Class of 2021 DSW alum Marina Badillo Diaz, LCSW, DSW, was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2022-23 School Ambassador Fellow. In that role, she is collaborating with other educators across the country to improve the development and implementation of national education policy.
Dr. Badillo Diaz was the only social worker among the field of finalists, and she credited the Silver DSW program with helping her secure the Ambassador Fellowship.
“I was one of two fellows selected from a finalist group interview with 15 education professionals from across the country,” Dr. Badillo Diaz said. “Not only did my social work expertise and skills set me apart from the education profession applicants but, because of the DSW program, I was prepared for the rigorous multiple rounds of interviewing, presentations, and questioning. The program improved my communication and writing skills and helped me feel more confident presenting my work and point of view.”
Dr. Badillo Diaz also works for New Visions for Public Charter Schools as part of her fellowship capstone with the US Department of Education developing an advisory model for transfer schools and conducting research. She also runs her own consulting company, MABDConsulting, which provides consulting for organizations supporting youth development, social work, and education. Her DSW capstone project focused on challenges and opportunities in school social work in charter schools.
The DSW program also enhanced Dr. Badillo Diaz’s career by strengthening her teaching skills. “I am a much better educator because of what I learned from my professors and colleagues as well as the hands-on teaching experience I gained in the program,” she said. She was previously an Adjunct Professor at City Tech - New York City College of Technology for three years, an opportunity she learned about through the DSW program office, and she is currently an Adjunct Professor at Hunter College, which she was referred to by a DSW classmate.
Dr. Badillo-Diaz added, “The DSW program has also given me the confidence to start my own consulting business and to be more selective with the opportunities that I pursue. Previously, in my career, I was a consistent ‘yes’ person. Although I truly value growth and opportunities, I now set boundaries so I have a more sustainable work-life balance and choose work projects with more intention. The DSW program also gave me the confidence to negotiate higher fees for my services due to my education. “
Among her many other accomplishments since earning her DSW, Dr. Badillo-Diaz has been published in academic journals, served as an editor for two journals, and consistently presents at local, state, and national conferences. “Overall,” she said, “the DSW program has helped me become an ‘expert’ in an area that is now part of my career brand and I have the self-assurance to continue to challenge myself professionally and grow.”