Emily Goodright '15

I recently accepted a position at Work Opportunities, a non-profit organization that assists individuals with developmental disabilities in obtaining employment and engaging in their communities. I am a Community Access Specialist, and I get to work with individuals in their communities supporting them in volunteer positions and in their interests and activities. This is a population that I have little experience with and had never really considered working with. Yet, the education I received through the PLU Social Work program prepared me for work with a variety of populations and gave me the capacity to open myself to new experiences. As a recent grad, I am looking forward to the possibility of continuing my education and obtaining my MSW, but having the ability to gain experience within the field will help inform what I wish to focus my practice on in the future and give me tools that will enrich my future educational endeavors. My time at PLU and in the Social Work program helped to incite my passion for serving others and gave me the opportunity to connect to individuals with so many interests and perspectives. Although I still have so much more to learn and many more years of experience to acquire, my PLU Social Work education has prepared me for the unknowns and uncertainties of life outside of school.

Ashley Gill ‘15

I am weeks away from beginning the advanced standing MSW program at UW Seattle and set to graduate in June 2016. During my time in the social work program I interned at St. Clare hospital in Lakewood and I will continue the health concentration during my MSW program and after graduation. I know that without my PLU social work education and the faculty that guided and supported my cohort, I would not be going to UW Seattle this summer and I might not have gone to grad school at all. This program sparked a deep passion and love for social work as well as prepared me for the MSW program I will be entering. The faculty provided the support and quality education that helped me be successful in the past and confident in my future ambitions as a social worker. I am extremely grateful for the education and opportunities I received through PLUs BSW program and I appreciate the Department of Social Works role in where I am today and where I am headed in the future.

Caroline Olstad ’12

After earning my MSW and MPH at Washington University in St. Louis, I am living in St. Paul with a fellow Minnesotan Lute and working at the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. My position is “Seizure Smart Schools Program Manager”. The program is focused on making every school in Minnesota (and eastern North Dakota) “seizure smart”, which means training students, teachers, school nurses, bus drivers, etc on how to recognize and respond to seizures. It means a lot of in-state travel, meeting new people, and giving presentations- all things I love! It’s a good first “real” job. Also, my position/ the program is funded partly by Jerry Kill, the Minnesota Gophers football coach, who has epilepsy. So I get to work with a local celebrity a bit too! It’s nice to be back in Minnesota with all my family. I do miss Washington though! I also am missing all the international travel opportunities that being in school has to offer.

Desiree Henderson '02

I currently live in Olympia, Washington, where I am working as a therapeutic counselor at a private agency, Parent and Child Togetherness (PACT). This agency works with level 3 and 4 foster children helping them to stabilize in their new environments and work through the problems that have put them in the foster care system. My caseload consists of 8 – 16 year olds and has been quite the challenge.

I truly appreciate the education that PLU provided me because without it, I wouldn’t have been ready for this challenge. I will be moving in a few months to Spokane to begin to prepare for Graduate school which will begin this summer. I would love to hear from alumni and current students!

Desiree Henderson, Class of 2002
Des_h98@hotmail.com

Calling all Social Work Alums...

Contact us and let us know where you are and what you are doing since leaving PLU. We’d love to hear from you. Email us at socw@plu.edu.

Patricia Meyer '02

I am currently enrolled in the Advanced Standing Master’s of Social Work program at UW-Seattle. After graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in May 2002 I took a little time to myself before heading into the UW graduate program in July 2002.

The program here at UW is one of the top social work programs in the country, and I have to say PLU did an excellent job of preparing me for that level of work. As an Advanced Standing student I enrolled as a second year MSW candidate, so the class load is not in the least bit overwhelming. I spend a majority of my time at my practicum placement with the State of Washington Office of Crime Victims Advocacy. There I am involved in some policy research and analysis regarding the use of penalty assessments in victim/witness programs throughout the state. I will be preparing a report on my findings for the legislature. I am also working on some federal grants for domestic violence issues. This is all very exciting to me, but perhaps the best is yet to come. I am extremely interested in legislative advocacy and the 2003 session is just around the corner!

In looking down the road towards graduation in June 2003 my future is uncertain. I do know that I plan to take a couple years off and further develop my professional skills through employment opportunities. Law school seems a strong possibility in a few years especially because of the things I am interested in accomplishing with my MSW. For now, I’m just going to enjoy this time in graduate school and be thankful for the wonderful education the PLU Department of Social Work provided me.

Patricia Meyer, Class of 2002
Jellybean1344@aol.com

Stacie Lintvedt Hanson '01

I am currently attending the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. I will graduate in May 2003 with my MSW with a concentration in Social and Economic Development. The PLU Social Work Program helped prepare me for graduate school by emphasizing the role that the social work profession plays in promoting social justice on local, domestic, and international levels. The PLU professors got me excited about creating broad social change for disenfranchised populations. I am currently doing my practicum at Citizens for Missouri’s Children, a statewide child advocacy agency, doing policy work and political organizing around children’s issues. After graduation, I hope to move back to the Pacific Northwest and work on children’s policy issues.

Stacie Lintvedt Hanson, Class of 2001