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Compassion in Action: Social Work Grads

  • By: Marta Oster
  • Published:
A student holding a coffee cup and praying

Social Work majors at Taylor University are equipped to enter into the mess of life and impact individuals in vulnerable situations. This field is an opportunity to influence people by seeking justice through service.

As integrating faith and learning is a core value of Taylor University, our students are offered a foundation for entering into this important field spiritually and vocationally prepared. We're thankful for the recent rankings Taylor University’s Social Work Department has received as #1 in Indiana and #6 Nationwide.

The following stories are examples of Social Work grads who show Christ’s love through their service.

Cristina’s Story: Interning in Washington, D.C.

Cristina Spear ‘18 has gone on to finish her education at The University of Tennessee College of Law after graduating from Taylor University. She has been dealing with heavy but important content after she just finished an impressive internship with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in Washington, D.C. Today, she is taking more classes learning about human trafficking and domestic violence. Spear is ready to make a difference and advance social justice around her.

Mykhail’s Story: A Practicum to a Career

Mykhail McClain ‘18 is an Evening Case Manager at A Better Way Crisis Center located in Muncie, Indiana. Her work offers shelter for those who have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault. A Better Way provides help for anything from teen dating violence to suicide hotlines to individual trauma-informed counseling. McClain shares, “Taylor University's social work program has provided me with many skills I use every day in my field of work. After completing my Bachelor's at Taylor, I felt very prepared to begin work in the Social Work field.”  

McClain’s job grew out of her senior practicum at A Better Way. She loves what she does as she gets to advocate for those she comes across and their families. While she is helping others, she says that she is learning so much along the way. As she is learning, she is also pursuing her MSW at Indiana Wesleyan University, chasing her dream of becoming a therapist. 

Olivia’s Story: Working Toward the Goal

Olivia Brannon ‘18 is currently located in Marion, Indiana at Keystone Family Resource Center. She is working to receive her MSW at IUPUI and dreams of getting her LCSW with hopes of improving children's lives in the future. 

Nancy’s Story: Homeless Ministry

Nancy Cotom-Lopez ‘19 is working with Skid Row Downtown Los Angeles to serve homeless people in the area. While working with families experiencing homelessness she also shares the gospel with them, hoping to reconnect their relationship with God.

“The TU social work department has not only prepared me for my current job but also to embrace each individual with God’s grace,” says Cotom-Lopez as she reflects on what she's learned working with the homeless population.

Michaela’s Story: International Opportunities

Michaela Shake ‘18 works at The Boaz Project in India caring for orphans. She has been called to care for vulnerable children in their communities and supporting their Indian house parents. Shake is the director of India ministries for The Boaz Project, the head of short-term teams visiting the country, manager of accounting for funds, oversees personnel, and more.

Josie’s Story: 

Josie Cobb ‘18 had the opportunity to go abroad on a multi-month mission trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand. She has been working with an orphanage named Connie’s Home teaching English, supervising staff, and caring for children until they are adopted. She has also been an assistant basketball coach for high school girls at Grace International High School. Soon, she will begin her role as a Behavioral Health Therapist in the Inpatient Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. 

Interested in Pursuing Social Work?

Social Workers have a special heart for entering into others' brokenness. They learn about and deal with disturbing and crucial topics. It takes a curious mindset and a willingness to give and care to help those you are working with. As Jesus was a humble servant, our students recognize their work as an opportunity to be a light in this broken and hurting world.