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2020 Awards & Recognition Ceremony

The School of Social Work is proud to announce the Honorable Senator Melony Ghee Griffith, as the Keynote Speaker at the HU School of Social Work Awards and Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 from 2-4 pm. We are also proud to announce Dr. Rowena Grice Wilson, a native of Washington, D.C., is the 2020 Howard University School of Social Work Inabel Burns Lindsay Education Scholarship Award Recipient.

Melony Griffith





The Honorable Melony Griffith currently represents District 25 in the Maryland State Senate. In 2020, Senator Griffith become the first African American woman elected as President Pro Tempore for the Maryland Senate. In this role, Griffith serves as the leader of the Senate chamber in the absence of Senate President Bill Ferguson. In addition to serving as President Pro Tempore, Senator Griffith also serves as the Chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee’s Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. She is a valued member of the Maryland Senate senior leadership team, providing input and guidance on major policy initiatives. Griffith was first elected to the Maryland Senate in 2018. She has been a member of the Senate since January 9, 2019. Griffith served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1999 to 2015. During her tenure as Delegate, she was a member of the House Appropriations Committee, serving as the Chair of the Oversight Committee on Pensions. In this role, Griffith worked to ensure funding for retired teachers, state employees, law enforcement and correction officers. She also served as the Vice Chair of the Capital Budget Subcommittee where she demonstrated a keen understanding of how to partner with local and federal leaders to invest in Prince George’s County, securing millions of dollars in funding for projects benefiting non-profits and neighborhoods.

In December of 2009, Senator Griffith had the honor of being elected by 23 of her peers as Chair of the Prince George’s County Delegation. In this capacity, she was the leading voice for the County in Annapolis on key policy issues.

In addition to these roles, Griffith also served on the Child Welfare Work Group, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Maryland Film Industry Coalition, the Joint Committee on Children Youth and Families, and the House Judiciary Committee. Senator Griffith is a former licensed clinical social worker and has spent most of the career working to positively impact public health. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services and Psychology from Montana State University, Billings (formally Eastern Montana College) and a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a focus on Child and Family Services. Continuing her education in 2014, Melony completed the Community Health Leadership Program, through the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine. The same year, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Virginia University of Lynchburg, School of Liberal Arts. Currently, she is the deputy director of the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council.




Dr. Wilson





Dr. Rowena Grice Wilson, a native of Washington, D.C., holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from West Virginia State University and master’s and doctoral degrees in Social Work from Howard University School of Social Work.  Currently, Dr. Wilson serves as Special Assistant to the Provost and Chair of the Institutional Review Board at Norfolk State University. Dr. Wilson joined the faculty of NSU in 1986, and served in a variety of roles including Professor, Director of the PhD Program, and Associate Dean in the School of Social Work; Director and Dean of the Graduate School (2004 to 2009); and Dean of the Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work (2012 to 2019).  Since joining the NSU faculty, Dr. Wilson has received recognition for her outstanding scholarship, grantsmanship and leadership. She was honored by the University as an “Eminent Scholar”; received an Outstanding Community Service Award from the General Assembly of Virginia; and was recognized by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) for her contributions as an outstanding Virginia faculty member.  Dr. Wilson has specialized training and social work practice experience in public health, services to children and adolescents, and developmental disabilities. 

Dr. Wilson has conducted research in the areas of adolescent pregnancy, special needs adoption and welfare reform.  Dr. Wilson has participated in public health initiatives in Virginia through partnerships such as the statewide Public Health Training Center, a collaboration of Virginia educational institutions.  She has also actively participated in regional and national addiction initiatives through SAMSHA, CSWE, and NASW.

Dr. Wilson has served on national boards and committees including the CSWE Commission on Administrative and Legislative Policy, the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work and Research, the Action Network for Social Work Education and Research, and the National Association of Deans and Directors (NADD). She is a past president of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE), co-editor of a special issue on doctoral education, and contributor to the development of GADE Guidelines for Doctoral Education.  Dr. Wilson has served on several editorial boards including the Journal of Social Work Education, Research on Social Work Practice (charter member), and the Journal of Public Child Welfare (co-editor).  She is a member of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW); and the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). Dr. Wilson has also held memberships in a variety of professional organizations devoted to graduate education including Virginia Council of Graduate Schools (2004-2009); Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (2004-2009); Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools (2004-2009) and the Council of Graduate Schools (2004-2009).