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Student Blog


By: Alexa Moubarak


By: Leslie Colon '17


by: Alison Reda '18

By: Kristin B. ’17

Over the past decade, we have seen a vast increase in opiate use in New Jersey, and the United States as a whole. The heroin epidemic is one of the most talked about issues, spreading articles, mug shots, arrest stories and obituaries all over the news and social media. Substance abuse in itself is a major issue, one that our Governor has taken action to address in many ways. We have moved more towards a treatment model, than a punitive model when drug addicts get arrested; and we have taken action to improve insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment.

As social workers, we want to be especially aware of the signs and symptoms of depression in our clients. One population that may be particularly vulnerable to depression is the elderly. Often, depression in the elderly is difficult to distinguish from the various medical conditions that arise during the later stages of life. Untreated depression is truly frightening in this population as it often increases the risk for cardiac diseases and exacerbates a person’s ability to recover from other illnesses.

Before you graduate from The Rutgers School of Social Work, make sure you take Professor Mark Lamar. During my first year as an MSW student, I had the good fortunate to take Mr. Lamar twice. Through these experiences, I observed first-hand the quality of character that this man possesses. He is kind and compassionate. He makes personal connections with each and every one of his students. He gladly lends all of his experience to his classes. He is incredibly giving and selfless. Quite simply, Professor Lamar is the man.

“They’re overworked and underpaid. Are you sure you want to be just a social worker?”

Yes, I am. In fact, I’m excited to be an agent of change. Everyone has suffered at some point in their life, with no exception to me. Suffering can be painful, but from that comes growth. Sometimes a person cannot see past the pain. A social worker can help empower – can be an agent of change – to that person in need. On a larger scale, a social worker can develop services, direct an agency, or create policy.

I entered Rutgers Social Work with modest, cynical plans. I wanted to earn my degree as quickly as possible: minimal fanfare, perhaps a few decent references. My undergraduate reverence to academic greatness had withered away, post-recession. “Forget summa cum laude,” I told myself. “I’ll take a job, please.” I didn’t begin my classes with, shall we say, wide eyes and hopeful excitement. I told myself enjoyment and fulfillment would be secondary. In effect, I had prepared myself to be an unfulfilled, soon-to-be burned out social worker.

Google is one of the largest and most successful tech giants in the world today. In the past decade, Google has become as ubiquitous to the internet as McDonald’s restaurants have to the fast food industry. When internet users need to perform a search, they refer to the process as “Googling it”. From humble beginnings as a search engine, Google has expanded its services to encompass a variety of functions. Of particular significance is Google+, Google’s answer to Facebook.

A job interview gives you the opportunity to showcase your qualifications to an employer, so it pays to be well prepared.


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