December Student of the Month
Meet Ashley Shaw, CHASS Student of the Month
Hometown: Whiteville, NC
Majors: Social Work
- Social Welfare Policy: Analysis and Advocacy
- Peoples and Cultures of the Pacific
- Green Housing
- Study Abroad in Guatemala, Summer 2013
- Habilitation Technician, Maxim Health Care (Raleigh, NC), Sept. 2013-present
- Interview Specialist, RTI International (Raleigh, NC nonprofit) – gather information for CDC on social justice issues, Aug.–Oct. 2013
- Volunteer Crisis Line Counselor, Interact of Wake County (Raleigh, NC), Oct. 2011-April 2013
- Member, Baccalaureate Student Social Workers of America, 2012-present
- Workshop Facilitator, The Movement (relationship violence peer education group), 2011-12
- University Ambassador, Fall 2012-present
- Orientation Counselor, Summer 2012
- Epsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Honors Society (Social Work)
- Selected to attend The Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors annual conference – Spring 2013
Masters of Social Work, followed by Social Work licensure.
Why did you select CHASS?
When I entered NC State, my major was Biology. I knew I wanted to help people, and thought medicine was the best route. But I didn’t enjoy math and chemistry as much as I’d anticipated. The instructors for my Sexual Violence Prevention for Peer Educators course, which I took as a freshman, were both social workers, and their backgrounds and teaching inspired me to investigate social work as a major. After I took my Social Work Practice I class, I felt I definitely made the right choice. It solidified my desire to be a social worker, and confirmed that I had the ability to be successful in the field.
Who has influenced you most?
Dr. Natalie Ames in Social Work offered very sound advice, especially when I had some challenges this semester. She helped me to put things in perspective, and talked with me about the balance between academics/applying to graduate school and personal life. My freshman Biology advisor, Kristin Pidgeon, was also a good source of support. She helped me to understand that it was okay to switch majors – it was natural for people to change their interests as they meet new people and have new experiences.
What do you enjoy most about CHASS?
I love the college’s sense of community; everyone is always willing to offer a helping hand. There is also such a great diversity of students in CHASS, with different skills, perspectives and goals – I appreciate being able to intersect with peers who are going in very different directions than me and adding them to my personal and professional networks.
What advice would you give incoming students?
Be open to change, and recognize it will not always be smooth sailing. I came to Raleigh from a small town where there were no crosswalks and no bus system to navigate. It took awhile to adjust to a new environment. It is also imperative to network with others and not burn bridges – you never know when a contact might be valuable to you.