The Silver Community
A Diverse, Supportive Learning Community
NYU Silver is distinguished by the strong sense of community among our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, who are united by a commitment to service and social justice. As a relatively small school within a top-tier research university based in one of the world’s most dynamic cities, NYU Silver encourages faculty-student interaction, incubates and sustains a wide range of student organizations, and fosters lifelong friendships, while providing access to all that NYU, NYC, and our campuses in Rockland, Westchester, and Shanghai have to offer.
The cohort I entered the MSW program with were a wonderful group of students. We stuck together throughout our two years here. We studied with each other, we fought with each other, we had happy hour with each other. Everything we did, we did together, and I think that’s what was important to push us along.
The NYU Silver Community
Recent graduates, faculty, and staff describe the special character of the Silver Community.
Helping Fellow Students Find Their Roles in Social Change
As a summer Graduate Student Assistant in our Office of Career & Professional Development, Sejal Mehta, MSW ’22, developed a bi-weekly, Instagram Live “Silver Social Change Series” to kick off the Fall 2021 semester. Based on Deepa Iyer’s Social Change Ecosystem Map, the series gave students an opportunity to hear from peers and professors about the roles they play in micro, mezzo, and macro spaces. It was also a way to foster community and connection as the new academic year began.
Amplifying Our Collective Voice for Social Justice
At its core, social work is social justice and that work cannot be effectively pursued alone. At Silver, we encourage students to be inclusive leaders, and to amplify our collective voice for social justice at our own institution as well as in the wider society. We foster leadership in many ways, including our Social Justice and Diversity Professional Development Grant program and membership on our Social Justice Praxis Committee and Silver’s Action Against Racism committees.
Follow Your Passion and Find Your People
Connect with like-minded peers through our nearly two dozen student councils, interest groups, and affinity organizations
Exemplifying the Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Classroom and Out
NYU’s prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award recognizes outstanding faculty who exemplify the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through teaching excellence, leadership, social justice activism, and community building. In 2020, two NYU Silver faculty members, Associate Professor Darcey Merritt and Clinical Assistant Professor Kirk “Jae” James, were so honored. Both have extensive experience as practitioners and researchers who challenge inequitable systems, serve as mentors for students, and enhance social justice, inclusion, and belonging in our School and society.
The one thing that has surprised me at Silver is the genuine care and compassion of my instructors and classmates. I’ve never had that kind of compassion-connection in school before and it’s a testament to the culture that Silver cultivates.
Establishing Cross-Cultural Connections
The Silver Language Partners program pairs native and non-native English speaking MSW students to foster cross-cultural friendships and boost the latter’s conversational English skills. The pairs get together at least 10 times during the academic year to engage in casual conversation while doing activities like going to museums, taking dance classes, eating meals, or exploring the city. Justin Leider, MSW ’20, and Yasmine Li, MSW ’20, pictured with fellow Language Partner Ling Ding, MSW ’21, shared their reflections on the experience.
Supporting Our Students’ Support Systems
Recognizing that students’ success would not be possible without the care and support of their family and loved ones, we held a virtual gathering in fall 2022 for parents, partners, children, friends, and others in our MSW students’ support systems. Associate Dean of Student Affairs Courtney O'Mealley, Associate Director of Inclusive Engagement and Student Life Josephine Gonzalez, and Student Affairs Admininistrative Aide Grace DeFino gave participants from around the world an overview of our MSW program, engaged them in exploring their hopes and fears for their students, and provided practical tips and advice on how best to support their students on their MSW journey.