Met Chapter Diana List Cullen Memorial
First Year MSW Student Writing Scholarship Program 

Concerned about the aging of the membership of the NYSSCSW in 2010, the Met Chapter Membership Committee, under the Chairmanship of Richard Joelson, DSW, brainstormed how to offset the situation. The idea of a student writing scholarship was one of the projects promoted. Coordinated by Chris Ann Farhood, MSW, with the approval of then Met President Ariane Silva, the Deans of the six graduate schools of Social Work in the Met Chapter area were contacted and asked to participate. Each school was asked to forward three clinical papers written by first year graduate students, which were then vetted by the Met Chapter Education Committee, chaired by Susan Appelman, LCSW. The selected scholar would be awarded a $500 scholarship, a one year membership in NYSSCSW, and would be honored at an Ceremony where they would present their paper to Deans, faculty, supervisors, Met Chapter Board Members, and friends and family.  

The Scholarship launched in 2011 with three schools participating and all three Deans were present at the Awards Ceremony. The following year there were four schools, and in 2013 all six schools were represented. On November 1, 2017, the seventh Awards Ceremony awarded five scholarships, bringing the total number of recipients to 34. 

In 2013 the program was named the Diana List Cullen Memorial First Year MSW Student Writing Scholarship in honor of the Met Chapter Past President, an enthusiastic learner who came to the profession of clinical social work after successful creative careers in dance and pottery. At that Awards Ceremony, and at each subsequent one, Susan Appelman gave a brief eulogy in remembrance of Diana’s zest for learning. 

Scholars continue as members in NYSSCSW, and many of them introduced their colleagues to the society as well. Several Scholars have been active participants in Society such as Devin Bokaer, Student Representative to the State Board, Harvey Weissman, current Co-Chair of the Met Chapter Committee on Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions, Raji Edayathumangalem who has presented to the State Board and at the recent Professional Development Day, and Rina Ben-Benyamin, who is the current Student Representative from Wurzweiler School of Social Work to the Met Chapter. 

Equally important are the relationships that have been forged with the Deans and faculty of the schools of social work who disseminate information about the Society to their students, and offer logistical support for society programs such as licensing events. And, the membership of current and recent graduate students continues to grow!



2018 Student Scholarship Essays



On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, the Metropolitan Chapter of the New York State Society for Clinical Social Workers awarded $500 scholarships to our largest ever cohort of Scholars. Pictured above from left to right are: Christina Tesoro, from the Silverman School of Social Work at Hunter College, Rachel Wertentheil, from from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University, Hannah Bellinger, from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services, Christine Menna, from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University, Tkeyah Whaley from Touro Graduate School of Social Work, Rigdzin Pema Collins from the Columbia University School of Social Work, and James Ponticello Jr. from the School of Social Work at Lehman College. They celebrated this event with Deans, faculty, agency supervisors, family and friends, and Members of the Board of the Metropolitan Chapter of NYSSCSW. 


Rigdzin Pema Collins -   Safe House: A Case Formulation for Adult Psychopathology