Celebrating the Class of 2022

Congratulations Graduates!

Convocation is an opportunity to mark a key milestone in our students’ social work journey and to welcome them into our alumni network. It is a convoking, or calling together of our community to recognize and celebrate our students’ completion of their studies with us and to confer upon them their degrees. It also marks a beginning, where graduates start the next step in their journeys as social work professionals. Even more so this year, we are excited to come together with families and loved ones at the magnificent United Palace in Washington Heights to honor and cheer for our Class of 2022.

Our 2022 Graduates

We have all made it here, and it truly is a moment of celebration and recognition of each and every one of our Silver School graduates.

Neil B. Guterman, Dean and Paulette Goddard Professor
Christine Cocchiola in front of a window showing blurred trees wearing a white eyelet shirt
DSW

Christine Marie Cocchiola, a Coercive Control advocate, educator, researcher, and survivor, has been dedicated to the field of intimate partner violence since her late teens, beginning her career at a local umbrella agency where she continues to volunteer.

Cora de Leon leaning against a brick wall wearing small gold hoop earrings and a light grey sweater
PhD

Cora de Leon is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Program at NYU Silver. She has more than two decades of clinical and research experience and teaches in several subject domains at Silver.

Taelee Kawahinenanea Kimura standing on a beach in front of flowers and trees wearing a white dress under an open violet graduation gown and a floral crown, holding a graduation cap
BS

Taelee Kawahinenanea Kimura is from the island of Kaua’i. While earning her BS in Social Work, she minored in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. She will be pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work at NYU in the fall. 

Abigail McConnell wearing glasses and a dark green ruched shurt in front of a blurred lake and trees
BS

Abby McConnell minored in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and is a University Honors Scholar. She received the Changemaker Fellowship for her internship at the Syrian Community Network and the Foreign Language and Area Study Fellowship for her Arabic studies.

Sejal Mehta wearing an ivory collared shirt and black necklace in front of a light grey wall and window with a sheer white curtain
MSW

Sejal Mehta is a South-Asian daughter of immigrant parents whose journey to social work has been far from linear. She is excited to be a therapist to children and families and hopes to help transform mental health education in schools to be more inclusive and accessible.

Anderson Peguero II in front of a blurred grey backdrop wearing a black suit jacket, white collared shirt, and black tie
MSW

Anderson Peguero II is a writer, artist, and academic. Dedicated to collective liberation in all its forms, he has worked in direct clinical practice for the past year and plans to continue pursuing intentional, healing practice after graduation.

From Leadership at Silver to Impact in the Profession

Students across our degree programs have made an extraordinary and positive impact among their peers, the University, and the wider society. We give special recognition to those graduates who have served on our Student Leadership Council or Silver Peer Leaders, been inducted to the Phi Alpha Honor Society, Pi Pi Chapter or received special University awards honors.

Possibility

Thalia Aguiar

“My name is Thalia Alejandra Aguiar Salcedo. I was born in Quito, Ecuador but I grew up in a small town called Ambato. I have heard the phrase, ‘reach for the sky, the sky’s the limit’ and I am here to tell you that that is not the case. I am a believer that you can reach beyond the sky’s limit and accomplish anything you want if you put your mind and your heart into it. Sounds very cliché, but the reason I am telling this is because my entire life has been surrounded by barriers and limits. I immigrated to the U.S  not knowing any English words and being undocumented in this country brings up a lot of hardships and challenges. But I learned to push through and overcome them.”

Thalia Aguiar in front of beige wall
Perseverance

Robert Aviles

“[The COVID-19 pandemic] continues to both challenge and force each of us to look critically within ourselves (on all accounts) and at each other. We must choose to see those amongst us who’ve been historically excluded, erased, silenced, systematically disadvantaged, intentionally othered, and choose to amplify those whose stories and voices remain to be unheard. Through sustained oppression and injustice, the state of this world, and now understanding safety in a new way, and what these concepts mean in practice for today’s world, we must never lose sight of these things.” 

Robert Aviles in front of a grassy area with trees and cars in the background
Inspiration

Aadya Bhatia

“We at Silver can make anything happen. I witnessed community love and compassion for the first time in April 2021. Last year, we sprung into action using our privilege to serve our communities at home, for me in India, during a very devastating COVID crisis. Our friends at Silver rose to the occasion, opened their hearts and wallets, raised over $3,000 to procure life-saving oxygen tanks, and saved 24 lives. My first unforgettable lesson was that with this community of fellows, faculty and friends, living Angela Davis’ adage, we found reservoirs of hope and optimism in our collectivities. We can even make life happen.”

Aadya Bhatia wearing a grey ribbed sweater and printed scarf around her neck with glasses on her head, with light shining on half of her face coming through a window pane

Welcoming Grads to the Alumni Network

Since NYU Silver’s founding, more than 20,000 alumni have elevated lives around the world, addressing the concerns of those who are most vulnerable. Many have also remained actively engaged with the School. At our 2022 Convocation ceremony, Anika Carter, MSW ’18, the Internship Director and Supervising Senior Psychotherapist at Union Settlement and Co-Founder of Rooted LLC will welcome our latest graduates into our alumni network.

Anika Carter
MSW ’18
Co-Founder, Rooted LLC

We will continue to bring forward causes that need to be addressed, shifting the world on its axis as we support those who are oppressed.

Christine Marie Cocchiola, DSW ’22

NYU Silver Embraces the Core Values of the Social Work Profession

These core values, enumerated in the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective:

• Service
• Social justice
• Dignity and worth of the person
• Importance of human relationships
• Integrity
• Competence

This constellation of core values reflects what is unique to the social work profession.

Top of a pink graduation cap decorated with pastel flowers, gems, and a pink bow with glitter cutout text that reads It's a beautiful day to change lives

#NYUSilverGrads22