Student Spotlight: Valeria Stutz

Valeria Stutz headshot

Class Year: Spring 2024

Degree Program: MSW

Hometown: Evanston, IL / Buenos Aires, Argentina

Undergrad Alma Mater: University of Chicago

Why did you choose Case Western Reserve?

I chose the Mandel School specifically because of all of its resources on trauma-informed social work care and because of the supportive community here. There are a lot of resources to support students and their mental health care. I was specifically interested in the Center on Trauma and Adversity.

What has surprised you most about life in Cleveland?

I have been surprised by how friendly people are! Everyday interactions with people—at the DMV, at grocery stores, etc.—everyone is so nice. I also really like all the green space and parks in Cleveland.

What’s your favorite thing about the program?

I’m still very new, but I really like the supportive environment the professors create in class—they make it easier to participate. The way that professors have designed the sequence of classes in our rotation is aimed to have our cohort get to know one another, and overall the emphasis is on building community and a great learning environment.

What has surprised you most—in a good way—about CWRU?

I wasn’t aware there are more graduate students than undergraduate students here, but I’m excited to get to know fellow graduate students from other fields. We have a collaborative practice course where we work with students from the medical, dental and nursing fields to address a specific community need—we work together to address a challenge that has been identified.

What are your career goals?

I would like to work as a licensed clinical social worker, and eventually have my own private practice focused on mental health. I’m excited to work with immigrant communities and communities of color, addressing mental health issues by using trauma-informed care such as EMDR, somatic therapy, mindfulness and the arts.

How would you describe your professors?

Very warm and welcoming. They are really knowledgeable with a wealth of practical experience in the field, and a lot of theoretical knowledge in the field as well. They are very approachable and will develop collegial relationships with us. They want to get to know us as people, not just as brains.

Are you involved with any clubs or activities outside of the classroom?

Not yet. I’d love to get involved with the Latino-affiliated groups on campus like La Alianza. In general in Cleveland, I’d like to get involved with salsa and cha-cha groups around the area. I’d also like to learn about gospel choirs in the area.

What do you love most about CWRU?

I love how welcoming the professors are and how open my peers are to making connections. This learning environment is a lot more approachable than my undergrad environment. I feel seen as a person!