T Minus 1 Week

Ahhhhh, I can feel the stress leaving my body!  I officially have one more day of class before completing my MSW.  Honestly, this day seemed far off just a few months ago but it’s quickly upon me  and I am getting increasingly excited to be finished.  Don’t get me wrong, it has been a tremendous two years of growth, challenging moments at internship, and fun with new, life long friends but I’m ready for the real world again.

As we finish up our course work we simply add different stressors to our life.  Instead of the pressure to finish up a paper or cramming for that last final and the need for that elusive A, we now find pressure in an uncertain job market, unanswered “What do I really want to do?” questions, and in all the changes ahead.  As I begin the job search I attempt to keep my internship supervisor’s words in my mind, “Consider your first job out of a graduate program like another internship.  It won’t be perfect or exactly what you dreamed it to be but it will allow you to grow and learn in a new environment, allow you to settle into life as a professional social worker and provide you with an opportunity to continue to learn from your supervisor.”  Despite not wanting to admit it, I know she’s right.  It won’t be perfect but it’s a start and a good way to ease back into the working world.

But first, let us all celebrate the accomplishment of being a MSW!!!!!!!!  Congrats fellow graduates.  We’ve done it!!!!  Time to get used to writing those three letters behind your signature!


First-Year at GSSW

I can’t believe my first year at GSSW is coming to a close. It has been a hectic year!

This year, I met a bunch of great new people in the Admissions Department where I am a work-study student, interned at the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, and took 12 classes.

The 2011-2012 school year was certainly a juggling act. Each week, I spent 16 hours in field, 12 hours in class, 12-15 hours at work, and countless hours studying and reading. Knowing I was not alone helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Though I still have five papers to turn in and one DSM-IV test to take, I feel I have accomplished a great deal this year.

The projects and papers assigned by faculty helped me understand more about myself and my clients. I learned the value of social work ethics and my field internship helped me put these into practice. There were difficult periods, like finals, and there were long, necessary breaks (like our 6-week winter vacation).

Overall, I am grateful to DU’s School of Social Work for a great first year experience. That said, I am looking forward to a three-month break! Only three weeks to go!


10 points Week of 5/7/12

NOTE:  If you have any agenda items for GSA’s next meeting on Wed May 16th, please send them to Rachel Benson at rachelgbenson@gmail.com .

10 pts May 5, 2012

  1. The nominations received for faculty speaker, student speaker, quote for the recognition ceremony program, and class gift were narrowed down by GSA and are now available for voting on by the student body. Go to http://gssw.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9SpzGRIZugeD1WY. The survey will close at the end of the day on May 14th.
  2. Attn. Graduating students! – RSVP for the GSSW Recognition Ceremony by Wed May 9th at 5pm at http://gssw.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bmyqOph9hf4ueLG. Due to space limitations, non-graduating students may only attend if they get a ticket through a graduating student.
  3. Advising for graduation transition and job search as well as registration for concentration year is now available. Contact your advisor to make an appointment. Registration for fall classes is on May 16. See the email from Sarah Sweetman for details.
  4. There will be 6 clinical faculty candidates interviewing at GSSW in the month of May for 2 positions, a field coordinator position and a teaching position.  Students are invited to 2 sessions on each interview day – The colloquium presentation over the lunch hour in room 448 and a special student session at 3pm each day.  Students interested in the 3pm session should rsvp to Karen.Bensen@du.edu. It is important to get student feedback on these candidates, so please consider attending the lunch hour presentation or the special student session.  Dates ar Monday May 14, Tuesday May 22, Wednesday May 23, Wednesday May 24, Tuesday May 29, and Wednesday May 30.
  5. Join the “GSSW Friends and Resource Page” Facebook group to stay connected with all GSSW alums who have also joined.  It is a wonderful professional resource for finding jobs and resources.
  6. Join the “DU’s GSSW BUY, SELL, SWAP TEXTBOOKS!” Facebook group in order to have a venue to do just that!
  7. Join the GSSW-jobs listserv to get emails about job announcements in the Denver area and beyond.

Go to https://listserv.du.edu/mailman/listinfo/gssw-jobs, type in your email address and click on subscribe. Do NOT choose daily digest. It does not work for this listserv. When you want to unsubscribe, you can go to the same webpage.

  1. For a calendar of “GSSW community Events” and a page listing of “non-GSSW News and Information”, go to the GSSW tab on WebCentral, then click on these from the navigation panel.
  2. 9.       Comments from students taking the 3 quarter research sequence this past year.

“Awesome, I have nothing but great things to say about [the three quarter research sequence]! I think all the research classes should be spread out over three quarters.   You have more time to plan and conduct and original research project. You have less stress toward the end of the quarter. And, you have more time to soak up research concepts and mull over ideas for deeper understanding.”

“I feel like the 3 quarter class was a great choice because it allowed the time for students to really develop a project of interest and not feel crazed all of the last quarter trying to pack things in. It could have just been this particular class, but I definitely feel like it one of my best class decisions while at GSSW.  I would highly recommend it.”

“I think there have been many advantages to taking the three-quarter sequence. Having extra time allowed for a more thoughtful conceptualization of my research question(s) and study, particularly in the context of the overarching topic of sexuality. Although there is great diversity in the research topics within our class, I have been encouraged to think about the overall topic in greater depth due to exposure to others’ logic models and research considerations.

“Navigation of the IRB process was challenging for some in our class, so the extra time also allowed for that to occur more easily. More time for data collection and analysis has also been a positive byproduct of this sequence, and since SPSS requires some extra learning time, I can’t really imagine doing all of this in only two quarters!“

“The advantage of taking the 3 quarter sequence is that you have more time to both understand the research content and develop a project. Further, I have a more in-depth understanding of research methodologies and subsequently marketable skills that I can use as soon as I graduate. I don’t think I would feel as confident about my research knowledge and skills had I taken the 2 quarter sequence.”

“You have more time to get your research project together, and not feel pressured or stressed as the students do with 2 quarters.  It was nice to have offering of different topics to do research than just at your internship.”

“I liked the extra time to work on our research projects. We had more of an opportunity to plan ahead and to start researching on break. The projects felt less daunting than what I’m hearing from those doing 2 quarters.”

  1. 10.   Upcoming Events

a)       “Ideas for your continued learning as a Social Worker: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis”, Tuesday May 8, 11-11:50am, Room 284, FREE Pizza!

b)       All the student organizations are sponsoring an “Org Faire” on the patio on May 11, over the lunch hour. There will be info about all the student orgs, as well as food, lawn games, warm sun, and good friends!  Check it out!

c)       ECO Conscious Meetings – Monday, May 14 and Friday May 18, 11-11:50, room 384.

d)       Recognition Ceremony ticket distribution:  Mon. May 14, Tues. May 15, Mon. May 21, Tues May 22, 11-11:50am in the lobby.  If  you cannot make it to one of these times, contact Karen.Bensen@du.edu to make other arrangements.

e)       “Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)”, Monday, May 14, 11-11:50am, room 284.

2012 – 2013 Information Sessions Now Online

Greetings from the Office of Admission!

We are happy to announce that our 2012-2013 School Year Information Sessions are now posted online. Please let EVERYONE who is interested in our MSW program to find a date that will work for them and sign up!

Please visit: http://www.du.edu/socialwork/admission/msw/rsvp.html for the dates & times.

As always, if you or anyone has any questions please contact the Office of Admission at gssw-admission@du.edu or by phone at (303)-871-2841.

See you at an information session!

Nick Ota-Wang

Admissions Assistant