From the dean


Interim Dean Rebecca Gomez stands in front of a gold VCU sign on the Monroe Park Campus
Interim Dean Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D.

A community cornerstone unlike any other

As the VCU School of Social Work publishes our second annual report, we are recognizing the stellar accomplishments of our community. We have forged over a century of excellence in social work education. In fact, October 2022 represented the 105-year anniversary of the school opening its doors in 1917. What began with seven social work students has grown to a community of over 1,000 students with over 11,000 alumni worldwide.

We’ve always been on the forefront of innovating to create access. In 1926 the school used a Ford Model T to reach rural communities. Alum Byrd McGavock recalls participating in this effort: “The only protection riders had from the weather were old, worn-out curtains,” but like resilient mail carriers, “we went out every day regardless of the weather.” That commitment to access continued, and in 1993, the school began using technology to expand the reach of the program through distance education.

More than a quarter-century later, we launched our fully online format of the M.S.W. Program in 2019; and in fall 2023, we will follow with a fully online B.S.W. Program format. Access to a VCU social work degree is now available nationwide, with students from 25 states and Washington, D.C., enrolled.

As interim dean, it has been an honor and privilege to be a part of this continuum of social work education. This year we will be celebrating 105 years of social work education with 105 Moments of Service to our community partners. We proudly call ourselves a community cornerstone, in recognition of the many networks, partnerships and affiliations that sustain us and that have grounded and centered us for 105 years. Thank you all for making VCU School of Social Work a special place.

For VCU,

Rebecca Gomez signature

Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Associate Professor
VCU School of Social Work

Learn more about Dr. Gomez's story

My perspective on the work I do comes very much from who I am. I have witnessed firsthand how education can transform generations. Higher education is a powerful tool for good in the world.

» Read the story

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