By: Krista Didzbalis '19
Mallory Visser is one of three School of Social Work MSW students involved in the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics Fellowship program this academic year. This interdisciplinary fellowship allows Rutgers graduate students the opportunity to further their understanding of government, public affairs, and the practice of politics, and connect the fellowship experience to their chosen fields of study.
For Mallory Visser '19, the desire to pursue social justice started early in her college career. After earning an undergraduate degree in social work from Providence College, Visser entered Rutgers to pursue her MSW with a specialization in management and policy and a focus on violence against women and sexual assault.
"This year my field placement is with Advocates for Children of New Jersey where I am working on campaigns to improve the lives of babies across the state," Visser says. "My focus is on paid family leave and increasing the child care subsidy rate for infants."
Aside from her SSW coursework and field placement, Visser's passion for politics led to her involvement in the Eagleton fellowship, which she says has been a rewarding and engaging experience.
"I've been able to branch out and meet people that I can have constructive conversation with that aren't necessarily only social work students... There are lawyers, someone studying neuroscience, even landscape architecture-- but we all have an interest in politics," says Visser. "It's been great to gain perspective on the issues that I care about."
For the past five years, Visser has also been an active member of the Morris County Sexual Assault Response Team where she answers hotline calls and responds to survivors in hospitals around the area.
"I've been able to speak with college aged survivors about Title IX and how it has the ability to help them if they choose to return to school," Visser says.
After graduation, she hopes to work in advocacy and lobbying, but for now, you will find her spending hours studying in the Dana Library on the Newark campus.