Program/Major: Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) Candidate
Class Year: 2021
After seven years in education, working with K-12 students as a teaching assistant, tutor and coach, Isabel Ballard decided to switch careers and apply to the Mandel School’s Master of Social Work degree program. Passionate about mental health, she also began volunteering at CWRU’s Student Run Health Clinic (SRHC), eventually becoming its social work program director.
Though the clinic shut down last March due to the pandemic, Ballard and the other student volunteers reached out to see how they could help the Cleveland community. They led a mask-making initiative at a local men’s shelter and hosted fundraisers for the Tamir Rice Legacy Fund and the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
They also used the time to completely redesign the clinic space with their new community partner, Neighborhood Family Practice. Over the past year, Ballard and the other co-directors met weekly to determine which updates were most needed in the physical space, taking into consideration safety and volunteer capacity. The redesigned clinic is set to open this winter.
Outside of the SRHC, Ballard also works at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center and is researching the impact that Reining in Anxiety™, an Equine-Assisted Therapy, has on children and adolescents with anxiety.