Alyssa Wyss knew one thing for certain when she entered Carthage’s Social Work program: She wanted to help people.
“I felt as though God was telling me to come to Carthage and to enter into the Social Work Program, though at the time I had no clue why,” she said. “I later found out that Carthage has an outstanding social work program. The Carthage BSW program is fully accredited by the National Council on Social Work Education. Because of this accreditation, students enter graduate school with advanced standing.”
Alyssa believes that the Social Work Program’s success comes from the variety of courses and opportunities Carthage offers.
“They offer courses such as Global Poverty and African Traditions, both of which I am absolutely fascinated by and may not be able to take at other colleges,” she said. “Also, in a lot of my classes, I have had to do research projects that have provided me with opportunities to get out in the community and conduct first-hand research. By doing this it was a way to make connections with different agencies and businesses in the area.”
In addition, Alyssa appreciates the amount of intern and field education hours that the Social Work Program requires of its students. She credits these hours to helping her narrow her focus to global poverty.
Alyssa has had field experience with Kenosha Human Development Services, Shelter Care (a juvenile crisis shelter), Transitional Living Group Home, and a homeless shelter. She has also interned with the Urban Outreach Center, where she worked with an adult education GED class for non-English speakers and also helped in the shelter. In addition, she traveled to Zambia, Africa in the summer of 2008, where she lived and worked in an orphanage called Every Orphan’s Hope.
“I felt as though God was telling me to come to Carthage and to enter into the Social Work Program.”
“My ultimate goal would be to open an orphanage in Africa, and if not open one, then definitely to work in one.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“It is hard to pick a favorite professor within the program, though I would say Dani Geary has been extremely resourceful and helpful,” Alyssa says. “Dani does a really great job at connecting students to information and resources that they are truly interested in; she would go out of her way to copy interesting articles or forward e-mails that she knows certain students would like or find interesting. She is also very available to meet with students and help them in any way she can. She puts an extreme effort into getting to know the students individually and connecting class to areas of social work that students are pursuing.”
“Though not required for social work majors, my favorite class has been Global Poverty. Not only did we get to study international poverty, which I am extremely interested in, but I got to do an entire research study on Zambia!”
“My hardest class was probably Behavioral Research Statistics. I had no background in statistics and had a hard time learning from this professor’s teaching style and approach.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Some of my favorite moments are Carthage include seeing the sun rise as I go to do morning intern hours, blaring rap while painting in the art room really late at night, attending conferences through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and spending time with the lifelong friends I’ve made.”
Favorite spot on campus
“My favorite spot on campus is a secret spot in which my friends and I like to call the “Stoop.” Otherwise, I really enjoying sitting on the beach on a nice day, and find it very peaceful to be in the Meditation Chapels.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“I would recommend trying not to procrastinate. Find your internships as early in the semester as you can and don’t push off completing your hours. Also, if you are confused or need help, ask your professors! They really do want to help you!”