From the MFP Team 

Happy Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month—and graduation season!

CSWE’s MFP is launching the application reader process for the 2024–2025 doctoral applications this month along with applying for another 5 years of the MFP grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the MFP’s funder. This is a crucial time for the establishment of the 50th cohort of CSWE-MFP fellows as we plan for the future of the MFP program. With help from MFP staff, CSWE staff, application reviewers, the MFP Advisory Committee, and MFP community members, we are enthusiastic about carrying on the legacy of MFP for years to come. If you are interested in supporting MFP through this process, please complete the MFP Volunteer Application indicating your interest. Community involvement is crucial in ensuring the sustainability and advancement of fellows, both past and present, and their invaluable contributions to the social work profession for years ahead. Your support is sincerely appreciated!

MFP remains steadfast in aligning with SAMHSA's goals for the program, aimed at reducing health disparities and enhancing behavioral health care outcomes among racial and ethnic populations. This is achieved by bolstering the ranks of professionals equipped to serve underrepresented and underserved racial/ethnic minority individuals navigating challenges related to mental health and/or substance use. Often, the responsibility of supporting these communities falls upon individuals within the communities themselves. As we observe the month of May and acknowledge the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) social workers within their communities and beyond, we take this opportunity to highlight exceptional MFP fellows from the AANHPI community who have dedicated time to actively advancing the goals of SAMHSA and MFP. Discover more about their journeys, commitment to the profession, and dedication to serving their communities in the Fellow Spotlight section.

With gratitude,
The MFP Team

Fellow Spotlight

MFP fellows impact their immediate communities and the world in many ways through their dedication and service in the mental health and substance use sectors of the profession. They are consistently working towards the goals of the program’s funder, the SAMHSA, by improving behavioral health outcomes for racial and ethnic populations through direct practice, research, teaching, learning, and advocacy measures. Learn more about some of the outstanding MFP fellows below.

Jenifer-Reyes.jpgMichael “Mikey” Li is a current MFP fellow and San José State University MSW student. He currently interns at Asian Health Services in the Specialty Mental Health Division, providing mental health services to community members within Alameda County, including Oakland Chinatown. He will start as a full-time staff member in fall 2024. As a queer second-generation Chinese American, he is invested in giving back to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities within the Bay Area.

Mikey was first introduced to community mental health as an administrative staff member at Asian American Recovery Services in 2017 and later transitioned to providing substance use counseling from 2019–2022 with Family Children Services. He hopes to utilize his professional training to work against stigmas towards both mental health and substance use challenges—particularly within the AAPI community. Mikey hopes to eventually attain licensure and engage in more macro-based work. He also hopes to focus on providing support for the LGBTQ+ community in the future.

Celebrating AAPI Heritage month provides an outlet and affirmation to his intersectional identities being reflected within mainstream culture. He expresses gratitude being an MFP Fellow as the program presented many opportunities for professional development. In addition, he appreciates how the program builds on culturally inclusive frameworks to advance social justice in our current systems.

Jenifer-Reyes.jpgKristina “Tina” Leilani Hulama is a multi-ethnic woman from Wai’anae and Kapolei, with ancestral ties to Hawaiʻi. She feels a deep kuleana (privilege/responsibility) to the local community of Hawai’i as a licensed social worker and doctoral student at the University of Denver. Tina is an advocate for the rights and well-being of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander women. With a background in social work and a commitment to addressing systemic discrimination and gaslighting in healthcare, Tina’s research is focused on seeking radical change within the healthcare landscape of Hawai’i. Her study, “Healthcare Experiences of Women in Hawai’i,” uses a mixed-methods approach to amplify the voices of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander women, advocate for equitable healthcare practices, and remind healthcare providers of the need to treat all individuals with honor, dignity, and respect. Her work is driven by a desire to foster a shift in the understanding and provision of justice, healing, activism, and community care for Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander women, ultimately aiming to effect real change within the healthcare landscape of Hawai’i and beyond.

Jenifer-Reyes.jpg"My name is Haniya Syeda, and I am a first-generation Muslim Pakistani American. I am a current MSW candidate at the University of California Los Angeles, and I am graduating in June 2024. My area of concentration is child and family welfare with an emphasis on supporting refugee and migrant children and families with a history of trauma. My current placement is at the Juntos Wellness program in the Lennox School district in South LA where I provide individual and group trauma therapy to elementary and middle school children and develop programs and workshops to support the transition of migrant youth and parents throughout the district. During my MSW career I have also worked on research projects looking at the impact of COVID-19 on FilipinX workers and healthcare providers and looking at early childhood development initiatives in the city of Pomona. Prior to my MSW program, I received a Master of Public Health degree in 2018 from Boston University. I went on to serve as the Programs Director for a Boston-based refugee and immigrant health center where I built wrap-around services to support refugees and asylees, conducted research on childhood mental health, and developed several integrated programs to support patients. I also completed the New Leaders Council Fellowship in 2019 that aims to bolster progressive leadership across industries. This training prepared me for my appointment to the Massachusetts’ Asian American Commission by the Senate speaker where I served as the treasurer and chair of the Health and Human Services Subcommission for 3 years. During this time, I was able to support the Attorney General with promoting vaccinations among Asian Americans, worked closely with community-based organizations serving Asian communities, and developed grant programs to support small Asian-run businesses during COVID and address educational needs of Asian students transitioning to virtual learning. As a clinical social worker, my hope is to leverage my experiences in the public health sector and in my own community to create more culturally specific and community-based treatment programs. I hope to increase earlier access to therapy for immigrant and refugee children and families and build programs to address their unique needs. The Minority Fellowship Program has helped me understand the many ways that social workers can support the well-being of underserved populations  and has introduced me to innovative ways that social work leaders are serving their communities.”

Jenifer-Reyes.jpgChristopher Bondoc (he/him) is a Master of Social Work candidate at California State University, Fullerton. Before arriving at social work, he earned a psychology degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) after transferring from Fullerton College. Since then, Christopher has spent nearly a decade working in community-based mental health and community-partnered research. He currently works as a study coordinator at UCLA researching the health and social needs of incarcerated youth and systems-involved young adults. Recently, Christopher completed a practicum internship providing mental health services to community college students and launched a qualitative study investigating the unmet needs, barriers, and services gaps experienced by community college students. As a transfer student and Filipino American, he remains dedicated to improving representation in higher education and the behavioral health workforce. His research interests center on making behavioral healthcare more potent, accessible, and scalable for underserved communities. Ultimately, Christopher hopes to use his training and education to redress mental health disparities in marginalized populations.

Celebrating MFP’s Legacy

Did you know that 2024 will mark 50 years since CSWE’s MFP was awarded a grant by the National Institute of Mental Health to increase the number of minority doctoral students majoring in mental health research? This first award was the catalyst for the program we celebrate today. Please take time to acknowledge those who paved the way with our ongoing MFP Legacy section highlighting those fellows who first were awarded fellowship. Find information on all 15 of the 1975–1976 cohort of MFP doctoral fellows here. Below is one fellow’s biographical profile from when they were a fellow.

"Joseph S. Gallegos received his master’s degree from the Portland State University School of Social Work in 1973. He has done family counseling with the Chicano-Indian Study Center of Oregon. His major professional activities have been with César Chávez College in Mt. Angel, Oregon, from which he leaves the position of director of planning and research to enter the doctoral program at the University of Denver. As a student, Mr. Gallegos was active in CSWE as a member of the House of Delegates and as a participant in the Chicano Faculty Development Project.”

Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage month. The MFP hopes to reflect on and celebrate the contributions of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders who have continuously reinforced the values of social work education and are actively promoting well-being within a variety of diverse communities. Many AANHPI identifying MFP fellows and alumni have fulfilled teaching and leadership roles promoting social work and are carrying out research along with direct practice that enhances social and environmental justice around the world. We thank these fellows and alumni for their diligence and efforts to boost wellbeing for all communities and empowering and effecting change within their own communities. Asian & Pacific Islander Social Work Educators Association (APISWEA) and Asian/Pacific Islander Social Work Council-Northern CA Chapter-NASW (APISWC) are just two of the several AANHPI groups representing Asian and Pacific Islander (API) social workers, educators and students who are working to support their communities and strengthen the profession. 

2024–2025 MSW Application Open

Since its inception in 1974, the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) has been steadfast in its commitment to shaping the future of social work professionals, nurturing their skills and knowledge. As we embark on another impactful year, we are delighted to announce the launch of the 2024–2025 Master of Social Work (MSW) MFP application cycle!

Applications are open and will be accepted until Friday, May 24, 2024, at 11:59 PM (ET). Apply to become an MFP MSW Fellow today by visiting the application link!

MFP has produced a list of Frequently Asked Questions along with an Application Guidebook to assist with your application process.

We have offered two virtual sessions designed to provide valuable insights and details about the program. Whether you are seeking comprehensive program information, or eager to participate in an interactive Q&A session with MFP staff, these sessions are tailored for all interested applicants. Please find details and recordings of each session below:

Information Session
Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2024 
Time: 12:30 PM–2:00 PM (ET)




Q&A Session With MFP Staff
Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Time: 2:30 PM–3:30 PM (ET)




We Need You! Volunteer With CSWE-MFP

There are many opportunities to volunteer with CSWE’s MFP this upcoming fellowship year. You do not have to be an MFP alumnus or social work educator to volunteer! Volunteering for the MFP is not time consuming, you get back what you give, and the time to apply is now. Here’s how you can help:

1.    Become an application reader: Support the selection of the next cohort of master’s and doctoral MFP fellows!
2.    Be a guest speaker: Share your subject matter expertise by speaking on one of the topics, requested by incoming students (see below). Alternatively, if there’s a topic you believe to be of value to this group, please reach out to discuss it with our team.

  • Abolitionist social work
  • Disability-centered social work practice
  • Grants 101
  • Grief
  • Inclusive sex therapy
  • Innovative research methods
  • Innovative treatment modalities
  • LGBTQ youth mental health
  • Narrative therapy
  • Pathways to clinical licensure
  • Postgraduation trials and tribulations
  • Program evaluation
  • Role of social work in reentry
  • Social work and the arts
  • Strengths-based approaches to working with BIPOC communities
  • Supporting international students

3.    Join our advisory committee: Put your great ideas to great use—steer the program and provide input on key areas, including programming, alumni engagement, and applicant recruitment.
4.    Mentor a master’s or doctoral student: Support the academic and career development of a student passionate about meeting the needs of BIPOC communities.

Find more information about getting involved and apply today!


Update Your Contact Information

Have you changed jobs in the last few years? Changed your primary email address? The CSWE’s MFP relies on current contact information for our internal database, which we use to contact alumni and help us prepare our reports for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Please use this link to share your updated contact information. Additionally, you are encouraged to reach out to MFP alumni you are connected with and request that they share their updated information too. Thank you in advance for supporting MFP staff efforts to enhance connectedness in the MFP community.


Learning Opportunity

Mental Health in Asian American and Pacific Islander Populations: Challenges, Resources, Community Voices

From the National Alliance on Mental Illness: “Traditional/non-western medicine or indigenous healing practices, which often emphasize the integration of mind and body in maintaining health and promoting healing, remain popular forms of mental health intervention in some AAPI communities… Some AAPIs, especially first-generation immigrants, consider traditional/non-western medicine their primary treatment rather than a complementary treatment. This can result in delaying or refraining from seeking mental health care.”

Learn more: Mental Health in Asian American and Pacific Islander Populations: Challenges, Resources, Community Voices - NAMI California



West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders
Thursday, May 30–Saturday, June 1, 2024
Picture5-(2).jpgThe West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders promotes learning opportunities regarding the most effective strategies in addiction treatment and behavioral health. Join like-minded colleagues for educational and networking experiences in the sector of addiction treatment this May in Palm Springs, CA. 

Learn more: 



SUD 101 Core Curriculum (2023)

“The 23 modules in this 2023 curriculum provide an overview of evidence-based practices in the prevention, identification, and treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring medical and psychiatric conditions for a variety of populations.” 

Learn more: