My Simmons


Each year Simmons School of Social Work confers awards to students who have made significant contributions to our community, their agency, or the larger field of social work. We invite and encourage nominations from students, supervisors, faculty, and advisors. The due date for all nominations and supporting statement or papers will be announced Spring 2024. Note: all nominations are strengthened by providing more than one letter in support of the nomination. Please send all nominations to [email protected].

Instructions for making a nomination:

  1. Please review the list of awards. Each award has different criteria, so please read the descriptions carefully.
  2. Each award, except the Written Scholarship award, requires a short nomination statement. The statement should include the student’s name, how you know the student, and the reasons you think the student should receive the award, including descriptions of the ways in which the student excels. Please include your contact information on the nomination.
  3. Self-nominations: Any student may nominate themselves for an award. Such nominations must be accompanied by a letter of support from a faculty advisor, agency practicum instructor, or classroom faculty. Self-nominations will not be reviewed without a letter of support.
  4. Written Scholarship in Social Work: Please send the paper you wish to have considered as an attachment to [email protected].

The Shirley Saks Greenberg Award

This award honors Shirley Saks Greenberg who received her MS degree from Simmons SSW in 1956. Mrs. Greenberg had a gift for combining theoretical perspectives to understanding with clinical practice. She had a particular interest in the area of psychodynamic psychotherapy and clinical casework. She met an untimely death in 1982. Her family established this award in her honor to recognize a first-year student who shows promise in integrating theory with practice, especially practice pertaining to psychodynamic theory. In recent years the scope of the award has been expanded to a broader definition of clinical practice.

The Iris MacRae Award

This award was established in 1980 by students, colleagues, alumni and friends to honor Iris MacRae, a member of the Simmons faculty, who devoted the major part of her professional life to teaching and advising students at the school. Her dedication and commitment remain an inspiration to all that knew her. It seems especially appropriate to use the funds given in her honor to recognize achievement by SSW students. In 1983, the faculty decided that this award should be granted to a student in their final year. Please submit the name of a student who has made an outstanding achievement in either class or practicum.

Examples of practicum achievement could include special talents in working with a challenging client group, initiation of a special program in the agency, or other evidence of creative achievement in the course of the practicum. Class (academic) achievement might consist of overall outstanding performance or particularly creative papers completed for course requirements.

The Priscilla Mullen Riley Award

Established in memory of Professor Emerita Priscilla Mullen Riley, this award honors the dedication, commitment and perseverance of its namesake. Professor Riley experienced significant challenges in her early life, yet went on to have a very successful, rich and rewarding career as a clinical social worker and a social work educator. She was a member of the Simmons Faculty for thirty-four years and the Director of its Practicum Education Department for many years. She was a national leader in promoting the importance and centrality of practicum education in graduate social work learning. In her long professional life, perhaps her greatest effort was in service of supporting and advocating for students who experienced challenges and obstacles to completing graduate school. She fiercely believed that all students should be given the support necessary to succeed. This award is granted to a graduating student who has done very well in classes and in practicum despite navigating and managing challenging circumstances.