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School of Social Work Summer 2023 Commencement

July 29, 10:00 AM ET

Hill Auditorium
825 N University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Event Details Directions to the Hill Auditorium

The School of Social Work Summer Commencement for Master of Social Work students will be held in-person and livestreamed on the SSW website. Hill Auditorium doors will open for guests and graduates can begin arriving at 9:00am.

A light reception will be held at the U-M School of Social Work (1080 S. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI) immediately following commencement.

Please email with any questions.

The SSW Commencement will be livestreamed on this page and on the front page of the U-M School of Social Work website.

Letter from the Dean

Dear Graduates,

Congratulations! We are thrilled to celebrate your hard work and dedication together with your friends, families and loved ones.

In pursuit of your MSW, you have gained the skills, knowledge and training to make a difference in the lives of others. You are effective, practiced facilitators and leaders who know how to take a stand, address injustice and engage the community. As you begin the next chapter of your lives, remember that education is a lifelong process. Keep in touch with your faculty and classmates and keep listening and learning from your clients and colleagues.

University of Michigan social work graduates have a reputation for their expertise, dedication and achievement. Today you join 17,000+ alumni who lead the field as policymakers, agency directors and foundation leaders, who improve lives as accomplished and effective social workers. We look forward to hearing how you apply your talents for the good of people and communities.

You have earned the term “the leaders and best.” On behalf of the Michigan Social Work community, I wish you every success as you reach out, raise hope and change society.

Go Blue,

Beth Angell
Dean and Professor of Social Work


Keynote Speaker Christine Sauvé, MSW ‘11
Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

Jason Smith

Christine Sauvé, LMSW, leads community engagement, policy advocacy and communications strategies for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, working to ensure immigrant Michiganders experience equity, justice and belonging. Sauvé partners with immigrant communities across the state to share stories and advance policy change at the state and local levels. Sauvé regularly speaks to community groups, elected officials and advocates about issues related to immigration, inclusion and equity. She is a member of the Michigan Advocacy Program’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and also serves as co-chair for the Detroit City Council’s Immigration Task Force. Previously, Sauvé served as director for the Welcoming Michigan project and contributed to several publications on the topic of social cohesion. In 2013 she was one of ten national leaders honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for her efforts to promote immigrant inclusion. Sauvé served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mauritania and Senegal, and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. She is a graduate of the New Detroit Multicultural Leadership program, Detroit Equity Action Lab, Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange and Detroit Revitalization Fellows. Sauvé received her MSW and undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. She is an advocate for social justice, loves birding and dark chocolate, and is happy to call Detroit home.

Student Speaker Anne Flegenheimer

Anne Flegenheimer

Anne Flegenheimer (she/her) is an MSW candidate in Social Work Practice in the Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Pathway. She lives in Saginaw, Michigan, with her husband, Mark, and Portuguese water dog, Reggie. Flegenheimer is originally from New York City where she lived until her first child was born. She and her husband moved to his hometown of Saginaw, where they raised their two children: Trevor, a U-M alum, lives in Chicago; and Katie, an Indiana University graduate, lives in Indianapolis.

Flegenheimer graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and George Washington University many years ago with a Fashion Buying and Merchandising degree and a business degree respectively. Her first career was in retail as a graduate of the Executive Training Program for Macy’s. She continued in the field, working with Lord & Taylor and Ann Taylor in New York City.

After her move to the Midwest, Flegenheimer decided to focus on raising her son and daughter and work in the non-profit sector as a volunteer. She worked with The Junior League of the City of New York as a teenager and has been a part of this organization for over 40 years. She transferred to the Great Lakes Bay Region chapter when she moved to Michigan. Flegenheimer was the volunteer interim director for the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum from 2020-2021. The Child Abuse and Neglect Council awarded her the Child Advocate of the Year Award in 2023 for her work as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) from 2013-2023. This role as a CASA was instrumental in developing her desire to pursue her MSW in order to continue working in the mental health field as a therapist.

Student Speaker Grey Pearmine

Grey Pearmine

Grey Pearmine (he/him) is an MSW candidate in the Social Work Practice with Older Adults and Families from a Lifespan Perspective pathway. He lives in Detroit, Michigan, with his husband, Bobby, and two young sons, George and William. Born and raised on his family’s farm in rural Oregon, he misses the ocean and mountains that are taller than 2,000 feet but strongly prefers Midwestern kindness and generosity. He feels like a real Michigander now but will, unfortunately, probably never like Coney dogs.

Pearmine graduated from the University of San Diego a long time ago with a degree in Communication Studies, where he somehow managed to keep his grades strong enough to maintain an academic scholarship while living in Mission Beach. A personal experience years later sparked his interest in becoming a hospice volunteer, which he did for many years. Through this work, he witnessed firsthand the unique perspective of social work and its impact on families navigating deeply meaningful transitions. Fast forward to the fall of 2022, Pearmine realized a longstanding dream of getting his MSW, where he was honored to participate as a Geriatric Scholar.

Pearmine would like to thank his family and friends for their support and encouragement, his classmates and professors for sharing their wisdom and knowledge, and his field instructor Julia for being the best first-time social work parent a guy could hope for. Special thanks to his husband, Bobby, for getting through that first semester. Yowza.

Pearmine intends to pursue oncology social work at Karmanos Cancer Institute, working with patients and their families as they navigate their illnesses, focusing on those transitioning to palliative and hospice care.

Student Speaker Jasmyne Short

Jasmyne Short

Jasmyne Short is a New Leaders in African-Centered Social Work Scholar in the Management and Leadership Pathway. Hailing from Racine, Wisconsin, Short's passion for education and community support has been evident since her early years.

Short pursued her undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she obtained her BSW. During her time at the School of Social Work, Short's remarkable achievements were recognized through various awards and honors. She was the recipient of an Anti-Racism Fund Individual Student Project Grant, the Alumni Board Scholarship and the SSW Global Independent Study Grant. In fact, she is currently preparing to embark on an exciting journey to Ghana to complete a global independent study as the culmination of her degree.

As an MSW student, she interned at the Program on Intergroup Relations, a social justice education program. In the fall and winter terms, she served as a graduate assistant at Common Ground, a student-led program aimed at nurturing social identity development and enhancing group dynamics within student organizations, residence halls, Greek life, academic courses and other student communities. Currently, Short holds the position of Program Manager of the Summer Youth Dialogues program, where she supports the facilitation of critical diversity dialogues among high school students and young people in the highly segregated metropolitan area of Metro Detroit.

Short's commitment to community and support for others stems from the profound influence of her grandmother, who passed away at the beginning of her academic journey. This personal experience has served as a reminder for her to remain strong and has reinforced her motivation for her pursuits.

Looking towards the future, Short aspires to work within higher education, specifically focusing on supporting BIPOC and first-generation students in social justice and DEI spaces. She is deeply passionate about anti-racist work and strives to create more African-centered spaces.

Commencement Program


Photos from the Ceremony

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