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OHIO Zanesville social work graduates come back to campus

The Ohio University Zanesville campus hosted an event to kick off Social Work Month, "A Day in the Life of a Social Worker," in early March to bring together alumni, current students, and community members to delve into the multifaceted world of social work.

This special event allowed attendees to earn free Continuing Education Units (CEUs), explore an agency fair and participate in a panel discussion led by seasoned professionals in the field. The panel provided an invaluable opportunity for students to gain firsthand insights into the challenges and rewards of a career in social work, directly from those who have walked the path before them.

A highlight of the event was the significant participation of Ohio University Zanesville's own Social Work program alumni, who returned to campus to share their experiences and wisdom. Their contributions underscored the strong sense of community and ongoing connection between the program and its graduates.

Following this inspiring gathering, we connected with several recent graduates to discuss their motivations for pursuing a career in social work. Their responses, featured in the graduate spotlights below, offer a deeper look into the journeys of these dedicated community social workers, showcasing the passion and commitment that define the field.

 Sara Blake, BSW '23

Therapist, Cedar Ridge Behavioral Health Solutions

Zanesville - Sara Blake

Why did you choose the social work profession? 

My choice to pursue the social work profession is attributed to a combination of factors, including a passion for helping others and a commitment to social justice and equity. Social work offers practical, hands-on opportunities to apply psychology, sociology, and interpersonal dynamics in supporting individuals and families. Also, so many career paths are possible with a SW degree. We have opportunities to work in diverse settings and make meaningful impacts! 

Why did you attend OHIO Zanesville? 

I chose OUZ because I believe in the regional campus experience. OUZ offers smaller class sizes, fostering a sense of community and allowing for more personalized attention from professors. This allowed me to build strong relationships with peers and faculty members, facilitating networking and mentorship opportunities. Attending college in Zanesville also allowed me to engage in meaningful service-learning experiences and internships in our own community! Regional campuses tend to offer a more affordable alternative to larger universities, making higher education accessible to a broader range of students while still providing quality education. 

Madelyn Cherrington, BSW '23

Social Service Care Coordinator, The Carr Center, Inc

Zanesville - Madelyn Cherrington

Why did you choose the social work profession? 

Growing up I did not know any social workers, nor had I really had any experience with one. It wasn't until I was a senior in high school that I learned about the social work profession. I recall having to research different professions for an assignment and choosing social work as one of them. That is when I fell in love with the profession, and it began to feel like a calling. While there were many things that led me to the social work profession, they all boil down to my desire to help others. This profession has allowed me to do just that, assisting people from all walks of life, each in a unique way.

Why did you attend OHIO Zanesville? 

Although I applied to and considered other colleges and universities, I ultimately chose OHIO Zanesville because it was close to home. I have lived in Zanesville all my life, so it just felt right to continue my education here. OHIO Zanesville turned out to be a perfect fit for me!

Sarah Lang, BSW '17

OHIO Zanesville Adjunct Instructor, Licensed Independent Social Worker SUPV, Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist

Zanesville - Sarah Lang

Why did you choose the social work profession? 

I chose the social work profession because I never wanted people who are in this big world to feel alone and that they did not matter, as I have felt in my life. 

Why did you attend OHIO Zanesville? 

I attended OUZ because of the OU being an outstanding university but the hometown feeling of smaller class sizes, and the accessibility to my instructors. It's the instructors such as Tracy Pritchard and the late Michael Ashton (OUL) who made such an impact on me and I strive to be an outstanding social worker just like them. If it wasn't for OUZ I wouldn't be changing the lives of my population. Just think one person from OUZ is impacting children's lives in a whole county.  And I'm a strong advocate for helping other OUZ social work students unlock their potential and prepare them for their professional career also.

Kassandra Settles, BSW '20, MSW '21

Social Worker, Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department

Zanesville - Kassandra Settles

Why did you choose the social work profession? 

I chose a life-long career in social work because I have always had a natural desire to help others and make a positive impact in their lives. I have a passion for advocacy and enjoy empowering individuals and families to use their voice to make positive changes in their environment. As an individual who is greatly ruled by her emotions, I have found that a career in social work fulfills my empathetic nature.

Why did you attend OHIO Zanesville? 

I chose to attend OHIO Zanesville to be closer to home. Building strong relationships with my professors, instructors and other students was an added bonus. I have carried many of the connections I made during my time at OHIO Zanesville with me throughout my professional career and we continue to call on each other in our times of need. I am proud to be an Ohio alumna. 

Stay tuned to hear more from our alumni about their profound impact on the lives of individuals and communities through their work in our communities.  Follow Ohio University Zanesville on social media as we continue to showcase current and previous graduates in the upcoming months.  

A social work degree from OHIO Zanesville will prepare you to be an advocate for people in your community and to help them reach their full potential. Learn more about our program at 

April 2, 2024
Staff reports