BSW Student Spotlight Archive

Study Abroad - Emily Rubin in Croatia & Montenegro

Colorado State University School of Social Work student Emily Rubin studying abroad in Montenegro

This spring semester School of Social Work student Emily Rubin traveled to Kotor, Montenegro! She says "It was amazing, we hiked a medieval wall that was built in the 9th century and through war and earthquakes it's been kept in great shape and at the top is a fortress with a 360 degree view of the mountains and bay."

Rubin has been studying in Croatia. She says "Study abroad has been quite interesting since I got to Dubrovnik about a week ago! The language is incredibly difficult but it is such a breathtaking place! I am taking classes about terrorism,peace and conflict as well and international organizations! I have already learned so much about myself and this place and it feels like I've been here forever!"

Photos from Emily as well as other students studying abroad are in an album on the School of Social Work's Facebook page.

(Feb. 2015)

Partners in Progress: Social Workers in India

For several CSU social work students, participating in the summer 2014 service trip to India was the journey of a lifetime. Four students (Frannie Sovcik, Kenzie Bohm, Whitney Walkenhorst, and Carrie Stricker) and social work assistant professor Shannon Hughes visited rural villages in central India in collaboration with Westminster College in Utah.

Information on the summer 2015 trip (PDF).

(Feb. 2015)

SOWK 342 Community Service Project: Realities for Children

CSU School of Social Work students Jessica Barreras, Jeanine Danley, Sydney Duran, Sophie Johnson, Kelsey Morrell, Emily Parrett, Lauren Peterson, and Cassandra Stewart

Back row (left to right): Sophie Johnson, Lauren Peterson, Jessica Barreras, Cassandra Stewart , Kelsey Morrell.
Front row (left to right): Jeanine Danley, Emily Parett, Sydney Duran.

Realities for Children is a nonprofit organization that works with local businesses and other nonprofits to provide better services for families struggling with child abuse or neglect. Since Thanksgiving is a special time for families, we collaborated with an affiliate agency to provide Thanksgiving food baskets to the families. We contacted several local businesses for donations and set up donation boxes on the CSU campus. We were able to collect 101 nonperishable food items and received $238, which was used to purchase more food items. Food items we collected were used to supplement the Thanksgiving food baskets for 200 local families.

(Dec. 2014)

SOWK 342 Community Service Project: Neighbor to Neighbor

CSU School of Social Work students Isaac Arvizo, Anessa Compos, Terrance Harris, Michelle Jacoby, Hannah Otten, Susana Ruvalcaba, Kelsey Schwartz

Back row (left to right): Kelsey Schwartz, Isaac Arvizo, Terrance Harris, Hannah Otten.
Front row (left to right): Anessa Compos, Susana Ruvulcaba, Michelle Jacoby.

Neighbor to Neighbor assists low-income families by providing housing options in order to prevent homelessness in the Northern Colorado region. One of the challenges the new residents face is being able to afford basic household items during the transition as they move in their new homes. Our goal for this project was to provide necessary household items and ease the transition for the new residents. We contacted several local businesses asking for donations to create welcome baskets filled with either basic household items or gift cards to buy them. By the end, we managed to collect $252 worth of products, vouchers, and gift cards from different local businesses in Fort Collins.

(Dec. 2014)

SOWK 342 Community Research Project: Maji Safi of Tanzania

CSU School of Social Work students Kenzie Bohm, Tina Boyer, Emily Carr, Faith Craver,Colter Schutte, Preston McGinty

Back row (left to right): Kenzie Bohm, Tina Boyer, Emily Carr, Faith Craver.
Front row (left to right): Colter Schutte , Preston McGinty.

For our community research project we worked with the Maji Safi organization, based out of Shirati, Tanzania. Our goal was to create awareness of Biharzia, a parasitic infection, in the community of Shirati. In 2011, it was estimated that 15.2 million people were infected with Bilharzia in Tanzania alone. If untreated, it can lead to organ failure and even death. After conducting extensive research and working collaboratively with Maji Safi, we were able to design two awareness assessment surveys. One survey was geared towards children and another towards adults in the community. The surveys will help Maji Safi assess the community’s current knowledge of Bilharzia, and provide Maji Safi with a resource for designing future awareness projects.

(Dec. 2014)

SOWK 342 Community Service Project: Toys for Homeless Gear

CSU School of Social Work students Evan Decker, Krista Densberger, Heather Madrid, Heather Mai, Andrew Motis, Caitlin Schoenig, Hannah Venekamp

Back row (left to right): Heather Mai, Krista Densberger, Evan Decker, Caitlin Schoenig, Andy Motis
Front row (left to right): Hannah Venekamp, Heather Madrid.

During the holiday season, the homeless population in Fort Collins faces a unique set of hardships. Our goal was to provide 500 toys to children attending a Christmas event hosted annually for the homeless people by Homeless Gear, a local non-profit. We faced multiple challenges throughout the semester including one of the toy donations boxes being stolen. However, we managed to collect more than 600 toys before the event. We hope to have lessened the stress that the holiday season brings to parents of 192 families that attended the Christmas event, while putting a smile on the faces of their children.

(Dec. 2014)

BSW Student Publishes Self-Help Book

CSU School of Social Work student Kush Desai

Kush Desai, an undergraduate student in the School of Social Work, wrote a self-help book titled Tea with Kush to help people find a balance between doing what they love and what is expected of them. The book is on sale online through retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Collegian has a nice article on Desai and the book.

(November 2014)

Welcome to our 2014-15 Student Ambassadors!

CSU School of Social Work student ambassadors

(Sept. 2014)

Welcome to our Fall 2014 Freshmen!

Colorado State University School of Social Work Fall 2014 freshmen students

(Aug. 2014)

1,000 Diapers in Less Than 4 Weeks!

CSU School of Social Work's 342 student diaper drive project with Alycia Erickson, Rachel Huddleson, Katelin Cornelison, Chelsea Jacobs, Bryanna Hayes, Carley Collison, and Steve Michel

Students from Dr. Farrel's SOWK 342 class organize a successful summer service learning project collecting diapers for charity. See this news story for more details. (Left to right: Alycia Erickson, Rachel Huddleson, Katelin Cornelison, Chelsea Jacobs, Bryanna Hayes, Carley Collison, and Steve Michel)

(July 2014)

Student Spotlight: Onalee Andrews

(May 2014)

Student Spotlight: Esther & Jessica Aguila

(May 2014)

Student Spotlight: Andrea Hanson

(May 2014)

Student Spotlight: Terrance Harris

(May 2014)

2014-15 Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to our new scholarship recipients!

  • Sarah Bibbey - Redmond Family Scholarship (for high-ability, full-time students, especially in regard to activities outside the classroom)
  • Terrance Harris - Anne Blair Scholarship (for undergraduate level students)
  • Kate Eleanor - Columbine Health Systems Scholarship (for gerontology study)
  • Ben Stephens, Elizabeth Harvey, Alexa Bennett, Bailey Skiba, Kate Eleanor - Lawton Graduate Student Scholarship (for clinical social work, and child welfare)
  • Doreen Baker, Courtney Flynn, Katherine Seese, Donovan Tate, Jodie Hight, Emma Reust, Tiffany Huaman, Emily Carr - School of Social Work Scholarship (for commitment to social work)
  • Madeline Pielert, McKenzie Gunderson - Fornaro Family Social Work Scholarship (for commitment at a micro or macro level to a specific field)
  • Djanne Smith - Betty P. Broadhurst Scholarship in Social Work (for a commitment to international work &/or immigrant populations)
  • Rodrigo Mendez - Richard G. Mimiaga Memorial Scholarship (for commitment to working with diverse populations)
  • Chris Barker - Anne Andrews Scholarship for Mental Health Advocates (for interest in a mental health field that advocates for those affected by chronic mental illness)
  • Bailey Skiba - Georgia and Ben Granger Social Work Human-Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC) Scholarship (for interest in human-animal bond and the therapeutic use of companion animals)
  • Kebrina Chirdon - Hoole/Sagen Scholarship (for demonstrating a commitment to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community)
  • Mekdelawit Desta - Pershing E. Sims Memorial Scholarship (for a desire to work with poverty populations)
  • Capella Hauer - Michael J. Schissler Memorial Scholarship (for community service work)
  • Bethany Hicks - Ben Granger Distance Education Scholarship (for someone enrolled in the School of Social Work Distance Education Program)
  • Faith Craver - CHHS Students First Scholarship (from the College of Health and Human Sciences)

CSU has many opportunities for scholarships. Visit the university's scholarship webpage for more information.

Thank you to those who develop and provide the scholarships - we appreciate your support!

(May 2014)

McKenzie Gunderson

In this video current undergraduate School of Social Work student McKenzie Gunderson discusses her experiences with social work so far, and her plans for the future.

(May 2014)

Leva Lafrombois - Junior Social Work Major

Leva Lafrombois

What motivated you to choose Social Work as your major?

I chose Social Work as a major because I have always had a passion for empowering underrepresented populations. Since I was a child I've always been told that I should be a lawyer because I've always been one to speak out when I feel that an injustice has been done, but I never had a real interest in that field. I have found that pursuing a degree in Social Work allows me to use my outspoken personality in a positive way. I am able to be an advocate and a voice for underrepresented and overlooked populations and help them to receive the help they deserve.

What type of social problem are you passionate about solving?

The population I am most interested in working with is juvenile offenders. I love the concept of diversion programs and restorative justice. I have seen firsthand how these opportunities can empower youth and keep them from getting caught up in the system. I am passionate not only about getting involved in these programs, but helping them spread as an alternative intervention method.

What are your career goals within the field of Social Work?

Upon graduating, I plan to work with juvenile offenders and more specifically in these diversion programs. I also plan to get my MSW through CSU. My ultimate dream would be to create my own diversion program that provides youth with outlets of expression by incorporating the arts (music, dance, poetry, drawing, etc.), which is my second passion.

(April 2014)

Donovan Tate - Sophomore Social Work Major

Donovan Tate

What motivated you to choose Social Work as your major?

I chose social work as my major because I have always enjoyed helping people. I have been through some challenging times in my life which required me to use my strengths around me such as my family and friends to push me to keep going. Throughout the obstacles in my life, I have nonetheless been resilient and I always aim for positivity and optimism. My own personal background has always allowed me to be empathetic with others and help them out in their respective situations. I knew I wanted to make a career out of this. A career out of motivating people, inspiring people and enabling them to be the best contributors to society that they can be despite the adversity they have faced in their lives. I desire to help others in any way possible because putting a smile on someone's face and helping them get their life back on track is rewarding in itself.

What type of social problem are you passionate about solving?

I am passionate about solving the problem of prejudice and discrimination in society. Whether it be sexism, racism, ageism, or any other negative prejudice towards a selected, marginalized group, I want to do away with it. There is only one race and that is the human race. We all have different cultures, sexual orientations, likes, dislikes, needs and other things. However, one thing that remains true is that we are all alike on the inside. We all bleed the same color, we all breathe the same air. I want to spread love and maximize equality throughout society. Social inequalities have plagued society for a very long time and it is time to foster progressive thinking and push towards equal opportunity and social justice for all people.

What are your career goals within the field of Social Work?

I'm not sure what my career goals are just yet within Social Work, but I know that I will make a career out of being a helper to others. Whether this be in child protective services, probation offices, school counselor or a victim's advocate, I will do my very best to restore and enhance the lives of others while pushing my clients to be the very best individual they can possibly be.

(April 2014)