Social Work students honored during a virtual pinning ceremony

The University of Pikeville-College of Nursing and Human Services honored eight new social workers during the sixth annual and inaugural virtual pinning ceremony on May 1.

Graduates were acknowledged by social work faculty during the virtual pinning ceremony recognizing their commitment to higher education and dedication to the profession of social work. 

UPIKE School of Social Work Chair Genesia Kilgore-Bowling, Ph.D., MSW, CSW, celebrated this milestone and the distinctiveness of the 2020 ceremony.

“Six years ago we began the tradition of pinning social work graduates as a way to celebrate the successful completion of challenging course work, honor the hundreds of service hours that each of these young professionals have provided to our community, and to wish them well as they begin a new journey as knowledgeable and skilled change agents who will work diligently to create a more just society and improve the quality of life of all they serve,” said Kilgore-Bowling. “These amazing graduates have not only finished the semester strong but because social work is considered an essential profession during these unprecedented times, they continued to complete fieldwork and began their career in the wake of a global pandemic. Their commitment to professionalism and servant leadership is awe-inspiring and truly commendable.”

Social work students Andrea Adkins of Virgie, Ky., and Ashley Justice of Elkhorn City, Ky., were two recipients of the Excellence in Social Work Award for receiving the highest overall GPA and exhibiting leadership, commitment and values to the ethics of the profession of social work.

“I found my home and passion in the social work program at the University of Pikeville,” said Adkins. “During my time in the program, I made lifelong friendships, memories that can never be forgotten, and started my journey with a difficult but extremely rewarding career.”

The Outstanding Achievement in Social Work Award was presented to Brittany Tackett of Shelbiana, Ky., for achieving at least a 3.5 GPA overall both within the social work program and overall.

UPIKE President Burton J. Webb, Ph.D., issued a charge to the 2020 social work graduates.

“We know that you are going to do great work, you have been trained well, and you are ready to take the next step in your career,” said Webb. “I charge you with being the very best servants you can be for the greater good of the community and the world; go out and do great things.”