$2 million “J. Chen Scholarship Fund” established at Erikson Institute

New scholarship named in honor of Dr. Jie-Qi Chen will support MSW students

Erikson Institute is proud to announce that through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, a $2 million scholarship fund has been established for Erikson’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The scholarship is named in honor of Dr. Jie-Qi Chen, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty, and Founder of Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative.

The gift will support partial scholarships for a total of 50 students in Erikson’s MSW program who embody Dr. Chen’s deep commitment to the pursuit of knowledge in the service of others. A portion of the scholarship fund will also be earmarked as a permanent endowment, geared towards assisting the MSW students for many years to come.

Dr. Chen has spent 25 years of her distinguished career at Erikson Institute, influencing generations of students, faculty, and professionals who serve children and families. She has earned an international reputation as an expert in early math education, the educational implications of multiple intelligence theory, classroom assessment, and teacher professional development. As the founder of Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative, Dr. Chen has established a program that has helped educators of young children overcome their anxiety about teaching math and build their understanding in foundational mathematics.

Dr. Chen has co-authored and edited 10 books and numerous scholarly articles, and she is a frequent presenter at conferences around the world. Leaders in countries from China to Denmark have sought her expertise as a consultant or committee member for various early childhood initiatives. Dr. Chen currently serves as a board member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), bringing her expertise and leadership skills to a national level. However, it is Dr. Chen’s love of teaching and her high regard for Erikson students that led to the new scholarship fund being named after her.

“I am humbled with such an honor and deeply grateful for the anonymous donor for their vision and understanding of the critical importance of early years of development. The scholarship will help train more high-quality social workers with a signature Erikson experience.”

“The J. Chen Scholarship Fund recognizes that many students well-suited to the social work profession could pursue a master’s degree if they had scholarship assistance,” said Dr. Cassandra McKay-Jackson, Director of Erikson’s MSW Program. “The scholarship provides these students with access to the Erikson MSW, which is nationally-recognized in the field, and will position them well in a competitive market.”

Erikson’s MSW program prepares students to serve a wide range of people, across the lifespan, in a variety of ways. Students learn how critical factors like brain development, trauma, and relationship-based learning factor into problems faced by youth, families, and communities.

Learn more about Erikson’s MSW program here.