By: Dayton Bissett
On Wednesday, Feb 27., the social work department put together a mixer to give attention to the hard work of social workers.
The point of the mixer was for students or anyone to come interact with people in the social work department and gain a better understanding over what social work is.
Junior and Vice President of The Organization of Student Social Workers (OSSW) Roxanne Bade said the spring mixer went great.
“We had great food and an even better conversation,” Bade said. “We were able to talk about the social work program and everything that is going on with OSSW. Three seniors in the social work program came, and we were able to ask them questions and give any words of advice. We talked about volunteering, social work masters programs and the different practicums.”
Bade said her plans after graduating Missouri Western are to go and get a master’s degree. She has a passion to work with the elderly population, and ultimately wants to work with hospice patients.
“I am interested in social work because I am passionate about helping others in their times of need,” Bade said. “I love how social work touches the lives of every person from birth to death.”
BSW Program Director Dr. Pam Clary explains what social work is and gives an understanding about why she’s so passionate about this field of study and work.
“Social work is a very broad term,” Clary said. “Generalist perspective is the degree we have here for social work. What that means is our skill set will transcend across a lifespan, from birth to death. I can go and work with people who are parents getting ready to have children. I can work with babies, to children, to people that are dying, and then to their families after death. I can work with people across the lifespan. I can also work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and institutions. Our degree goes vertical besides going horizontal. But, social work is everywhere. It’s very broad. We’re really all about helping people and making a difference in people’s lives.”
Clary said social work is an important field of study.
“We don’t live in a vacuum,” Clary said. “We need people. What we know about human nature is we tend to be very selfish, but a majority of people are going to be in relationships. I’m not just talking about intimate relationships. I’m talking about any type of relationship, whether it be a boss and an employee, whether it’s a teacher and a student, whether it’s going into Walmart and checking out over the counter, any type of relationship. Social work is a field that we can help navigate those systems of relationships. That’s part of our purpose, to help people navigate those relationships. Their relationships are important. What we do is we help people function better.”
President of OSSW Jillian Bodhi Grantham gave an overview of what the social work mixer was all about.
“What we’re trying to do as an organization is we’re trying to get different majors more involved,” Grantham said. “We’d like to see everybody because social work is a social service industry. It’s about everybody. It’s about culture, society and community. We’re also trying to get social work majors involved from the earliest times here. We’re trying to create opportunities for them to come together to mix and share experiences and input any ideas about what processes they’re having in completing their major and what opportunities there are. Because that’s one thing about social work, it’s a resource and a network based career.
Clary said that the social work department wants to throw events like this again in the future.