Wayne State School of Social Work announces 2022 Student Excellence of Social Justice Award recipients

The Wayne State University School of Social Work is proud to announce the 2022 Student Excellence of Social Justice Award recipients, Spencer Genrich, ArReana Jackson, Dana Paglia-King, Kristen Prasiloski, and AeYanna Yett.

Launched in the 2021-22 academic year by the Coalition of Community Social Workers (CCSW) student organization, the Student Excellence of Social Justice Award is new student driven award recognizing student social justice efforts outside of the classroom. The award is open to full- and part-time social work students who display excellence in academic performance; exhibit excellence in advocacy, leadership, and/or community building, planning or service; demonstrate advancement of social justice; contribute to the positive image of their social work program; and showcase of the NASW Code of Ethics.

Recipients of the 2022 awards will be recognized at the invite-only Social Work Commencement Mixer event on Friday, May 6, 2022 from 3 – 5 pm EST in the School of Social Work building.

Spencer Genrich


Spencer Genrich (she/they) is an MSW student finishing her graduate studies with a concentration in Interpersonal Practice this May. Despite her interpersonal specialty, Genrich sees herself merging her passions for both macro and micro work in her career.  Whether that includes DEI presentations for professional groups on the importance of pronouns, giving consent and inclusive sexual health education seminars, or running for her local school board again, she plans on partnering her community work with her individual practice specializing in LGBTQ+ care.



ArReana Jackson is a current MSW student with a concentration in Innovation in Community, Policy, and Leadership. Jackson is a former foster care youth, who aged out of care at the age of 18 and has supported awareness for foster care struggles. She has a passion to protect, serve and empower others in need. She graduated from Western Michigan University and began employment with MDHHS as a CPS specialist with a mission to protect and serve families. Currently, she maintains full-time employment as a Recipient Rights Investigator while completing her MSW degree.  Her mantra is, “As human beings, we are powerful beyond measure. When we connect to our community and the world around us, we open ourselves up to infinite possibilities.”

Dana Pagli-King


Dana Paglia-King is an MSW student with a concentration in Innovation in Community, Policy, and Leadership who is currently interning with State Senator Stephanie Chang’s office. She works at Community Housing Network where she advocates for those experiencing homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, and who are at risk of becoming homeless. Paglia-King researched and drafted the Oakland County Fair Housing Initiative, which created a contract between Oakland County and the Fair Housing Center of Metro Detroit and encourages cities to pass source of income protections. 

Kristen Prasiloski


Kristen Prasiloski (she/her) is a current BSW student graduating in May 2022. She helped create and current leads the Social Work Queer Alliance with Tina Zerilli (he/they). Prasiloski has plans to work in community building and engagement after she graduates.

AeYanna Yett


AeYanna Yett is a macro-focused dual-title Master of Social Work & Infant Mental Health student, a Black feminist, a puppy mom, an Aquarius, an INFJ-A, and an Enneagram 8. As a scholar-activist, she works to uplift the voices, lived experiences, and healing practices employed by Black women that promote resilience when overcoming exposure to trauma. Yett’s interests include equitable access to holistic wellness, culturally rooted care, liberation work, and transformative justice. Utilizing these passions, Yett currently serves as an Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Fellow, President of the Association of Black Social Workers, and Chair of the historic African American Coalition in Sterling Heights, MI.

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