Iris Wong, MSW 2020

Iris Wong
Why did you choose social work? MSU?
Upon graduation I hope to become a legal advocate for children and families with children and I believe that having an understanding of social work can help me achieve this goal. I was initially drawn to Michigan State University because it offered me a unique ability to attend school in a different country and learn in an environment that was unfamiliar to me, while still having the ability to go home whenever I need to. Additionally, Michigan State University offers students the ability to learn, work and research on topics like child welfare, mental health and social work in school settings.
Do you have any advice for students currently enrolled in a social work program?
Get involved! There are a lot of amazing ways to get involved on campus and in the community. Getting involved was probably the best decision I made in my two year at MSU. I have been able to meet so many future leaders and learn from them.
Have you had a job or internship that has had a strong impact on you?
This past year I had the opportunity to complete my internship at the Michigan State University Chance at Child Clinic. The Chance at Childhood Clinic provides students with an opportunity to gain firsthand experience working in the field of child welfare and legal advocacy. As part of the Clinic I had the opportunity to work with students from the College of Law and gained a better understanding of the child welfare system in Michigan. Working in an interdisciplinary environment was eye opening and I was able to learn from the different perspective law students had regarding child welfare. Additionally, the team of amazing advisors provided me with support and the background knowledge to conduct custody and guardianship reviews, supervised parenting time and provide legal self-help to members of the community. They were always there to support me and push me to become a better clinician.
Have you participated in a research project that had a strong impact on you?
I am currently a research scholar with the School of Social Work. Lead by doctor Joanne Riebschleger I have had the privilege of working with and amazing research team of graduate students, undergraduate students and faculty members from many different departments at Michigan State. Our research has been on mental health literacy, specifically for middle school and high school students that have family members with mental health issues. The work we have been doing over the last two years has included the creation of the Mental Health Information for Teens website (, the Youth Education and Support program (YES), and scales to measure mental health literacy among teenagers.