Yesterday, I attended a lecture presented by Dr. Charles Payne, a professor at the University of Chicago. Sponsored by GSSW’s 80th Anniversary Lecture Series, Dr. Payne spoke about the role of mobilized communities in life outcomes for children. He presented information about urban education reform and struck a chord when he discussed the significance of parent and community engagement for social change. I currently intern for a community organizing non-profit in a Denver public school, with a focus on parent engagement and school reform. When Dr. Payne addressed the critical role of social networking and social capital in sustainable change and the potential for community empowerment through engagement, he provided a national context for the work I am involved in here in Denver. His lecture was incredibly thought-provoking and powerful and it provided the opportunity for me to begin thinking about the role of my research at my internship currently and how I can contribute to the body of knowledge about social capital and community mobilization.
As a first-year student at GSSW, I am enrolled in a foundation seminar course that is intended to bridge our field experience with classroom learning. This week, we had a guest presenter speak to us about crisis intervention and his experience with different types of intervention strategies. He spoke about threat assessments, suicide assessments, and abuse (domestic violence, child abuse/neglect, elder abuse, etc.). He not only provided us with a packet of information and resources regarding these topics, but he also shared first hand experiences dealing with crisis situations. As somebody who works with high-risk youth, this lecture was very pertinent to my field work and my future plans as a social worker. I definitely think I am now better prepared to deal with crises in the field (or at least know where to go when I have questions)!
Being a graduate student can become an overwhelming role. There is plenty of reading, writing and class-time as well as internship hours that can fill up anyone’s day. However, for those that can squeeze in a little bit of free time, there are groups and events to participate in. Continue reading “Graduate School Community”