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What have you done since graduating and where are you now?
Since graduating, I worked at a Jewish day camp, acting as the Counselor-in-Training coordinator over the summer. I moved to Chicago after the summer to begin my year in Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps. I have just graduated with my Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, with a specialization in school social work. I am thrilled to share that I will soon be starting a new job as a school social worker at a therapeutic day school in Chicago, fulfilling my dream of working with special needs and marginalized youth. I credit the RCAH's civic-engagement and social-justice infused curriculum and staff for inspiring me to participate first in Avodah: the Jewish Service Corps and then continuing on to attend social work school.
How did RCAH prepare you for what you're doing now?
RCAH’s strong emphasis on civic engagement prepared me for doing community school work. Community school work requires partnerships, collaboration, and dialogue between people from different walks of life with differing values. Through my civic engagement experiences at the RCAH, teaching ESL at the Refugee Development Center in Lansing as well as assisting in a classroom and leading a lunchtime book club at Whitehills Elementary School, as well as the many readings on cultural awareness and oppression, I have been able to collaborate with people from a diverse array of backgrounds.
What were your academic interests in RCAH?
My elective pathway in the RCAH was Childhood and Society. I was extremely interested in the factors (such as gender conditioning, the language spoken at home, the culture in which a child was raised, etc.) that contribute to the social, cultural, and personal identities of children. I also found the civic engagement opportunities to be invaluable--they made me realize that I want to be a social worker.
What were your favorite aspects of the RCAH experience?
The strong sense of a tight knit community among college members, the many social justice events and opportunities available within the college, the passion and willingness of my peers and professors to think outside of the box and question societal norms, the emphasis on all aspects of culture (including indigenous and minority cultures and experiences), and I especially loved being in the Appalachian String Band!
Did you ever take part in Study Abroad/Study Away at MSU? If so, which programs?
Yes, I studied abroad for a semester through Michigan State at the University of Haifa’s International School in their honors psychology program.
What words of wisdom do you have for current RCAH students?
Take advantage of all of the unique and interesting cultural and social justice opportunities that the RCAH has to offer! Also, get to know your RCAH professors--they may become your mentors or even just have some awesome knowledge to share with you! Lastly, get out of East Lansing sometimes so that you’re not living in a bubble (even if it is a lovely little bubble)!