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College of Social Work

Student Spotlight: Kennedy Richart

Sept. 12, 2019

After earning her undergraduate degree in social work from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Kennedy Richart relocated south to pursue her master's degree, thanks to the college's Advanced Standing program. 

Why did you decide to attend the Univ. of South Carolina College of Social Work?

As someone from Indiana, UofSC has given me the opportunity to network with new people, professors, communities and colleagues. UofSC has also given me the opportunity to explore different areas of social work, especially in the mezzo area. From the beginning, everyone I met during my transition to UofSC was so welcoming and helpful, making my decision that much easier.

What inspired or motivated you to study social work?

I chose social work because my passion is to work with vulnerable populations and be a voice for those who feel they may not have one. Helping others reach their full potential and providing care in every way possible has always been a priority of mine. Social work is the best of both worlds as I combine my passion with work.

What have you learned the most from serving as a research assistant?  

I am working as a research assistant under BSW Program Coordinator Dan Freedman. He has helped me to see the importance of educating others on social work and the impact that just one person can make on individuals thinking about pursuing a career in social work. Professor Freedman puts a lot of thought, work, and dedication into all that he does to make the BSW program successful and it shows.

How important was it for you to complete your MSW in 11 months through the college’s Advanced Standing program?

Having the opportunity to be a part of the Advanced Standing program was the best thing that could have happened for me personally. Being able to complete the program in only 11 months, I can get my feet on the ground earlier, giving me the opportunity to gain more experience and start working at a younger age. 

What do you enjoy most about field education?

My favorite thing about social work is the field education experience. The thing I enjoy most about field education is seeing everything we are learning play out in the real world. As a visual learner, having the opportunity to see that different frameworks and interventions that we are learning in the classroom are used every day helps encourage more learning and helps perfect my personal skills as a social worker.

What advice would you give someone from out-of-state who is considering relocating to study social work at the University of South Carolina?

Do it and don’t look back. New experiences in a different area is not something that comes along often. It will be difficult and challenging at times, but you may meet some of the best people and potential employers during this time. Not only will you grow as an individual, but you will come out as a stronger social worker having experiences in a different state.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I plan on obtaining my license to practice as an LMSW. While I have not narrowed down the exact line of work that I want to do, I plan on pursuing social work in the juvenile justice setting, within the field of mental health or school settings.

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