Student Spotlight: Caroline Martin

Caroline Martin in front of a wall of colored pictures

Class Year: May 2022

Program/Major: Master of Social Work with a concentration in Children, Youth and Families

Caroline Martin began her career as a puppeteer at SeaWorld before transitioning to massage therapy at a children’s hospital when she moved from her hometown of Atlanta to Columbus, Ohio. Until she began working at the hospital, she had never considered a career in social work.

“I was able to see the impact the social workers had on the lives of patients and families in the hospital,” Martin said. “As a massage therapist, I value the vulnerability and trust that comes with physical touch, but I found myself wanting to give more to my clients.”

Social work felt like a logical next step for both her personal growth and desire to help her community, and Martin quickly decided to pursue a master’s degree in the field. Case Western Reserve University was her first—and only—choice, so with less than a month before the semester began, Martin enrolled in the online Master of Social Work program at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

Martin began her field placement doing intensive home-based treatment with families. She has an internship at SUN Behavioral, a behavioral health crisis stabilization hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where she primarily works with patients in the adolescent units, most of whom are admitted for suicide attempts/ideations or active psychosis or who are detoxing from drug use. Working with high-acuity patients has reinforced Martin’s passion for this population, particularly with patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. 

As part of her internship, she runs group and family therapy sessions, completes psychosocial assessments and builds treatment plans. 

“A hospital is a great setting for me as I do well in high-stress situations, thrive in chaos and love that every day presents new challenges,” she said. “I’m also passionate about providing gender-affirming healthcare and working with LGBTQ+ youth.”

Martin will graduate in a few weeks and was recently hired as a full-time therapist at SUN Behavioral. She is excited to transition to that position and is also looking forward to having time after commencement to continue her work as a board member for Camp Quest Smoky Mountains (where, as a former camp director, she developed her passion for working with adolescents), having evenings free to resume dance classes, and tending to her two cats and her house full of plants.

This story appeared in The Huddle on April 29, 2022.