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College of Social Work

Faculty/Staff Spotlight: Michelle Scott

June 15, 2020
Chris Woodley •

Throughout the summer, we will highlight some of the faculty and staff at the College of Social Work. Today's feature is on Michelle Scott, MSW, LISW-CP(S), who serves as the coordinator of the college's Greenville site.

What was your motivation for wanting to study and pursue a career in social work?

“I began my education studying journalism and quickly realized what I loved most was the process of interviewing people and hearing their stories. I eventually moved into studying psychology and social work, which was a beautiful fit. It is now clear to me that my motivation for listening to people, caring about their stories, and helping others started with my parents. They continue to be cheerful helpers to the vulnerable and those in need. I aspire to be half as service-minded as them.”  

What are your favorite memories from your time as coordinator of the Master of Social Work program at the Greenville site?

“The best memories are celebrating our part-time MSW students graduating after persevering through three years of balancing grad school and full lives. We had to settle for a Zoom celebration this year, but it was still special.”

What do you enjoy most about teaching social work?

“It’s seeing the ah-ha moments when the course material clicks with students. I love our students’ desire to learn and be challenged. I also love sharing real life examples of client situations, along with empowering them to advocate for change.”

How satisfying is it for you to supervise and help individuals earn their Licensed Independent Social Worker – Clinical Practice licensure?

“Being a small part of their journey is so fulfilling. It’s truly one of the favorite parts of my career. After doing clinical work and counseling for years, I’m honored to pass that torch to others with fresh energy for the clinical field. I encourage MSW grads to get their LISW-CP, even if they are not necessarily pursuing private practice, because it will continue opening future career doors.”

What have you found yourself doing more of because of COVID-19?

“Many things have changed during quarantine, including my family being under the same roof together more often. We make the best of it by planning fun things like game nights. I’ve also been more intentional about seeking life-giving activities. We adopted a one-day old duckling and kept her for five weeks until we found her a forever home. Watching her thrive and grow gave us something to look forward to everyday and brought so much joy.”

What self-care activity or activities do you enjoy the most?

“Being near or in the water is very therapeutic for me. My family loves to go boating year-round. I also love to travel. Even if a trip is not possible, I am known to seek out (and encourage others to) changes in scenery. This can be a day trip, a drive around town or even just going for a walk. Finally, practicing my faith is a must for my self-care.”

Where have you volunteered in the Upstate, and what enjoyment do you receive from serving others?

“I have been blessed to volunteer at my church, an Upstate group addressing human trafficking, and at AIM Hunger ministries, among others. All have been great experiences but serving alongside my daughters and husband to take part in multiple food drives is very meaningful to me. ”

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

“People may not know that before I was a university instructor, I was an aerobics instructor. I used to be an avid runner as well. Now I’m more into walking but still encourage others to stay active.”

A book everyone should read is: The DSM-5

The best movie ever made was: There are so many, but a classic musical is “The Sound of Music.”

My favorite food or meal to cook is: Any kind of pasta.

My first job was: A babysitter

My favorite memory from my youth is: My parents taking us on trips. Even if the budget got tight, they found a way to take us on vacations.

One goal I want to achieve in the future is: When COVID-19 is less restrictive, I want to spend more time with my extended family.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.