Seven professionals visited campus to talk to CUW social work students about the varied jobs available in the field and what fuels them in their work.

March is Social Work Month. In recognition of this important field, Concordia’s social work department invited a panel of professionals to campus on Thursday, March 23, to share insights with students. Nearly 50 students, ranging from freshmen to graduate students who are nearing program completion, packed the Lakeshore Room for the voluntary event.

Here’s a peek at what the panelists had to say. Scroll to the bottom to watch the full discussion.

Why they love social work

Charles Greer

Co-owner of Home 4 the Heart, Inc.

“When you first start working with people in this population, most of the time they think everything is hopeless. So you start working with somebody, building a working partnership, engaging with them, putting them in the right position, connecting them to the right resources, and then seeing that hope shine in their face, and then some success happen, that’s the reward.”

Leah Cerwin

Well-being Lead Clinician with Children’s Wisconsin

“I never start a day thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?’ … I’ve always felt that I’m sitting solidly in my purpose. It’s hard work, but for me, it’s what God wants me to do.”

Christy Stemm

Nursing Home Administrator with Newcastle Place

“For me it’s exciting because I never know what I’m going to be walking into. … It’s not inherent for everyone to be a problem solver. I like to look at the big picture and figure out a way to say yes.”

Joana Hemschemeyer

Operations Director with Family Promise of Ozaukee County

“Social work is a fun field to be in. I’ve loved it for all the years I have done it and I will continue to do it for as long as I possibly can. I love helping people. It is great to run into someone you helped years ago and find out how you helped them. I also love being a field instructor. I get to teach what I have learned over the years, but then I also learn from my students.”

Kari Klatt

Director of Support Services for LUMIN Schools

“It’s the student relationships (that I love most). One of the unique parts of working in a school setting is I get to grow with the students and watch how they can bloom and grow and develop and change.”

Frances Kaczor (’03)

Social Work Project Supervisor with Children’s Wisconsin

“I love working with a huge system of people who are truly there to support patients and families and who are all there to make sure that we have safe children in our communities.”

Kathleen Cleppe

Therapist with Rogers Behavioral Health

“Even if you don’t know what pathway you’re going to take in social work, (the field) gives you the opportunity to keep discovering yourself and finding your passions.”

Full panel discussion

Click on the video below to hear the full conversation.

Want in?

Concordia’s social work program uses Christian service, quality research, and hands-on learning to grow you as a competent professional. Earn your bachelor’s degree at CUW and then continue on to acquire an MSW, the most sought-after social services degree. Learn more about our programs by clicking below.