From the MFP Team

To the MFP community,

For the MFP, September represents a time to reflect on the past fellowship year and prepare for the one ahead. In doing so, our staff team has been considering ways to fortify our commitment to meeting the needs of Black and Brown social work students. We need your support—as mentors, speakers, advisory board members, and application readers—to reach new heights. Our commitment, community, and support are especially important considering the data recently released by the Association of Social Work Boards on pass rates for clinical-, master’s-, and bachelor’s-level exams, which show unacceptable gaps between pass rates for White and Black social workers. It reminds us of the gravity of the obstacles we face, even within the social work sphere. Let it also remind you of the importance of the work you do day in and day out. Your research, teaching, organizing, and practice matter.

National Hispanic Heritage Month—a period set aside to recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans—also falls in September, and the MFP observes this by celebrating one of our esteemed alumni. Maria Carolina Izquiel is a first-generation immigrant and Latina who immigrated to the United States 7 years ago. In Venezuela, she was trained as a clinical psychologist. For more than 15 years she worked as a university teacher, a supervisor for the master of clinical psychology program at the AndrĂ©s Bello Catholic University, and a psychotherapist in poor and excluded communities of Caracas. In 2021, as a candidate for the master’s degree in clinical social work at Boston College, she shared that her goal was to work in mental health to address Latinx clients’ unique challenges in the greater Boston area. Read on to learn how she’s worked toward and beyond her stated career goal.

We’re excited to watch our 2021–2022 fellows do the same as master’s students transition into post-MSW positions and doctoral fellows start their post-MFP journeys. Meanwhile, we look ahead to our 48th year. In the coming weeks, look out for more information about our 2021–2022 cohort of master’s and doctoral fellows and our activities at the upcoming annual program meeting in Anaheim, California.

Thank you and be well.

Ameera Bhanji, MSW
Assistant Director, Minority Fellowship Program




Welcoming Adriana Ramirez Altamirano

I am pleased to announce that MFP has brought a new staff member on board. Adriana Ramirez Altamirano joined the MFP team on August 15 as our program coordinator.

She will support the management and implementation of the master’s and doctoral fellowships and provide administrative assistance with event planning, professional development programs, data management, finance matters, and communication.

Adriana has experience working in grants administration, care management, and academic advising. She possesses a bachelor of arts in global studies, with a minor in Spanish language and Hispanic cultures from California State University Monterey Bay.

Please join CSWE-MFP staff in welcoming Adriana Ramirez Altamirano to CSWE’s Minority Fellowship Program!


Alumni Spotlight: Maria Carolina Izquiel

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15 each year. The MFP uses this as a time to celebrate the contributions our fellows and alumni are making to support the well-being of their communities. Read on to learn how recent alum Maria Carolina Izquiel has used the MFP as a jumping-off point for an impactful career in social work practice and teaching.

“My experience following the fellowship has been magnificent. I currently work as a psychotherapist in the Latinx team of the Cambridge Health Alliance psychiatry department. I am also a faculty member at Boston College, teaching Advanced Clinical Practice for Latinx Populations. As a first-generation immigrant and Latina, to be able to work with communities that are part of my culture and in my language has been an absolute privilege. Understanding how mental health systems work in the United States and helping Latinx patients navigate the system while exploring their inner world is truly meaningful.

“The minority fellowship was like a confidence boost for me. It was not only an immense economic support, which was fundamental, but also a unique opportunity to meet clinicians from all over the country, learning from and understanding different realities. I think there is still a lot of work to do to achieve a high-quality and culturally competent mental health service for underprivileged minorities, but when I meet members of the new generation of clinicians, I feel optimistic and hopeful. I believe in progressive changes. I plan to continue contributing my grain of sand to that process of change, and give what I can every single day to foster a better mental health service to Latinx communities in the United States.”

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 to volunteer, volunteering is not time consuming, you do not need to be a social work educator to serve, you get back what you give, and the time to apply is now! Here’s how you can help:

  1. Mentor a master’s or doctoral student: Support the academic and career development of a student passionate about meeting the needs of BIPOC communities.

  2. Be a guest speaker: Share your subject matter expertise by speaking on one of the topics, requested by incoming students, 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. Become an application reader: Support the selection of the next cohort of master’s and doctoral MFP fellows!

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 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.  

CSWE Diversity Center’s September Educator|Resource

Visit CSWE’s Center for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice to view the latest Educator|Resource.