James Madison University

Soul of Social Work Award

The social work faculty select each year a student to receive the Soul of Social Work Award.  Selection is based on the criteria including demonstration of a passion for social work, compassion for those whom we serve, commitment to community service, commitment to empowering and enabling oneself and others, ability to get out of one’s comfort zone, and strong communication skills. 

2013 Award Recipient

PHOTO:Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree and a minor in History.  She was a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work.  She completed her field practicum with the Purple & Gold Connection in Waynesboro, VA where she assisted in researching and planning for a program in Spanish for Spanish-speaking parents and students, evaluating P&G programs, and working individually as well as in groups with students.  She was involved in numerous community service activities while at JMU including working with home-bound senior adults through the Department of Social Services.  She worked with To Write On Her Arms JMU Chapter, a national nonprofit that works to raise awareness for suicide prevention, depression and addiction.  Additionally, she served an as intern with RISE, an organization that focuses on work with and on behalf of refugees. 


  • 2012    Alexandra Cornell
  • 2011    Brandon Rose and Laura Steger
  • 2010    Marly Flores and Lindsey Merritt
  • 2009    Sarah Rodriquez
  • 2008    Treshana Saxton
  • 2007    Sarah Groom
  • 2006    Tamara Parker
  • 2005    Marybeth McNamara
  • 2004    Robin Parks
  • 2003    Sarah Frick
  • 2002    Jessica Hotz