Macro Graduate Testimonials

Michael Walter, MSW '15
Program Coordinator, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program and Drug Addiction Treatment Program
Open Society Institute–Baltimore

I wouldn’t have gotten the job I did after graduation without my macro-level coursework and field placement at the School of Social Work. The Community Organization course introduced me to community organizing, which led to my advanced-year field placement at Greater Homewood Community Corporation. The experience I got there working with Baltimore City residents and neighborhood groups gave me insight into the many issues that people across the city encounter on a daily basis, and prepared me to work with city agencies and other stakeholders to advocate for better programs and policies. The Comparative Social Policy course prepared me to engage in policy analysis and advocacy as a way to bring about social change in areas that I am passionate about, such as mass incarceration and structural racism in the criminal justice system.

Nathan Mishler, MSW '15. 
As a safety and security Data Analyst at Peace Corps, I am responsible for retrieving, synthesizing, and communicating sensitive security data to help personnel mitigate, prevent, and respond to crimes against Volunteers. By combining social work's emphasis of holistically viewing someone as a person in an environment with the social determinants of health from the Comparative Social Policy course; I can better articulate why a volunteer’s multiple stressors and possible multiple minor victimizations can put them at an increased risk for experiencing a severe incident. The comparative social policy course enabled me to better challenge the status quo in disarming ways. Framing issues through a multi-disciplined lens—such as the social determinants of health—enables social workers to influence arenas where our perspective and our voice are sorely missed."

Raine K. Cunningham, MSW '15
Manager, Just Kids Campaign

As a first year student in the School of Social Work in Fall 2013, I was unsure about which path to choose, Clinical or Macro? My first year placement was within SWCOS where I was placed at an elementary/middle school across MLK practicing both Clinical and Macro skills. Along with one of my most challenging yet favorite courses, Intro to Policy with Dr. Nalini Negi, I found my passion geared more towards policy and program management. Through experiences in the Baltimore City School System I was able to truly understand the deeply entrenched systematical injustices that plague our inner city schools and affect all students… I knew that counseling wouldn’t be enough for me, but I would need to seek out job opportunities that allowed me to advocate for policy changes and develop sustainable programs in urban communities. I changed my major from Macro/Clinical to Macro, concentrating in Community Action and Social Policy.

I am now the Campaign Manager for Just Kids where I will assist in community outreach efforts, coordinate the coalition, and coordinate the Just Kids Speakers Bureau. The variety of opportunities I had within the School of Social Work, as an intern and work study student in SWCOS, as an intern with Catholic Charities in their social policy division, and as the co-chair of the International Social Work Organization, combined with my coursework in policy, community organizing and program management have all helped me reach this point.

Ben Kaufman, MSW '11
Program Manager, Maternal and Child Health Technical Assistance
Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Dr. Shdaimah's legislative processes course provided me with a great foundation for understanding social welfare policy at all levels of government, and I found that the assignments had an incredible amount of practical value.  The process of researching, analyzing, and actually testifying on a personally relevant bill quite honestly set my career in the disability field into motion.

Ashley Valis, MSW '06
Executive Director
Community Initiatives and Engagement
University of Maryland, Baltimore

Taking Dr. Meyer’s Community Organizing class back in 2005 was my first exposure to social issue campaigns, how to launch a community effort, and how organizing a group of people to advocate for themselves could be one of the most fulfilling jobs I could have. I used my experience in her class, where we went door to door and organized a neighborhood in East Baltimore, when interviewing for then Mayor O’Malley’s gubernatorial campaign, and I got the job! After 8 years of working in Annapolis, and working on numerous social issue campaigns, from the DREAM Act, to Marriage Equality, I look back now and can see just how much I came to rely on the skills I gained as a MACRO social work student.

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