Celebrating the Class of 2023
Graduation 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 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 were 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 2023.
NYU Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremony
Held on May 16 at New York City's historic United Palace in Washington Heights
Our 2023 Graduates
Class of 2023, congratulations for reaching a pivotal milestone on your journey in social work! We look forward to watching you transform the field and the world.
Selin Ceren Uzman is graduating with a minor in Social & Public Policy. She completed her field placement at Breakthrough New York as part of the Student Support Department, where she facilitated workshops and engaged in direct clinical work with students.
Hilary Hernandez is an Afro-Dominican daughter of immigrant parents whose journey to social work began through her work as a college advisor. Over the past six years, Hilary has supported countless students and families navigate decision making and knowledge building around post-secondary education.
Dr. Krystal Folk is an abolitionist social worker passionate about dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and advocating for and advancing the lives of Black and Brown youth and women. She is the Director of Social Work at a KIPP Middle School.
Dr. Pa Thor is a Clinical Research Associate in the Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Management Department at the Hospital for Special Surgery. She is passionate about studying healthcare segregation and mental health issues impacting marginalized and ethnic minority populations.
As social workers, we can make people feel seen, heard, and valued. Use this power wisely, and always strive to be a force for good.
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.
I urge you all to remember that a commitment to promoting social change and development is a core and vital aspect of our profession that we must remain dedicated to.
Christine Jane Liu, BS ’23
“We make choices every single day that will affect our lives, whether they be big or small. We all made the choice to join NYU’s Silver community. We made the choice to stay in this community and learn from it. For every class, we choose to show up, we choose to listen, and we choose to be better. Social work is a field that is entirely rooted in human services … We hear how heavy and emotional the role of a social worker is and yet, we have chosen to pursue this path, because we believe in the pursuit of things greater than our individual beings. We believe in social justice and equity for all. We believe in being a voice for those who have been silenced. And most importantly, we believe in each other."
Ivette Hurtado, MSW ’23
“Attending NYU Silver connected me with strong and dedicated colleagues. We all have different backgrounds and focuses but the one thing we share in common is the importance of empowering communities, helping our clients overcome what’s holding them back from prospering, and being the voice for those who need an advocate. NYU Silver and my clients taught me the importance of breaking generational trauma ‒ how to question and challenge trauma passed on from our families and a system of oppression. Most importantly, they taught me how to create opportunities for future generations to succeed and fight for what is right for others."
We have a unique perspective as social workers which allows us to navigate challenges with compassion and creativity.
Our Graduation Speaker
David C. Banks is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation. Appointed on January 1, 2022, he is the former President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation, and the founding principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City and Newark, N.J.
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 2023 Convocation ceremony, Luisa Lopez, President, Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund, welcomed our latest graduates into our alumni network.
In my time here at Silver, I figured out that learning while doing should not be saved only for the hardest days.
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:
• Social justice
• Dignity and worth of the person
• Importance of human relationships
This constellation of core values reflects what is unique to the social work profession.