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January 21st, 2007

digifreak @ 12:38 pm: Conference
I was wondering if anyone would be attending the ASA/NCOA joint conference held in Chicago in March and if so is anyone interested in sharing a room in the host hotel. I am planning on being there Tuesday-Saturday.


January 18th, 2007

changinglight @ 10:48 pm: Second semester questions
So, I started classes for my last (!) semester of my MSW this week, and they were fairly impressive.  I was surprised, but pleasantly so.  On of the MSW "capstone" requirements in my program is an ethics course, and there is one specifically devoted to macro practice...Today, our professor asked us a lot of really interesting questions that I thought might spark some discussion here.  (Let's liven things up a bit here!)

  • What drew you to social work?
  • What drew you to macro work?
  • How do you see yourself applying macro practice in your career?
  • What's your vision for the future?
  • What are the things that sustain you?
  • And...what are the most important or biggest ethical dilemmas facing our world right now, and the social work profession specifically?
So, what do you say?  I'd start by answering my own questions, but I have to get up early for field tomorrow. 

October 4th, 2006

sassylilscorpio @ 01:50 pm: Service Learning: Making a Difference One Degree at a Time
I found this article on msn.com. It's about obtaining an online degree and going out there to make an impact on the world and social change. So, I thought it would be very appropriate for here. I would've made this into an LJ cut, but I keep forgetting how to do it. I have copied/pasted from the site. I plan to cross-post this to socialwork. This is the url:


This is the article:

Service Learning: Making a Difference One Degree at a Time
by Christina Couch

For many people, the daily grind means going to work, punching in at 9 AM sharp, and waiting anxiously for the day to end. But for some, it means arriving early, leaving late, and spending the day working for a good cause.

Both Aaron Brock and Tim Bolton earned their degrees online. Their success and impact in the world demonstrate how online courses and degree programs are often ideal for those working for nonprofit organizations. Unlike those in traditional classrooms, students in online courses can fulfill class requirements on their own time while still balancing work in their field. Brock says that exchanging ideas with a classroom full of people with practical knowledge added an extra dimension to his learning experience.

Brock is the outreach coordinator for the Missoula Food Bank, a Montana-based agency that supplies meals for approximately 400 low-income households. As a recent graduate of an online nonprofit-management program, he is able to apply lessons he culled from the cyber classroom on a regular basis. "Every day I interact with people who are going to use our services or they're not going to have food," Brock says. "I see that we're making their world a better place. I'm hooked on that."

Doing everything from fundraising to public relations work, Brock credits his degree with giving him the tools and resources necessary to make his organization bigger, better, and more financially efficient. "Every single thing I did in class tied directly with some aspect of my job and if it didn't at first, as soon as I learned those skills I brought them to my job," Brock says. "There was an evolution on both sides."

Tim Bolton is using his psychology master's degree to bolster his nonprofit agency as well as to connect with those the organization serves. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Bolton lost his right leg in the line of duty in 1984 and has since founded Operation Rise and Walk, an organization dedicated to supplying prosthetic limbs to landmine victims around the world.

Like Brock, Bolton is making a difference--a huge one. His organization has sent hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of prosthetics to destinations both locally and abroad, primarily to developing nations where such limbs are typically unavailable. Once Bolton completes his Ph.D. in clinical psychology, he plans to use his degree to research phantom-limb pain and to land a job working in a veterans hospital. As Bolton and Brock can attest, service learning students have to want to take their learning to the next level.

"My classmates weren't people who were in this class to get a degree because dad wanted them to get a degree," says Brock. "These were people who were there because they were passionate and they were living that passion. It wasn't just reading from a book, it was hearing it from someone who can say, 'This really worked.'"

For Kimberly Kudowor, online education was the only way she could complete her degree. She earned a Ph.D. in management of nonprofit agencies while working in China and later in Ghana. Kudowor completed her assignments from Internet cafés, airports, nightclubs, and friends' homes. "China was the seventh country I had been in so I didn't have the ability to sit in a classroom or commit to a schedule," she states. "I never would have been able to finish this degree had I not been able to do it mobile."

Currently a consultant for nonprofit firms across the globe, Kudowor says that her degree complements her drive for service, giving her the background and resources essential to help those with a cause turn their ideas into actions.

If you're interested in turning your ideas into action, the best way to get started is to begin investigating schools that offer courses geared toward social change as well as faculty members who have a name in the field, according to Dr. Marion Angelica, dean of Walden University's School of Public Policy and Administration [Walden University is an advertiser on MSN]. Angelica also recommends checking to see if the school requires students to complete projects, internships, or practicums that will let them get a feel for what supporting their cause on a professional level is truly like. "Most importantly, look for a school with a commitment to social change that is truly in the bare bones of that university, not just good corporate talk to make it sound that way," Angelica says. "Look for extra investments the university makes to encourage and promote social justice and social change."

Having a heart for service is only half the battle. Knowing how to channel your energy and talents in the most effective way possible is the other. Whether your calling is working with refugees in Kazakhstan or mentoring inner city youth in Los Angeles, making a difference is all about combining passion and expertise. "When you talk about nonprofits and social justice, one thing that the leaders have is passion," says Kudowor. "With this degree, I really go in with a confidence knowing that I can help them so that they can go on changing the world."

Current Mood: contentcontent

September 22nd, 2006

nightsinge @ 06:12 pm: Intro
Hello all. I happened upon this community through anglsl1's journal and I'm so glad you exist!

Like Melissa, I attend the University of Washington and am starting my second year of the three-year weekend program. Because it's an extended program, we do not have the choice of specialization in macro work but are trained for "advanced generalist" practice. So it's especially important for me to find and communicate with other macro folks.

Glad to be here and looking forward to learning more about you all.

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
changinglight @ 02:07 pm: Defining comebacks
So, here's an interesting question.  How do folks deal with the insinuation that because they're macro practitioners, they aren't "real social workers" in the course of "shop talk..." and also, how do you answer questions by lay folks, who assume that because you're a social worker, you're a therapist?

Personally, I do a brief history of social work practice and highlight the work of Jane Addams, point to the ethical concepts of service and social justice, and then refer interested folks to Specht and Courney's (1994).  Unfaithful angels. 

But, I'm looking for something that's a little more concise, and I'd love to hear your ideas...

September 20th, 2006

rebelscure @ 09:15 pm: Macro - Intro
I'm 33, BSW, working in Child Protection in Ontario Canada.  I love my work, but get frustrated at the low level approach.

Been chewing around some macro level questions lately...research ideas, policy changes...so this is a timely "group" creation.

Thanks for making it.

September 19th, 2006

msworbust @ 07:08 pm: hi!

my name is melissa and i'm a msw student at the university of washington. my primary focus right now is on surviving full time work, school, and upcoming practicum of 20 hours a week on top of that. while i am working mainly in a micro setting, i have a long-standing love of macro work, particularly international social work and community organizing.

thanks so much for creating this community!

angieelz @ 02:31 pm: I'm in the 2nd year of my MSW program at the University of Michigan. I started off Interpersonal Practice, but realized that I wanted to be able to make a more widespread influence, so I changed my focus to Social Policy & Evaluation. While they do have a dual degree program with the School of Public Policy, I'm not enrolled in that. I may regret it later, but I'm working full-time, going to school full-time and doing placement 16 hours a week...I don't really have the time to take on another program! :)

I look forward to talking with everyone and hearing about your school and real-world experiences.

Current Location: work
purplesocks @ 01:13 pm: Hi! I'm Maggie, in my final year of the MSW, and trying to get a good deal of macro training and experience in a clinical program. I realized halfway through my first year that I think this sort of work is more interesting and fulfilling to me than direct practice - although I'm actually doing direct practice now in my field placement. I'm glad to meet others like myself.

unskinnybop2 @ 11:55 am: Thank you so much for doing this. I want to meet other macro level social workers too, especially those who want to do international social work. I'm getting my master's degree in May and want to do international community development with a focus on human rights and equal access. For anyone in the atlanta area, I'm trying to start an international social work group.

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