Carol Vernon, MSW ’05

A 40-year-old mother of four when she entered GSSW as a part-time student, Carol Vernon (MSW ’05) was “non-traditional” in many respects. Her political views, more conservative than those of many classmates, landed her in the midst of a statewide controversy about freedom of political expression on college campuses. Encouraged by professors like Jean East (MSW ’79, PhD ’95) and Dottie Lamm (MSW ’67), Vernon testified before a Senate committee considering the issue. “I found my voice at GSSW!” she said at the time. While finishing her MSW, Vernon worked for the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where her duties included conducting naturalization ceremonies and serving as a Congressional liaison. In 2007, she was recruited to USCIS headquarters in Washington, where she develops policy on permanent residency and immigration reform.