Mission and Values > Programs > Vincentian Mission Institute > Current VMI Cohort > Rolanda Ward

Rolanda Ward


Dr. Ward joined Niagara University as an Associate Professor of Social Work in the fall of 2015.  She completed her doctorate in sociology and social work, her masters in social work, and her masters of divinity at Boston University.  Dr. Ward’s research mainly focuses on society’s most vulnerable, underserved, and proven-risk populations.
Dr. Ward’s most recent and ongoing project partners NU social work students with school systems in an intervention to combat chronic absenteeism. The Niagara University Public School Collaborative (NUPSC) trains social work students, high school students, and social workers in youth development, civic engagement, leadership and youth participatory action research.  The NUPSC program includes a summer leadership camp, weekly intervention lunch meetings, professional development days, and youth advocacy days, as well as directed field placements for Social Work students from across Western New York.

Why Niagara

I applied to Niagara because I liked the idea that students, professors, and staff could opening dialogue about identity and faith on a college campus. In addition, I was excited to hear that students frequently take part in service and mission opportunities.


Service and justice are core characteristics of my personal and professional lives. Participating in VMI allows me to connect how I walk in the world to how I teach at Niagara. I am eager to learn from and share with fellow colleagues in order to promote VMI’s goals here at Niagara.