The University of Maryland School of Social Work (UM SSW) has a rich history of graduating social workers and professionals in the field who embody the ethics and character that the National Association of Social Work requires. The UM SSW Alumni Association, together with Dean Judy Postmus, are proud to acknowledge its graduates who have demonstrated exemplary service to the field of social work. Please see the criteria below for these awards:

2022 Homecoming photo w Dean

2025 Alumni Association Awards Nomination Form 

Alumni Award Criteria:

Alumni of the Year Award:

This award acknowledges and honors a UMSSW graduate who is making an outstanding professional contribution to the larger community, as well as to the field of social work. The honoree, whose achievements are well-known, exemplifies the best professional social work values, and regularly demonstrates leadership and innovation.

Emeritus Award:

This award acknowledges and honors a UMSSW graduate who is retired or is nearing retirement, and whose entire social work career has demonstrated innovation, creativity, and passion. This honoree has made a lasting impact on the community, as well as in the profession.


Field Instructor of the Year Award:

This award acknowledges and honors a UMSSW alum who is making a significant contribution to the advancement of field education through outstanding leadership, supervision of interns, and mentoring the next cohort of social work professionals. The recipient must be a current Field Instructor and fulfilled expectations outlined in the Field Education Manual.

Innovation in Social Work Award:

This award acknowledges and honors a UMSSW graduate who has demonstrated creativity in developing and implementing a program, service, or intervention that addresses an unmet societal need, an existing gap in service, or provides a promising intervention (clinical, administrative, policy, advocacy). Demonstrated use of "best practices" by the nominee should be considered and referenced in the nomination.

Recent Graduate Award:

This award acknowledges and honors a graduate who, within eight years of graduating from UMSSW, has demonstrated significant accomplishments. During this short post-graduate time period, the honoree has already made important contributions to the field and has achieved substantial and note-worthy results/positive impact within the social work profession.

Student of the Year Award:

This award acknowledges and honors a student who is currently enrolled in the UMSSW, and whose exemplary efforts and involvement in the UMSSW demonstrate the positive impact and accomplishments that the student is expected to make post-graduation. The student’s performance can be assessed using the student’s: current practice/field work, volunteer engagements, extracurricular participation (i.e. student government, LSO, etc.), research assistance, advocacy on behalf of a population/ issue of concern to social work and/or community organizing work.

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