Contact My SSW Intranet

Main menu

School of Social Work Winter 2022 Commencement

December 17, 10:00 AM ET

Hill Auditorium
825 N University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Event Details   Directions to Hill Auditorium

Health & Safety

  • Commencement will operate in conjunction with the current University masking policy allowing masks to be optional.
  • All students, faculty, and staff must complete the ResponsiBLUE screening prior to entering campus buildings.
  • Guests must complete the ResponsiBlue guest screening.

The School of Social Work Commencement will be held in-person. Tickets are not required for graduates or guests. 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.

Commencement Live Stream

Letter from the Dean

Dear Graduates,

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

You have earned your MSW during difficult and historic times, requiring focus, tenacity and determination. Your academic efforts and success have prepared you to become skilled and effective leaders, prepared to face the challenges of our field.

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 are 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 Phillip Fellin Collegiate Professor of Social Work


Keynote Speaker Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

Chad Dion Lassiter

Chad Dion Lassiter is a National Expert in the field of American Race Relations. Mr. Lassiter has worked on race, peace, and poverty-related issues in The United States of America, Africa, Canada, Haiti, Israel, and Norway, and is called upon frequently by media outlets to provide commentary on race relations and potential solutions.

He is the current Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, where over his four years in this position, he has continued to push the Commonwealth forward in the spaces of DEI Training, Unconscious Bias Training, Anti-Racism Training and has developed and launched a ‘No Hate in Our State Townhall’ to address the surge of White Nationalism in Pennsylvania, a ‘Social Justice Lecture Series’ providing an outlet for the communities in the State to discuss imperative issues and serves as a Racial Reduction Response team for those communities impacted by hatred. He oversees a staff of 87 with three Regional Offices that comprise the 67 Counties in Pennsylvania and manages an annual budget of $11 million dollars.

He has also developed programs under his appointment, such as a ‘Global Social Justice Initiative’, ‘Black and Jewish Beloved Community Dialogue’, and the ‘College Race Dialogue Initiative.’ Mr. Lassiter received his Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Social Work, where he was the A. Phillip Randolph Award winner in 2001 and was the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Award in 2008.

Mr. Lassiter is a co-founder and current president of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice’s Black Men at Penn, the first Ivy League Black male group of social workers. Since 2003 this transcendent group has sought to recruit Black males into the profession, as well as, provide Anti-Racism and violence prevention training to urban and suburban schools around the country and diversity and inclusion training for corporate entities and penal systems.

Mr. Lassiter has been recognized by the Philadelphia Tribune as “The Most Influential African American Leader from 2010-2022”, as “Who’s Who among African-Americans" 17th edition in 2004 with such notables as Colin Powell and Michael Jordan.

On November 18th, 2019, Mr. Lassiter was inducted into the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice Alumni Hall of Fame. On October 26, 2021, Mr. Lassiter was chosen as National Association of Social Workers, Pennsylvania Chapter Social Worker of the Year for 2021.

Blair Baker Student Speaker Blair Baker MSW Degree Candidate

Blair Baker is a 2022 University of Michigan School of Social Work graduate hailing from the eastside of Detroit. Prior to completing this master’s program, she attended Michigan State University and received a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in social science with a focus on community governance and advocacy.

Baker has been committed to social justice and Afrocentric social work throughout her career. She has previously worked with the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, creating social justice campaigns and engaging youth participatory practices. Baker also worked for the Department of Enrollment at Detroit Public Schools Community District to enhance high school selection processes. She worked in residential facilities with youth who experienced extreme levels of abuse or neglect. Baker also started her own social entrepreneurial business called Finesse Dining, aimed at creating accessible luxury dining experiences.

Baker spent time interning with Concert of Colors on their strategic planning team, which focused on blossoming the bridge of art, music and social justice this year. She also remains active in her sorority Sigma Gamma Rho,which just turned 100 years old.

Baker recently started a new role as an academic advisor at Wayne State University and will continue her commitment to equity and social justice work.

Rogjett Peterson Student Speaker Rogjett Peterson MSW Degree Candidate

Rogjett Peterson (she/her/hers), is a Detroit Integrated Health Scholar, as well as an Area Health Education Center Scholar through a partnership with Wayne State University. She has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA from Azusa Pacific University (California). She has over 20 years of combined work and volunteer experience in education, human resources, and community outreach within the U.S. and globally in Haiti, Lebanon and Thailand.

Peterson spent the last several months providing virtual therapy services through Reach Us Detroit with the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network. She also provided brief therapeutic interventions embedded within the Beaumont Medical Center (Westland, MI) through Starfish Family Services.

A couple of highlights of her time spent in the School of Social Work include being a recipient of the Carol Goss Leadership Scholarship and having the opportunity to work with Dr. Daicia Price to co-develop a continuing education course — which they will both teach in January — that examines the impacts of client oppression.

Peterson has joined Southfield Mental Health Associates as a therapist and is looking forward to building her private practice and mental wellness brand. Her desire is to serve as a resource to strengthen and unify her community, and provide a space for healing among marginalized and intersecting identities, particularly those of the African Diaspora.

Commencement Resources

Contact Us Press escape to close