Alumni Spotlight

Sarah Hunt, BSW 2014, graduate with highest distinction

Sarah is currently employed as the program coordinator with the Protective Order Assistance Partnership (POAP) where she provides crisis intervention services to survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking who are seeking civil orders of protection. She participates in the Monroe County Domestic Violence Task Forces, serves as a volunteer board member with the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and has volunteered with the Shalom Center and Midwest Pages to Prisoners. While a student in the IUB BSW program, Sarah was involved in several advocacy efforts involving issues such as gun violence as well as the stigma and victim blaming that surrounds intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Sarah was nominated by IU Bloomington’s Coordinator of Field Education, Carlene Quinn and her recognition as the BSW Student of the Year and scholarship from the National Association of Social Workers - Indiana Chapter are well deserved. Congratulations, Sarah!

Sam Harrell, BSW 2013

Sam is currently the Director of the Transition Support Center at New Leaf New Life, a nonprofit serving men and women currently and formerly incarcerated. She is also working on developing a support group called Families Behind Bars with another IUB Social Work alum, as well as children's programming for minors whose guardians are incarcerated.

Jordan Baxter, BSW 2012

I find it funny how I don’t realize all that’s happened in two years until I sit down and try to jot it down. January of our senior year, my practicum offered me a position that had become vacant at Garden Villa in Bloomington where I started immediately. The Bloomington Garden Villa has between 170-200 residents and has 2 dementia units (one secure and one step down for end of life), 3 traditional long term care units and a rehabilitation unit. My role since taking the position had been as a rehab social worker which consisted of discharge planning or transitioning to long term care, admission and intake paperwork, cognitive and mood assessments, behavior management, care coordination meetings and setting up community referrals. I enjoyed doing a lot of the discharge planning and enjoyed working with a four other social workers as well as 2 BSW interns.

The Bedford facility is one of the most interesting in the country because they have town pediatric nursing units in addition to a long term geriatric, geriatric rehabilitation, and secure dementia unit. Currently we have 150 residents but fluctuate between 110-160. There are two pediatric units one is for more medically fragile children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities whom are all wheelchair reliant. The second pediatric unit is split between two floors; the residents who are more independent and higher intellectual functioning stay upstairs during the day and the resident with more profound disabilities stay in a secure day room on the lower level. I really enjoy working with the these residents and they each bring their own unique set of challenges. My main responsibility is the peds units and overseeing the other 2 social workers. This building runs differently than Bloomington’s and the stress can be difficult to manage at times. This has opened my eyes to not wanting to do this for long term but in the future wanting to pursue case management of people with disabilities as I really enjoy the discharge planning and working with the residents with developmental disabilities. Still don’t think getting my masters is the right choice for me in the near future but am considering looking into my LSW eventually.

PS I am super excited to interview my first BSW practicum student this month! It was like having flashbacks as I read over the cover letter and resume.

Shelby Ford, BSW 2014

My name is Shelby Ford and I am a 2014 graduate of the IU Bloomington School of Social Work. With that being said, I am currently employed as a Probation Officer, which conveniently was through my Senior Practicum. I was incredibly nervous starting Practicum because it wasn’t what I imagined for myself and was completely out of my “comfort zone”. In the long run, my Practicum prepared me for being in tough situations that I didn’t always have the answer for. It pushed me to think outside of the box, embrace my creativity, and make mistakes and learn to grow from them. There isn’t always a correct answer for Social Work Practice, which was frustrating while I was in the Program. However, now that I am employed it is easy to see why. Each client has such distinct backgrounds, barriers, and strengths, that one set answer can’t possibly benefit each client. Therefore, utilize the Junior Year Practice Class, see how your classmates handle various situations, and grow from that knowledge. Ask questions in Senior Seminar and learn to roll with resistance. In no time you will be advocating, resourcing, and organizing for various populations, as I am for those on Probation. Each day I continue to find new ways to grow and utilize my Social Work Practice, giving me more experience that I hope one day, I can apply in a Social Work Master’s Program.