Finally, after four years of hard work, came the joyful event filled with emotions to celebrate the graduation of Genesis Tolozo Solano, Arlette Franken, Allison Oriana Ramirez, Elaine Anda, Delaiah Tromp, and Vania Arendsz. They completed their academic journey earning themselves a bachelor's degree in Social Work and Development, ready to transform Aruba.
In attendance were the Rector, Professor Dr. Viola Heutger, Dr. Mieke de Droog, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, Lecturers, Work Field Representatives, family, and loved ones of the graduating class. Approximately 100 guests witnessed this beautiful celebration in the Aula of the University of Aruba.
The ceremony chair was in the hands of current SW&D student Ashna Thijsen and alumni Michelle Lont. The ceremony began with the six graduands entering the Aula to the song melody "Unstoppable" by singer Sia. Next, Arlette Franken sang the National Anthem to start the ceremony officially. The Dean welcomed everyone, and the Rector delivered special remarks.
The graduates presented their research and professional projects they designed based on the results of their research for the agencies where they were interns. Genesis Solano began the presentations with her research topic “Life During a Pandemic: Analysis on the Covid-19 Pandemic’s Impacts on Main Tenants of Rented Households of Fundacion Cas pa Comunidad Arubano and Comprehensive Instruments for Alleviating its Aftermath”. Arlette Franken followed with her research topic “Parenting Support for Millennial Parents in Leading Positions in Aruba”.
Allison Ramirez delivered her research presentation next on "Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities and Their Perspectives on Necessities Arising for Formal Support". The next presentation was by Elaine Ande on “The Effects of Parents’ Socioeconomic Status on the Academic Performance of Their Children at Scol Paso Pa Futuro.” Delaiah Tromp shared her research findings on “The Effectiveness of Art Techniques as an Intervention Tool in Social Work Practice Amongst HIAS Participants in Aruba”. Vania Arendsz delivered the Final presentation of the night on the “ Perceived Operational Stress and Burnout of Police Officers as First Responders: Towards Assessing the Need for Support”.
The SW&D Program extends its gratitude to the Research Coaches who guided the graduands, namely Kimberley Wever, Jeanete Gregorius, and Sacha Geerman. The Program is also grateful to the many Work Field Practice Instructors and Supervisors who supported and guided the students during their four-year professional journey, particularly during their internship. Finally, they also announced the many lecturers who contributed to the academic tutelage of the graduates.
The graduates received their diplomas and took pictures with the faculty members, their families, and loved ones. The ceremony ended with the beautiful rendition of 'Hero'' by Mariah Carey, sung by SW&D student Giannina Angela. After finalizing the ceremony, the graduates and their guests enjoyed delicious cocktails and wine in the University's garden. Miguel Aceros, Student Assistant, was the DJ for the night, serenading the graduates and their guests with a vast genre of music.
The graduation of these now six alumni was a success for the Social Work and Development Program at the University of Aruba. It was a great moment of happiness for the graduates, their families, and their loved ones. We wish the alumni much success in their future as professional social workers in Aruba and abroad.
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