Recent NewsMay 24, 2022
Student Spotlight: Katherine Allkofer’24 (Social Work, M.S.W.)
Following God’s Calling
Deep down, Katherine “Katie” Allkofer always knew she was meant to become a social worker. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic hit that she decided to take the plunge.
Since then, she’s fallen in love with the ability to “heal the suffering of individuals, and reform the structures and systems in our society.”
What is the best thing about studying your field?
To me, a social worker is someone who dedicates themselves selflessly to a life of service for the betterment of all humanity and the earth. Social workers are called to heal suffering.
In my eyes, it is one of the noblest professions. I am so blessed to be a part of the Master of Social Work program at Roberts and to have such incredible, inspiring role models.
If you are currently employed, what is your job?
I have been working at the Roberts Wesleyan College Bookstore ever since I graduated from Roberts with my Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. Working at the bookstore has allowed me to cultivate a deeper relationship with the campus community.
I am also an intern with the Counseling Center on campus. This has been the most wonderful field placement. My supervisor and colleagues (pictured) have been extremely supportive. I’ve learned so much about working in the clinical mental health field from them.
Some of my responsibilities include helping with campus outreach events, conducting a wellness assessment for traditional undergraduate students, collaborating with the campus Mental Health Advocate Team, and promoting our services. I began helping with the co-facilitation of support groups, and this semester, I started working with my own individual clients.
How do you use your Roberts education to inform your current career?
I can honestly say that being a part of this program has been the best experience of my life.
Overall, my education at Roberts has helped me to clarify my purpose of being of service to others and trusting God’s will for my life. I have grown and expanded more in this past year and a half than I ever thought I was capable.
This program molds and refines you into the best version of yourself.
Like any graduate program, it’s a lot of work, but the fruits of this labor are beyond rewarding. Here are some of the fruits I’ve grown so far:
- A greater awareness of the social and economic problems that plague our society
- How government policies and institutional structures can either perpetuate or alleviate these issues
- A better appreciation for practice at the macro level provides social workers with deeper insight for individual clientele
- How to develop intervention plans for both individuals and communities that focus on ameliorating particular problems from a multidimensional perspective
- A deeper love for research
What are you passionate about?
Mental health and environmental justice!
Our physical and social environments affect our overall wellness. Social workers have a unique repertoire of knowledge and skills to alleviate both of these issues.
I’m also passionate about improving the lives of people from diverse and/or marginalized populations. I’m an advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.
Social workers are agents of change. We have the ability to reform the structures and systems in our society.
What advice would you give to incoming Adult and Graduate students?
Get ready for the ride of your life! While graduate school can push, pull, stretch, and challenge you, it is one of the most incredible experiences you can ever have.
Know that you can and will get through this; you are more intelligent, capable, and successful than you know. Graduate school is SO worth it!
Who is your favorite professor and why?
The faculty in this program are absolutely phenomenal! I would have to say my favorite social work professors are Dr. Dieuveut Gaity and Dr. Hiie Silmere.
They both exemplify what it means to be a social worker, critical thinker, steward of our communities and earth, faithful Christian, and a passionate and caring individual. I am inspired by their depth of knowledge, their global perspective on subjects, and their steadfast passion for the field.
I cannot thank them enough. I would not be the student or social worker I am without them. I am a better person for knowing them.
If you could help everyone understand one thing, what would it be and why?
Trust that there is a reason and purpose for your life. God never fails us and is always guiding us along the right path—even if we don’t see or know the plan for us.
Now, perhaps more than ever, the world needs more individuals who have the courage, drive, and love for humanity in order to change the world. I see these qualities in our faculty, staff, and students.
I cannot express how grateful I am to have been a part of this community for the past twelve years. Roberts is home to me. No matter where I end up in life, this college will always have a special place in my heart!
"Katie is a student who exemplifies the mission of Roberts Wesleyan College through her thoughtful, spiritually mature, and service-oriented mindset and actions. In addition to excelling academically, she is passionate about environmental justice and is engaged in a range of activities and initiatives in the MSW program and beyond.
"Her inquisitive mind, caring spirit, and the desire to make a positive impact in the lives of others are an inspiration and blessing to all of us in the Master of Social Work program."
-Hiie Silmere, Ph.D., MSW, Professor of Social Work
"Katherine Allkofer embodies every aspect of the social work profession. From micro to macro practice, she is invested in the clinical world through her field placement, co-leading associational activities on and off-campus, being involved in research projects on environmental justice and wellness assessment, and implementing community advocacy events.
"Katherine seamlessly embraces the global-to-local perspective by paying attention to international issues that imperil the protection of human rights and actualization of justice for all."
-Dieuveut Gaïty, Ph.D., MSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work
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