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Emily Lusenhop

M.S.W. Class of 2013

Receiving my acceptance letter to Smith College School for Social Work was an incredibly exciting moment in my educational career. I chose Smith College School for Social Work because of its emphasis on clinical training and the program's dedication to working with marginalized and oppressed populations. I came to Smith looking for a challenging educational experience that would allow me to succeed and thrive in a profession that is so meaningful to me. My professors quickly fostered an enriching and rigorous learning environment soon after my arrival on campus.

My time at Smith was one of great personal reflection and intellectual growth. I have appreciated the School's excellent clinical and theoretical training that emphasizes the importance of sociocultural diversity. Some of my most enriching classes have included Comparative Psychodynamic Theories, Racism in the United States, and Clinical Social Work Practice, to name a few.

My first field placement was at a small therapeutic school serving youth ages 12-21 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The school had a strong adventure education program and I was able to spend two days a month on outdoor trips including backpacking, canoeing, and mountain biking. My second placement was at the Family Center in Burlington, Vermont. I provided outpatient, individual and family therapy alongside a dedicated group of professionals who mentored me along the way. I had the unique opportunity of video recording my sessions and learning from my monthly case presentations and excellent supervision. These placements helped me develop an interest in psychodynamic, relational, and narrative theories that I will continue to explore after Smith.

Finally, my campus life experience has been just as rewarding as my classes and field placements. I feel lucky to have been elected as a Class Representative for the duration of our program. Participating in Student Org has allowed me to make lifelong friends and practice my leadership skills. I have enjoyed welcoming new students to campus, organizing social events for my class, and acting as a liaison between the student body and administration.

Overall, this program has given me some of the best clinical training in the country. I feel confident that my education from the Smith College School for Social Work will enable me to find meaningful employment and become a leader in the field social work.