October 2021

From the MFP Team
Meet the Director: Kesslyn Brade Stennis, PhD, MSW, MD
2021–2022 CSWE MFP Cohorts
Job Opportunities
Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities
Professional Development
CSWE Diversity Center’s October Educator|Resource

From the MFP Team

Dear MFP Fellows and Alumni:  

Welcome to the 2021–2022 CSWE MFP fellowship year! This year 45 master’s students from across the country join the MFP community for their 1-year fellowship. Fifteen new doctoral students join 13 renewing fellows to make up this year’s doctoral cohort of 28. Altogether, MFP fellows are following in the footsteps of the countless MFP alumni who seek to improve the mental health and well-being of BIPOC communities. We sincerely thank every one of our Advisory Committee members and volunteer readers who worked diligently throughout the application review process to bring us this phenomenal cohort. Moreover, we look forward to meeting those who make up the cohort as we kick off the year with orientation sessions in mid-October.  

Shortly thereafter, we’ll be convening doctoral fellows for CSWE’s Annual Program Meeting (APM). CSWE’s 2021 AAPM will be held November 4–7 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL.  The theme for this year’s APM is "Leading Critical Conversations: Racial, Economic, & Environmental Justice"; it will feature social work education presentations, an exhibit hall, and networking opportunities. CSWE is offering an on-demand option for those who cannot attend APM in person. This is different from a virtual meeting because most of the content will be recorded during the in-person APM. The on-demand option will feature recordings of the plenary sessions and 40 sessions from across the APM educational tracks. Although most of the on-demand content will be prerecorded, there will be live networking opportunities as well. The on-demand option is set to launch in December. We encourage you to register for the APM today!  

Finally, we are pleased to introduce the newest member of the MFP staff team here at CSWE, Kesslyn Brade Stennis, PhD, MSW, MDiv. Read on to learn more about the breadth of experience, skills, and accomplishments she brings to the program.  

In Fellowship, 

The MFP Team at CSWE 

Meet the Director: Kesslyn Brade Stennis, PhD, MSW, MD

Kesslyn Brade Stennis photo

Kesslyn Brade Stennis, PhD, MSW, MDiv, joined the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) as the director of the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) in October 2021. Brade Stennis previously served as the executive director of the Dorothy I. Height Center for the Advancement of Social Justice at Coppin State University where she was also a professor. 
Along with holding a PhD in social work from Howard University and a master’s of social work degree from The Ohio State University, she has also earned a master of divinity degree and graduate certificate in women’s studies from Howard University, and she is a proud graduate of Oakwood University, previously known as Oakwood College. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Kesslyn has focused on empowering people through the educational and artistic mediums of public speaking, publishing, preaching, and performing in various musical genres. Dr. Kesslyn has used her unique gifts in the classroom as a social work educator for almost 25 years at a variety of private and public universities and has held a number of leadership positions including immediate past chair of the Department of Social Work at Coppin State University and chaplain at Georgetown University. In professional organizations she has served as an editorial consultant, reviewer, or editor for various professional journals including Social Work, Social Work and Christianity, Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, and the Journal of Social Work Education. Additionally, she has served on boards for several professional organizations, chaired and co-chaired international meetings, facilitated organizational task groups, and has participated on national nominating committees. Of note is her herstoric role in the North American Association of Christians in Social Work as the first African American woman to serve as president of the organization’s Board of Directors.   

Inspired by her ancestors and mentors, Dr. Kesslyn’s life has centered on faith, family, service, and social justice. Those values have guided her professional and personal contributions to society and can be seen in her noteworthy scholarship. She has focused her research on topics that affect African American communities, faith communities, and women. Some of her most recent research and grant awards consider family violence and abuse, community responses to violent crimes, sexual health and wellness, the impact of gentrification on Black faith communities, and women’s leadership development. Dr. Kesslyn has also traveled extensively as a sought-after workshop facilitator and trainer, and her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, books, and public interest magazines. In addition to her professional contributions, she is an educational entrepreneur and, most important, a mother who enjoys spending every Saturday night watching movies and eating popcorn and pizza with her family. 

For her work, Dr. Kesslyn has been honored to receive several awards including the Wilson H. Elkins Professorship from the University System of Maryland, the Vernon Johns Award for Social Justice and Preaching from Howard University, and a citation for community service in the area of domestic violence from the mayor’s office of the city of Huntsville, AL. Dr. Kesslyn Brade Stennis is a proud CSWE MFP alumna.    

2021–2022 CSWE MFP Cohorts  

Meet the 2021–2022 cohort of MFP master’s and doctoral fellows! In the coming months, follow our “fellow features” in the Connect to learn more about their experiences, passions, and career ambitions. Additionally, be sure to visit our master’s and doctoral Meet the Fellows pages online.  

Master’s Fellows 

Alexa Fe Skandar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Andrewnette Reed, University of Washington - Tacoma 

Angel Ramos, California State University, Long Beach 

Ariana C. Pickett, St. Ambrose University 

Brijuan Phillips, New York University 

Brittany Chenelle Green, California State University, Northridge 

Catherine Yang, Boston College 

Cristal Ramos, Washington University in St Louis 

Crystal Butler, Kennesaw State University 

Deniale C. Urbina, Simmons University 

Denisse Bernal, University of California Los Angeles 

Elizabeth Arco, University of Wisconsin, Madison 

Elizabeth Brandenburg, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley 

Emma Rust, University of Chicago 

Emmanuel Martinez, University of Denver 

Eric R. Lorentsen, Stony Brook University 

Faith Tiġak Itta, Washington University in St. Louis 

Gillian Duenas, University of Washington, Seattle 

Gloria Chan, University of Southern California 

Hector Ramirez, University of California, Los Angeles  

Jasmine Hornbrook, University of Minnesota- Twin Cities 

Jesse Ramirez, California State University, Long Beach  

Jillian Flemming, Seattle University  

Johann Ortizo, California State University, Long Beach 

Julie Fiorenza, New York University 

Karen Bermudez, University of Texas at Austin 

Katherine De La Hoz, SUNY Stony Brook University 

Kenya Harris, University of Alabama at Birmingham 

Maihnia Lee; Boston College  

Maria Fernanda Quezada, Florida Atlantic University  

Mariah Olivia Maldonado, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Mariel Eaves, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Marissa Lowe, Columbia University 

Maysa Mohmoud, University of Alabama at Birmingham 

Mengqi Li,George Mason University  

Pearl Eni, Howard University 

Priya Bhanderi, Columbia School of Social Work 

Robin Dunn Bryant, Florida State University 

Sol Alvarez-Taubin, Columbia University School of Social Work 

Terrell T. Richardson, North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Greensboro 

Tyesha Butler, University of Tennessee Knoxville   

Tyrone L Carter, University California Los Angeles  

Tywanda E . McDonald, Jackson State University 

Wendy Veronica Hernandez-De La Cruz, California State University Monterey Bay 

Zack McClain, University of Alabama at Birmingham 

Doctoral Fellows 

Andrea Guadalupe Portillo, LCSW, University of Washington 

Ashleigh Washington, City University of New York Graduate Center 

Autumn Asher, Washington University in St. Louis 

Carol Lee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Cho Rong Won, LMSW, University of Alabama 

Cortney VanHook, University of Pittsburgh 

Cynthia Mackey, Arizona State University 

Danica Nestor, LCSW, Howard University 

Durrell Malik Washington Sr., University of Chicago 

Em Loerzel, University of Washington 

Gabrielle Aquino-Adriatico, University of Houston 

Gaby Mohr, LSW, University of Houston  

Jeremy Vu, University of Saint Thomas 

Jessica Ramirez, University of Washington 

Jessica Saba, Michigan State University  

Jessica Kim, University of Pennsylvania 

Johara Suleiman, LICSW, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 

Justin Harty, University of Chicago 

Laurenia Mangum, University of Pittsburgh 

Lester Kern, University of Chicago 

Mohamad Adam Brooks, LICSW, Columbia University 

Nidia Hernández, LCSW, Arizona State University  

Shana McClain, University of Denver 

Shawna Murray-Browne, University of Maryland, Baltimore 

Vashti Adams, University of Maryland Baltimore 

Wan-Jung Wendy Hsieh, LICSW, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 

Wynette Whitegoat, Washington University in St. Louis 

Xochilt Alamillo, LCSW, University of Denver