Student Spotlight: Kristen Clark

Kristen Clark headshot

Class Year: May 2023

Degree Program: MSW

Concentration: Community Practice for Social Change

Hometown: Springfield, OH

Field Education Organization: Think Tank, Inc. in Springfield, OH

Before beginning at Case Western Reserve University, what were you doing?

I attended Capital University, and then I was working for Mental Health Services and the nonprofit Springfield Promise Neighborhood.

Why did you choose CWRU/the Mandel School?

I chose the Mandel School because I wanted to focus on community social work. I also needed classes to fit my schedule due to work and being a caregiver for my mother. The evening and online classes are perfect for this, and the school is highly-rated for their social work program! 

Describe your field education practicum experience and any work/projects you have done.

Think Tank, Inc. offers training and coaching for organizations serving families and communities impacted by poverty. They focus on producing research publications and policy work, but they also host conferences and seminars and work closely with government and advocacy leaders to help advance their research and causes. I help with the focus groups, Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) simulations, and data reports and summary presentations once all the information is gathered.

Describe any extracurricular activities you're involved with on- or off-campus.

My extracurricular activities include running two after school programs I created and designed for the middle school I am currently working with. One is a book club and the other is a girls mentoring program. I am also active with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio (PPSWO).

What are you most looking forward to this semester?

This semester I am most looking forward to exploring more social work opportunities. 

What do you hope to do with your degree?

I hope to get licensed and start my own nonprofit organization or programs when I graduate with my degree in May. 

What is your favorite thing about CWRU/the Mandel School?

My favorite thing about the Mandel School is the flexibility of the program and the staff. Everyone has been so helpful and I have learned a lot!