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College of Social Work

Student Spotlight: Reagan Massengale

Apr. 8, 2019
Chris Woodley • 

It was a professor during her undergraduate education who helped steer Master of Social Work student Reagan Massengale to the unlimited opportunities available with a social work degree.

Why did you decide to attend the College of Social Work?

I had a wonderful professor during my undergraduate studies at the College of Charleston discuss post-grad opportunities with me and social work came up. I applied to the University of South Carolina, was accepted and here I am. The MSW degree is so versatile and allows flexibility to work in a variety of settings with individuals from diverse backgrounds, which is exactly what I want.

What inspired or motivated you to study social work?

I chose social work because people matter, and social work empowers people to help themselves. I find human nature and our capacity for resilience incredible. My desire is to be an advocate for the vulnerable and underrepresented populations of our society and help people when they feel completely helpless.

What class had the most impact on your social work studies?

Social Welfare Policy Analysis with Dr. (Benjamin) Roth was eye-opening for me. I was extremely intimidated by the content of the class, and Dr. Roth went above and beyond to ensure that we, as future social workers, are competent in analyzing policies impacting our clients.

How has the College of Social Work faculty and staff helped you overcome challenges to help you best succeed?

The faculty and staff have been very supportive and offer an abundance of guidance. I couldn’t name just one because so many have been amazingly supportive.

What do you enjoy most about field education?
I love applying what I am learning in the classroom to real world situations within field placement. In the fall, I was at the emergency department of Lexington Medical Center and loved it. I worked primarily with patients suffering from mental illness and substance use, which was completely different than my past field placement at Richland School District 2. I’ve enjoyed field education and the variety of opportunities it has given me to explore different areas of social work in order to help me determine what direction I want to go in as a future social worker.

What is your favorite spot on the University of South Carolina campus?
Probably the snack machine inside Hamilton, especially on the long days! Also, the couches in the Hamilton lobby.

What are your post-graduation plans?

The only set goal I currently have is to pass the licensure exam. I am open to all opportunities for me in social work, but I would not mind going abroad for a year or two to practice social work. The possibilities are endless with social work—which I love!

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.