The Provost’s Office, UConn Alumni and The Women’s Center annually sponsor the Outstanding Senior Women Academic Achievement Awards, which recognizes undergraduate and graduate women students who have excelled academically within their school or college and demonstrated high achievement in research and service to the University community. This year, Alysse Loomis PhD ’19 and Aliyah Henry MSW ’19 were the School of Social Work recipients.
“During her tenure at the School, Alysse excelled in the doctoral program, taking a leadership role and making significant contributions to enhancing the doctoral student experience,” said Scott Harding, Co-Director of the PhD Program. She also received the highly competitive Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being designed to develop new leaders capable of creating practice and policy initiatives to enhance child development and promote the prevention of child maltreatment. Alysse’s dissertation examined the impact of cumulative adversity on preschool-aged children and provides insights into how to develop trauma-informed preschool models. She will begin her position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah College of Social Work in the fall.
“It meant so much to me to receive this award. I love that the award acknowledges a combination of academic achievement, research, and service across different disciplines. I feel honored and inspired to have been in the company of the incredible women from across the University who were award recipients, each of whom are making a significant difference in their field of study,” said Alysse.
Aliyah was nominated by Dr. Ann Marie Garran, MSW Program Director, because she made impressive contributions to the School of Social Work (SSW) during her time as a student, particularly in her leadership of SAMI – Students Against Mass Incarceration. She was instrumental in raising awareness around this issue. “Aliyah brought an empathic lens that humanizes those involved in a system which is punitive and dehumanizing. She brought a quiet, confident passion for social justice and human rights issues to her work at the SSW, and I am confident that she will continue her fine organizing work in the community now that she has graduated,” said Dr. Garran.
“I am honored to have been selected for this award and proud to represent women, people of African descent, Jamaicans, and first generation college students throughout UConn. I am humbled, as I have always seen making change in our society as a responsibility in social work and all fields, rather than as an extracurricular. Social change does not manifest from a few good deeds but rather, through ongoing advocacy, determination, compassion, and teamwork,” said Aliyah.