Alexis Grantham, MSW 2020

Alexis Grantham
Why did you choose social work? MSU?
Growing up in the inner city of Detroit, MI, I was that child eager to help people in need. I grew up participating in community service events in my hometown with my mother. It has been rewarding knowing I can make a difference in the lives of many people. I chose social work because it is the profession where I know I can give back to others on a grander scale and in a large capacity. I fell in love with social work during my undergraduate years as a BSW student at Michigan State University. The staff and faculty in the School of Social Work truly had an impact on my knowledge and passion for the field of social work.
Have any instructors had a particularly strong impact on you?
As a BSW student at Michigan State University, I would have to say Linda Lawrence and Pilar Horner had the biggest impact on my academics and learning about Social Work. They both challenged me and pushed me in ways I couldn’t imagine in their classes. They also supported me during a very challenging time in my personal life. They set the tone for how I would navigate my last two years of undergrad. As an MSW student at Michigan State University I would have to say Dr. Marcia Lampen, Tina Blaschke-Thompson, and Dr. Marya Sosulski have all challenged me in their courses to dig deeper into content and for that they have impacted my academics in the program. At one point I was unsure of my performance in my policy course but the many questions and visits to office hours helped me be successful.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your academic career at MSU?
The most challenging aspect of my academic career to date has been policy. Policy at one point was the most draining and overwhelming course of my first year in the program. However, I am starting to enjoy it a little bit more so thank you to the professors who pushed me to the max in their policy courses. Finding balance has also been a huge challenge but I am learning to be kind and show myself grace more often (thanks Brene Brown).
Has the academic support system at MSU helped you?
Absolutely. Between obtaining my BSW and currently working towards my MSW, Michigan State University (School of Social Work) academic support system has been a huge help in ensuring I am academically and professionally successful.
What is your ideal job upon graduation with a degree in social work?
My ideal job in the field would be in a health care setting working with children and their families. I have a strong interest in Health Care in the field of social work. In regards to specific settings, I am open to many options. I like the idea of being employed at a hospital; even the VA.
Have you received any awards/scholarships that you are particularly proud of?
In the fall of 2017, I was accepted to be a HEALS Scholar and it was the absolute best experience to date. Dr. Lampen and Amy Romain are great mentors for students interested in Health Care. The policy trip in D.C. was definitely an experience as I was able to work with other students interested in social work in healthcare and advocate for healthcare policy on Capitol Hill. The 2017-2018 HEALS cohort was a great group and helped make my first year of graduate school one to remember.

“I want to see your care for yourself go up as you take care of someone else”
Dr. Gilman

I came across this quote during an assignment in my Stress management and Self-Care course over the summer and it has been a favorite quote ever since. It is a daily reminder to be kind to myself and to do things that make me happy from time to time. It is key to remember, one cannot pour into someone else with an empty vessel.