Two School of Social Welfare alumni to be honored by National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Two School of Social Welfare alumni, Bonita Sanchez (MSW ’73) and Catherine Ricchetti (MSW ’93), are to be honored at the 2018 National Association of Social Workers (NASW)-NYS Social Work Awards.

Albany, NY (September 07, 2018) – On Friday, September 14, two School of Social Welfare alumni will be recognized for their contribution to, and excellence in, the profession. Bonita Sanchez (MSW ’73) and Catherine Ricchetti (MSW ’93) are to be honored at the 2018 National Association of Social Workers (NASW)-NYS Social Work Awards. Ms. Ricchetti is receiving the Social Worker of the Year award, while Ms. Sanchez is being celebrated with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to the NASW-NYS awards, Nora Boyle (MSW ’12) was included in City and State New York’s (CSNY) Albany 40 Under 40 Rising Stars. To read more about Nora's accomplishments and the other 2018 awardees, some of which are also UAlbany graduates, follow this link to the CSNY website.

Congratulations to our alumni. If you are a graduate of the School of Social Welfare and have news to share, please contact Alyssa Lotmore, Alumni Outreach and Engagement, at

More about our Awardees

Catherine Ricchetti, LCSW-R has been a social worker since 1988. She received her masters from the University at Albany in 1993. Much of her career has been working with children and families. Catherine has been a school social worker in the Guilderland Schools since 1995.
In 2003, Catherine began exploring Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI). She received permission to begin a pilot program training a dog in the Guilderland Schools. The program was so well received that it has been implemented district-wide. Catherine began writing and lecturing on how to create canine assisted programs in facilities. She teaches social workers and other professionals how to develop successful dog programs. She has written two books on the subject, “Service Trained Facility Dogs,” previously published as “Dogs In School,” and a children’s book titled, “Miss Siggy Speaks.”
Catherine’s passion is helping social workers expand AAI programs. She hopes social workers become the leaders in accessing the tool of a gentle well-behaved dog to support clients. She believes it is social work at its best: grass roots, client focused, gentle, and research backed in its effectiveness.

Bonita Sanchez is an alum and the former employee at the School of Social Welfare. She has been with the University since 1984 and was appointed to Field Director in 1985. In 2000, she also carried the title of Assistant Dean. Despite retiring in 2011, Bonita is still involved with the field department by serving as a MSW field liaison to support students and agencies during the field practicum learning experience.
In regards to her involvement with the National Association of Social Workers: NYS Chapter, Bonita has been an NASW member since the mid 70’s and has been active in local, state and national positions since 1984. She has served as NASW-NYS Treasurer 1988-92; appointed to the NASW national legal Defense Trust Fund from 1989-1993; NASW-NY Nominations and Leadership Committee from 1994-1996; served as Vice President from 2000-2002; and served on the Executive Committee, Program Committee, search committees, and most recently chaired the NYS Nominations and Leadership committee from 2012-18.