Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students


Halloween at The Woods!

Some people prefer a spooky costume while some others prefer funny. Here in the social work department, we prefer caffeine filled. Its not every day that you get to see your professors dressed up, but Friday was one of those days!

Dressing Up for Fun - Everyone from the Admissions office to the Department of Student Life dressed up and celebrated the holiday by handing out candy and enjoying the day with students. The day has turned into one of the days I look forward to during the school year, just because everyone has such a great time and relaxes together, something I never would have guessed happened during my time in college. Halloween at a small university like William Woods is a great time!

1960s hair styles and all!

1960s hair styles and all!

Making it Semi-Academic - Every office showed their individuality across campus and hosted games and trivia for students. For social work students, we got to experience a real intervention for Dr. Wilson's caffeine addiction. Armed with the DSM-V, Prof. Garner described the symptoms of caffeine addiction, and helped Dr. Wilson with her coffee obsession. Its always great that we can include our lessons from class in hands-on activities, even if they are fun!

Professors George Garner and Elizabeth Wilson dress up for Halloween

You know its time for an intervention when someone starts dressing like their favorite drink!

Even with as much hard work as we put into our daily assignments, its great that we get these fun activities to help strengthen our skills and help us relax! Just more proof that social work at a small school is great!



Hanging with the Hounds

It's been a while since my last post, so you may want to check out my bio.

There are three guarantees when it comes to being a college student:

  1. you will eat a lot of ramen,
  2. you won't sleep enough, and
  3. you will get stressed out.

Multiple studies have shown that interacting with animals helps reduce the immediate feelings stress felt by people, along with getting their mind off of the things stressing them out.

Students with dog

Koda, the Lab-Rottweiler, helps students relieve stress.

One of the awesome benefits of going to a small school like William Woods is the opportunities available for undergraduate research through the Mentor-Mentee program. This program allows for students to work alongside professors in their field of study to complete a research project of their choice and design. Then, the projects are presented to students, faculty and staff at the end of the year.

Social Work student Sam Harris relaxes with a kitten

Social Work student Sam Harris relaxes with a kitten.

For my Mentor-Mentee project, I got the opportunity to work alongside one of our social work professors, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson. We are studying the effects of recreational activities on the immediate stress levels of students. Our first event was to bring dogs to campus and allow students to sit and play with them for as long as they wanted. To support our project, we enlisted the help of the Central Missouri Humane Society and Puppies with a Purpose to bring dogs and kittens to campus. Puppies with a Purpose is a group that helps to socialize and train dogs to become support animals later in life. Our Mentor-Mentee program is just now starting up, so there will be a few more events coming up helping students reduce their stress!

Students with dogsThe goal of my project is to hopefully bring these amazing stress reducers back to campus on a regular basis to help students relax.

Keep an eye out for more of my posts as I showcase the different events and cool projects put on by the Social Work department here at William Woods!



The Benefits of Assessment Days

Hey everyone!

This week William Woods had assessment days, and honestly, these are my two favorite days of the year. Before I get into anything more, let me explain what assessment days are. WWU devotes 2 full days to academic assessment and program development, and in doing so, students don't have classes and instead spend the two days working with the other students and their professors. These assessment days are unique to William Woods and allow for each major to get feedback, find issues, and allow for students to develop bonds that don't form through classes.

For the Social Work assessment days, we spent all day Tuesday working together to answer the basics of case studies, learn more about field placement, having lunch together, and then finally learning about the licencing procedures both here in the state of Missouri and nation wide. The day started out with an intro and a small icebreaker to make sure everyone in the room was familiar with each other and get a feeling of where everyone was hopefully headed post-WWU. From there, Professor Wilson reviewed the new edition of the Social Work major handbook and updated us on the progress of the re-accreditation. Next came the small group activities, where we divided up and worked alongside our peers to sort out and build fictional plans for cases that we might run into in the field. This was my favorite part due to the fact that we got to work alongside the seniors, who are actually out in the field dealing with these things, to build a plan that could have been used by professionals. We presented these plans to the entire group and had lunch. Finally, we got to meet with Tom Reichard, who did an amazing job explaining the licencing process within the state of Missouri; something we all have to work towards in-order to work in the field legally.

These two days are my favorite of the year due to how it gives an amazing cross section of the major as a whole, and in doing so, we are able to voice our opinions on what works, what doesn't work, and what we would like to see happen in the future. This allows our professors to get a great look at the fine tuning of the major and that definitely aids them when it comes to providing the data needed to remain an accredited major here at William Woods.

On an end note, I would love to wish everyone a great Social Work Month from the department as a whole!


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Social Work in Everyday Life

Think about everything you watch on TV, read on the internet, or even see in person during your everyday life. Think about the first time you actually listen to that one hit song you've probably heard 1000 times on the radio, and once you pay attention to the words, you start noticing the song every time it plays. Being a Social Work major has the same effect.

Suddenly, Netflix has tons of new stuff that you begin to like simply for the fact that you can understand the dilemmas. You develop a better understanding of the events on the news and you even begin to question the behavior of the people around you. The awesome thing about Social Work here at The Woods is that you have the opportunities to bring these things into the classroom, not only to analyze and discuss, but to share these things with your peers.

The really cool thing that Woods offers, which is honestly the biggest reason I came to this school, is the small class size. Especially in our social work department, the class sizes are small enough that every person has the ability for one on one time with the professor, both in and out of the classroom. Personally, I am always sending my professor, Dr. Wilson, links or ideas for things to be used in lectures for class. Just last night I found the movie Gimme Shelter (2014) and texted her telling her about its connections to the topics being covered in our class, something I wouldn't have done without the skills I've learned throughout my time here as a social work student.

Aspects of social work exist in every part of our lives, we just don't tend to notice them without knowing what to look for. As a social work student here at William Woods, you not only are taught the theories and policies, but the professors also bring the real world into the classroom through the media and information that is constantly changing in our world.