Saint Leo University will recognize the extraordinary contributions of women in social work on International Women’s Day, March 8by hosting a special event at its Tampa Education Center and online. Influential Women of Social Work, set for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will celebrate and recognize trailblazers, but it will also champion opportunities to encourage other women to join this helping profession.

Dr. Yarneccia Dyson

The keynote speaker is Dr. Yarneccia Dyson, associate professor of the University of North Carolina Greensboro Department of Social Work and Gerontology Program, and a member of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Taskforce to Advance Anti-Racism in Social Work Education. Dyson’s research interests focus on improving the health, access, and well-being of historically oppressed communities, mentoring experiences for Black women and women of color, as well as improving the sexual and reproductive outcomes among women and girls and Black college students.

Saint Leo’s March 8 event also will recognize those exceling in the social work field and studies by presenting three awards. Sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Nature Coast Chapter, these awards will include: Social Worker of the Year, Social Work Student of the Year, and Public Citizen of the Year.

Thanks to the generosity of The Renew Group and its president, Leven “Chuck” Wilson, scholarships will be awarded during this event to Saint Leo University students pursuing Bachelor of Social Work degrees. The Leven “Chuck” Wilson Scholarship will be awarded to four students, with three Saint Leo students receiving $500 awards and one receiving a $1,000 award. The Renew Group is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to changing lives and transforming communities.

Influential Women in Social Work is a hybrid event. Up to 50 people will be able to attend at Saint Leo’s Tampa Education Center, 1403 N. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33607. A box lunch will be provided. The event also will be online, via Zoom.

For more information, contact Yvonne Kelly Montell by email at or call (352) 588-8919.

As the NASW states, “social workers help relieve people's suffering, fight for social justice, and improve lives and communities.” Saint Leo University is celebrating the women who work in this field while also offering opportunities for those who wish to become social workers. The Bachelor of Social Work degree is offered at Saint Leo’s Tampa Education Center, East Pasco Education Center, and at its residential campus. Fall 1 classes begin August 29. The university is hosting information events at 6 p.m., March 24, April 26, and May 25. For more Information, contact or