumni
Clockwise from top left: PhD grads 2011; Youth Studies grads 2017; YDL grads 2015; MSW grads 2014

Stay connected and engaged

Be an alumni ambassador

We are looking for alumni to be ambassadors for our school! There are many ways to be engaged as an ambassador:

  • Connect with prospective students via email, phone, or in person who are interested in our programs
  • Get featured on our website to share your experience with prospective students, current students, and other alumni
  • Participate in panels, presentations, information sessions, events, etc.

Be as involved as you’d like—it’s flexible! If you’re interested, please complete this form, and we will contact you with more information!

Update your contact information

Stay connected with us! If your contact information has changed, please complete this short form to stay connected with us - with updated news, employment opportunities, and to make sure you’re on our list for our e-newsletter!

Share with us what you are doing

Prospective and current students are eager to learn more about what our alumni are doing after graduation. Filling out this form will help us keep track of alumni career paths.

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Focus on SSW alumni

Read what these amazing alumni and students are up to!

Caitlin Bordeaux

Photo of Caitlin Bordeaux

As a YDL student last year, Caitlin Bordeaux, received funding for a project aimed at increasing Native American student participation in a youth leadership institute. The award was part of a Student Social Innovation Challenge that sought to support students' ideas for making human service systems more effective, efficient, and just. Read more about Caitlin.

Rachel Engstrom

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MSW alum Rachel Engstrom has written a book, Wife, Widow, Now What?, she hopes will help others feel less alone when dealing with the serious illness of a loved one. Read more about Rachel.

Allen Edwards Madding

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MSW alum Allen Edwards-Madding, a school social worker, is using the listening skills he honed as an MSW student to help his clients be the best person they can be. Read more about Allen.

Simone Gbolo

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YDL alum Simone Gbolo is the executive director of the Public Policy and International Affairs Program, a national nonprofit organization that promotes the inclusion of underrepresented groups in public service. Read more about Simone.

Mai Ku Moua

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Mai Ku Moua, MSW '15, is a clinical social worker in the Atrium Health Levine Children's Specialty Center (LCSC) in Charlotte, North Carolina, providing psychosocial support for pediatric patients. Read more about Mai Ku.

Katie Schoeppner

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Since earning her MSW in 2009, Katie Schoeppner has been working in the medical social work field. She now works with transplant patients and their caregivers through Be the Match. Read more about Katie.

Trumanue Lindsey

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YDL alum

Lindsay Walz

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YDL alum

Payton Jordahl

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YDL student

Erin Sugrue

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PhD alum

Salma Hussein

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Youth Studies and MSW alum

Continuing education discounts for alumni

Alumni of the University of MN School of Social Work receive a 10% discount to classes offered through our Continuing Education program, which provides three certificates (Supervision in Social Work, Interdisciplinary Trauma Studies, and Trauma-Effective Leadership Certificates) and over 45 one and two-day classes each year. More information regarding our certificates and classes can be found at our website. Please email the Continuing Education Program manager at ceseries@umn.edu for information on receiving your alumni discount.

Alumni News

MSW Alumna Brenda Hartman is using her Bush Fellowship to write a curriculum to help health professionals talk about death with their patients. Read more.

Angie Hirsch, American Indian Mental Health Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, is Social Work Alumni of the Year. Read more.

YDL graduate Jenny Collins, Executive Director of University YMCA, is spotlighted by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. Read more.

Alumni Events

MSW Alumni Career Panel Recording Available
Alumni of the Master's of Social Work program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities participated in a career panel in November 2018. The panelists, Tracy Crudo, manager of the Minnesota Child Welfare Training System for the Child Safety and Permanency Division at the Minnesota Department of Human Services; Christina Gonzalez, director of Student Support Services at Richfield Public Schools; Michelle Ness, executive director of PRISM, a nonprofit social service agency in Golden Valley, and Angela Lewis-Dmello, Family Services director at CornerHouse in St. Paul, shared what they have learned from their years of experience recruiting, interviewing, and hiring social workers. Watch the one-hour presentation.