Alum Rolanda Ward (MSW’97, MDiv’02, PhD’09) Recognized by National Association of Social Workers-NY


Rolanda Ward (MSW’97, MDiv’02, PhD’09), an alum of BU School of Social Work, won the Champion of Justice award from the National Association of Social Workers, New York State Chapter. Ward, who is an associate professor of social work at Niagara University, has extensive experience in addressing the needs of marginalized communities. She specializes in child welfare, equitable practices for educational systems, health equity, criminal justice, and civic engagement. The award recognizes her considerable impact and commitment to education, community intervention, and research. 

As an endowed faculty director of Niagara University’s Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Race, Equity, & Mission, Ward works to build racial equity by creating and distributing resources on social justice and equity. In response to the pandemic, she formed the Niagara Falls Health Equity Task Force, where she also serves as lead facilitator. The task force reduces health disparities faced by residents in Niagara County, by focusing on increased testing, education and early prevention measures, and community-based vaccination clinics.

Ward is a member of the board of directors at MENTOR New York, The Aquarium of Niagara Falls, Community Missions, Inc., The Education Collaborative of WNY, and Catholic Health Systems. 

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