New BSW Students, Faculty Honored at A&M International Reception

Students and faculty for Texas A&M International University's new Bachelors degree in Social Work program were hosted at a special orientation reception and awards ceremony recently.

The event was the first of its kind and was held in the Killam Library.

New students were presented with a BSW Handbook and introduced to the expectations of the program added to the University's undergraduate degree inventory last year.

Student Nancy Nicholson of Dilley received the "Outstanding Scholar Award" in recognition of her achieving a 4.0 Grade Point Average at A&M International.

Julie Bazan, Susana Berrones, Bianco Bravo, Irene Duarte, Leticia Merla, Josefa Pena, Edna Rodriguez, Doris Vasquez and Nicholson received awards for their membership in the first BSW class at the University.

Dr. Ray Keck, the University's provost and vice president for academic affairs, presented "Dreams to Reality" Awards to Dr. Jerry Thompson, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, and Dr. Cecilia Garza, chair of the department of Psychology and Sociology, for their vision and diligence in securing the program for the University.

Also receiving awards were BSW faculty members Dr. Marian Aguilar, program direction; Denise Longoria, MSSW, director of field, and Dr. Peggy Munke, program faculty.

Dr. Garza noted the overwhelming need for the program in South Texas and indicated that the region's continuing growth will create diverse employment opportunities for graduates with the professional social work degree.

"Our goal is to prepare our graduates as generalists with a liberal arts perspective that will help them to attain degrees and preparation to qualify for State licensure and to work effectively in diverse settings and populations," Garza explained.

The BSW degree began this past August and is a 122-hour program including 48 hours in core curriculum, 56 hours in required social work courses and 18 hours in electives.

In addition to meeting the University's admissions policies, students pursuing the BSW will also need to have and maintain a 2.5 GPA; submit an application including a personal statement describing the student's interest in social work; three letters of recommendation and participate in a review conference with social work faculty.

In Texas, those identified to the public as social workers must be licensed under the laws and regulations of the State.

For additional information, please contact program director Dr. Aguilar at 956.326-2644, email to or visit offices located in the Killam Library, room 431A.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

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