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College of Social Work

BSW Award Winner: Mairead Peters

April 23, 2020
Chris Woodley • 

During this week, the College of Social Work is proud to recognize our four Bachelor of Social Work students who were recognized (virtually) at the University of South Carolina’s annual Awards Day on April 16. The awards celebrate the service, scholarship, leadership and character of the student community. A group of four instructors in the BSW program provided input and discussion before selecting the award recipients.  

BSW Student Achievement Award
Mairead Peters
Hometown: Cheshire, Connecticut

The award is designated for a student who demonstrates outstanding achievement within and outside the classroom, effectively representing the profession of social work.

“Mairead excelled academically and in her field placement. She also completed an honors thesis where she is working to construct a book aimed at helping young adults cope with loss and grief. Her dedication to her work throughout the program made her a strong representative of the Gamecock BSW spirit inside and outside the classroom.” – BSW Program Coordinator Brent Cagle

What does earning the BSW Student Achievement Award mean to you?

“Receiving this award and being recognized by my professors means the world to me. When I began my undergraduate studies, I was both excited and nervous for the responsibilities. I truly wanted to put forth my best effort to gain the most that I could from my education. To be recognized for all the dedication and work that I put into each of my courses inside and outside of the classroom is an honor.”

What are some of the achievements in the BSW program that you are most proud of?

“I think the best achievement that I could have received from this program lies in the opportunities that it has provided me. While it is not an achievement in the traditional sense, I believe the relationships I fostered with professors and my peers allowed me to grow educationally and personally in ways that I could not have imagined. I feel that I developed exponentially through the BSW program, and I am extremely grateful for that. For me, my greatest achievement was taking advantage of these opportunities and becoming a more aware individual and future professional.”

How do you think the college has excelled in helping prepare you for a social work career?

“The professors offer honesty and transparency that allows students to ask important questions that can be applied to practice. The program offers a holistic approach to learning that teaches students the necessary skills and knowledge for this field while also providing the support required to be successful in a helping profession. Connections between relevant course material and practical skills to field placement and authentic practice prepares students to be well-versed in their careers.”

What have you learned the most during your time in the BSW program?

“This program has not only expanded my knowledge pertaining to the profession but also influenced my awareness of issues in a much broader context. I have always been passionate about helping others (which first captivated me about social work), but now I have a more thorough understanding of problems and the tools needed to appropriately address them. Learning how to analyze adversity and employ the necessary measures to combat it, I am more confident in my ability to advocate and work on behalf of others. I am grateful to the BSW program for this growth.”

What are your future plans?

“I hope to travel in the immediate future. Since I am unsure what path I would like to pursue within the social work field, I want to spend time reflecting on this before deciding. I entered the program hoping to pursue a career in micro-based practice; however, I have developed a fascination with the potential of macro practice. While my long-term goals are uncertain, I am hopeful that I will be able to engage at a macro level in a meaningful way and look forward to being able to apply the skills I have gained from my undergraduate experience.”

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