Hometown: Michigan and Lorain, OH
Undergraduate Institution: University of Akron, BSW; Associates Degree in Criminal Justice
Life at MSASS
Activities: Alumni Board
Favorite thing about Cleveland: Cultural Diversity, Arts and the Cleveland Orchestra
Favorite thing about campus: Meeting other weekend warriors from around the country in the Intensive Weekend Program
Key lessons learned while earning the MSSA:
- Research is important, especially evidence-based practices for child welfare.
- Family systems are very complicated. Just because you have gained the knowledge does not make you better or wiser than them. It is what you do with a family that is most important.
- Practice what you learn daily. Continue your learning by making an effort to use the knowledge in your work.
Why MSASS? I had considered the masters programs at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University; however, since I was married and working full-time, these programs would require relocation. I wanted a program that I could pursue while working. I attended the information session at MSASS and learned of the Intensive Weekend Program, which met all my needs as a working professional.
Words of Wisdom: Just enjoy the experience, embrace the knowledge and question it along with your own practice. Challenge yourself, ask why things are done a certain way and take your lessons back to the agency where you work. Work hard in the program and you will find it rewarding as I did.
First Year Field Placement: Lorain County Children Services, Elyria, Ohio
Second Year Field Placement: Project Parent Aide Program
Current Employment: Manager, Family Based Care Department, Lorain County Children Services, Elyria, Ohio
Current Organization: Lorain County Children Services, Elyria, Ohio
Nature of Work: The Family Based Care Department combines foster care and adoption. In this job, I conduct training of incoming foster and adoptive parents and anything that impacts the protection and safety of kids that are in our custody. I also manage the department and a staff that includes two supervisors and 14 social workers. We see ourselves as a resource to each child and parent working in the system. My work involves a lot of team-building and innovative problem solving.
Future Plans: Continue in the field of children services until retirement, return to Romania and help spread the word about MSASS and social work internationally.