NASW Foundation Blog

Meet the 2020-2021 NASW Foundation Scholars and Fellows!
Kim Simpson

Meet the 2020-2021 NASW Foundation Scholars and Fellows!

Investing in the next generation of leaders! The NASW Foundation is proud to announce its 2020-2021 scholars and fellows. This exemplary group of 20 doctoral and master's degree students will receive $121,750 in awards from five programs, including:

  • Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarship—awarded to master’s degree candidates in social work who have demonstrated a commitment to working with, or who have a special affinity with, American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino populations.

  • Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial Scholarship—awarded to master’s degree candidates in social work who demonstrate an interest in or has experience with health/mental health practice and have a commitment to working in African American communities.

  • Jane B. Aron Doctoral Fellowship—awarded to social work doctoral candidates who are engaged in dissertation research in health care policy and practice.

  • Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship—awarded to social work doctoral candidates who are engaged in dissertation research in welfare policy and practice.

  • Social Work HEALS Doctoral Fellowship—awarded for demonstrated commitment to the field of health social work and engaged in dissertation research related to health care practice, policy or education.

The NASW Foundation awards 50 BSW and MSW scholarships and six doctoral fellowships totaling $286,750. This includes $165,000 for 30 BSW and MSW scholarships as part of Social Work HEALS, a partnership between the NASW Foundation and the Council on Social Work Education (these scholarships administered by CSWE), and $121,750 for the NASW Foundation's long-standing scholarships and fellowships.


Sicong (Summer) Sun, MSW, is an Aron Fellow. Her Doctoral dissertation is Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Relationship Between Wealth and Health. Summer is a doctoral student at the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned her MSW with a concentration of Social and Economic Development and a Research Specialization. Her research agenda centers on how racial inequities in wealth and financial access—as understudied social determinants— fundamentally shape downstream determinants of health. During her graduate study at the Brown School, Sun has worked with four research centers on multiple research projects, including both foundation and National Institutes of Health funded projects. Sun’s scholarship appears at more than 20 research conferences and peer-reviewed journals.

Fabiola Cuevas Flores, University of Chicago, is a Gosnell Scholar. Fabiola will begin the Master of Arts Program in Social Work and Social Welfare at the University of Chicago (UChicago) in the fall of 2020. As an undergraduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she majored in psychology and double minored in Chicana/o Studies and Applied Developmental Psychology. At UCLA, she also worked as a college advisor supporting Latinx youth in Pasadena, California and was on the executive board for UCLA’s chapter of Ignite, a national organization that empowers women to become politically active. Through these experiences and her own experiences as a Latina and a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, Fabiola’s passion for social work grew. She plans to utilize the knowledge she gains through UChicago’s MSW program to address the school to prison pipeline that pushes Latinx youth into pathways society has unjustly created for them.

Mervin Lawson Brandy, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is a Lyons Scholar. Mervin is a second year MSW student in the Joint Master of Social Work Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. He also is a Graduate Research Assistant in the school’s Department of Social Work and Sociology where he focuses on behavioral research in the areas of racial health disparities. During his first year in the MSW program, Mervin was instrumental in developing the Social Workers in the Library Initiative; a partnership with the MSW program and the county library to place social workers in the library to assist with vulnerable populations in need. This initiative focuses on implementing therapeutic interventions in nontraditional clinical settings.

To learn more, about these and all the 2020-2021 awardees please follow this link. Visit the NASW Foundation website to read about our scholarships, fellowships, and awards.



Your generous contribution, today, will enable us to continue this important work on behalf of the social work profession, the practitioner, and the public. We encourage you to tell your colleagues, friends, and family why you believe in our work and urge them to support us too. Follow this link to donate!

Thank you for your support and friendship. Please stay safe and healthy.

The NASW Foundation Team

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