Most folks who meet me would describe me as a “people person”—friendly, outgoing, someone who enjoys talking and interacting with people both familiar and new. As long as I can remember, I have also sought opportunities to “people watch” trying to figure out the context for their conversations and behaviors…searching for the meaning of why people do what they do. Couple that with a high capacity for empathy and it’s no surprise that I ended up in a field like Social Work! Although to be fair, I didn’t come into college knowing what Social Work even was. I knew I wanted to “help people” but it wasn’t until spring of my first year that I happened into a class called “The Family” which was taught by the chair of the Social Work program, and I came to understand the academic discipline that would later become my life’s work.
I consider my undergraduate work here on The Hill to be one of the more influential experiences in my life thus far. Not only did I discover an academic path I still feel very passionate about, but I also formed significant mentor relationships with my professors that opened doors for me both figuratively and literally. Coming to campus as a first-generation college student, these relationships were helpful in shaping my expectations of college as well as cementing my own expectations for myself as a learner. My liberal arts training has been so helpful in my interactions with my clients over the years because it has helped me to see the interconnections in life and given me knowledge in a variety of subject areas where I found common ground for engaging with people seeking my help.
After my time on The Hill, I went on to earn a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Maternal & Child Health at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Because of the incredible versatility of my Social Work degree, I have worked in a variety of settings with individuals and families affected by eating disorders on an in-patient and outpatient level, perinatal and postpartum mood disorders, children and adolescents with a variety of mood and behavioral issues, and within the school system.