Katherine Harp, MSW - 2016(expected) Katherine Harp

I decided to pursue social work after working in a spectrum disabilities pediatric therapy office for three years and after graduating with a psychology major and disabilities minor from University of Delaware. What I experienced was helping the children in the office, but there was often a large disconnect between helping the child and helping the family. I wanted a career field that was able to help the whole family as a larger unit along with helping the individual child. Social work looks to help enhance the quality of life of individuals, family, and communities.

Michigan State University has a long alumni history with my family, and I chose the MSW program at MSU because of the quality program they offered. Although I had to move away from my home state of Delaware to complete the program, I believe that the education I have received at MSU is unparalleled compared to the other programs I could have attended closer to home.

Although I am about to start my second year field placement, I did an internship this summer that had a large impact on me. I set up my own independent study when I went home to Delaware for summer break. My goal of the independent study was to gain experience in a children’s hospital environment while connecting and meeting social workers in Delaware. I was able to experience social work in a whole different way. The MSW program at MSU gave me the flexibility to create my own experience, and earn credit towards my degree.

Going into my second year, I have had many great instructors but two in particular have stood out. John Mooradian and Beth Robers have been two extraordinary instructors that I have experienced. Dr. Mooradian has a special way of turning ordinary lessons into extraordinary learning experiences. Beth Roberts was always able to take complicated and sometimes dull class material, and, in turn, maximize our curiosity through a variety of techniques and activities to excite learning. Their compassion for teaching, and their patience with students creates the optimal learning environment for graduate students.

I believe attending MSU for the MSW program was the best decision for me, helping to lay a solid foundation for a successful career and future as a Social Worker.