Student Spotlight May 2015
Lindsay Bradford attended Bloomsburg University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a minor in Psychology with a concentration in Gerontology. She will be graduating this May with a Master’s of Science in Social Work degree the University of Louisville. At the Kent School of Social Work she was a part of the Gerontology Specialization and was enrolled in the advanced standing program for Social Work.
I was looking for an online program because I wanted to go back to school for my Master’s degree but I also wanted to be able to still work full time. I researched a lot of different schools that offered online courses and I really liked what the Kent School of Social Work had to offer. Many of the schools that I looked into did not have a program that focused on Gerontology/Geriatrics but Kent did.
The area that I researched was support and education for caregivers of older adults. My practicum was based at an Adult Day Center and although there were many services within the organization geared toward older adults, I noticed few focused on helping the caregiver. Interventions geared towards improving the caregiver’s quality of life have been useful in the past and are very important. I presented this information to the agency in hopes of expanding their programs in order to give caregivers more support and education about caring for persons with Alzheimer's disease.
I was very close with my grandmother growing up and have always had a very strong passion to help older adults. Helping my grandmother as she aged allowed me to see the social workers interact with my family, which made me realize the positive impact a social worker can have in a nursing home. I also know that with the baby boomers aging each day, the population of older adults is only going to increase creating a higher demand for social workers working with this population.
I feel more prepared and have gained crucial skills necessary for a career in social work. I think each of the classes have taught me so much and really helped to expand my knowledge.
My long term goal is to work in a nursing home. So many people have negative thoughts about nursing homes and I want to help change this perception; nursing homes are not these awful places but instead a place they can trust to take care of their family members.
I have really enjoyed being a part of the Gerontology Specialization. It was challenging at first, because I am based in New Jersey while the rest of the students are in Kentucky. However, I feel I have learned so much from this experience. In particular, about working with older adults. I feel that this class has really prepared me for my future career. As an online student, it was also great to be able to interact each class with the other students and my professor.
I think the greatest challenge graduate students face is having to juggle schoolwork, a practicum, and work and somehow find time for themselves. To deal with this challenge I took everything one day at a time. I found that being organized and planning out when I was going to complete my homework and assignments was the best strategy. I would make a to-do list each week and make a list of all my readings and assignments. This helped me to stay on track, organized and helped me to be able to find time for myself in between. I enjoy going to the gym, so I made sure each week I went to the gym at least twice to be able to clear my mind and give myself a break. I think time management is the best way to deal with this.
My family is a little different because my parents are divorced and both remarried. My mom and dad are very supportive of me and have always pushed me to be my best. I have one brother, one step-sister, and one step-brother. I also have a wonderful boyfriend who I have been dating for 5 1/2 years.
A talent you have always wanted: I wish I was a good singer!
Favorite book:The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Favorite quote: "Be the change you want to see in the world" and "Hakuna Matata"
Role Model:My mom
Favorite Vacation Destination:Wildwood, New Jersey
If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now?If I wasn't in graduate school, I would love to be traveling the world!