With finals upon us my classmates and I are busy with paper writing, presentations, and the occasional test or quiz. Professors put a great deal of planning into final projects with the hope of making the projects relevant and accurately encompassing the content of the course. This semester I had the unique, and very valuable, opportunity to put my classroom education into practice for a final project.
One of my classes titled “Citizen Participation and Volunteer Involvement” covered many topics several of which were how to facilitate group dialogue, including previously marginalized groups in dialogue, and as the course title implies citizen participation. The School of Social Work at UNC is a leader on campus in issues of staff and student diversity. They constantly strive for inclusion and improvement, and do their best to create an open and affirming environment for all students and staff. During one of our classroom discussions we had a very meaningful and personal class-discussion about a range of diversity topics. Over the next several weeks our class put together some recommendations that the School of Social Work could consider in their continuous goal of fostering and promoting diversity. We then, as our final project, got to present our recommendations to the faculty and facilitate a group dialogue on diversity topics.
I will be forever grateful to my professor, Laurie Seltz-Campbell, for her flexibility in course assignments and encouraging a final project that so wonderfully mirrored the course goals and content, but was also practical, hands-on, and on a meaningful and important topic. This experience is just one of many reasons that UNC is a great place for an MSW education.