I grew up on Buffalo’s East Side, where I saw how important a community is. What I like about social work education is that it very deliberately accounts for the context in which a person lives—neighborhood, community, family. Basically, problems that people experience are not necessarily their fault or their cause. It may be unfair and unjust societies or neighborhoods.
I teach courses that are focused on helping our students become good at assessment and good at trying to bring about change for individuals and families. This includes an online seminar on human rights and trauma-informed care. I want our students to think beyond the typical. I remind them that a real social worker not only provides social services, but also works for social change. That’s what gets me excited as a social worker—teaching students about theory and then showing them how it works in the real world.