Students In Action
New Human Services Leadership Blog
In order to provide current students and alumni insight into internships, a blog has been set up on the COEHS website. The blog gives students a forum to share what they are experiencing and learning during their internships throughout the semester. The blog may be accessed by selecting the link: Human Services Leadership Blog
Rebecca Krummel, recent Human Services Leadership Graduate was featured in UW Oshkosh Today for her work on the Girls Granting Initiative
UW Oshkosh Today article
Recent graduate Katrina Hinds was acknowledged in an article in UW Oshkosh for her contributions as an AmeriCorps volunteer
Human Services Leadership Graduate Ka Mee Lee featured in UW Oshkosh Today
HSL graduate Eric Salzwedel at the DoSomething.org Boot Camp in Chicago, New York Times article.
New York Times Article
- Jennifer Schmidt-An Advanced Internship Success Story
When I started at the Housing Authority, I had limited knowledge about housing assistance programming or the important role such assistance plays. Help with the basic need of housing is very crucial for many people in our community, as a failure to access safe and affordable housing often prevents individuals and families from moving forward in any other area of their lives. Exposure to appointments, paperwork, people who are being served, community collaborators, and the long waiting list of people who are in need of help demonstrates the importance of this agency to me. I really enjoyed the freedom to use my own ideas and creativity to work with clients and complete tasks at the Housing Authority. While I was able to ask for advice or feedback, the responsibilities at this internship mirror the responsibilities that one may be presented with in a human services career. Presenting information to clients at the Housing Authority in a concise and understandable manner is an important skill that I acquired. This needs to be done when clients are inquiring, applying, or receiving housing assistance. For this reason, I worked on learning policies and procedures throughout my internship. This proved to be challenging at times because there are so many to learn. Even once I had a general idea of policies and procedures, I had to learn how to address each client’s situational questions. Showing clients how policy would be applied deepened my understanding of housing assistance. I was provided the opportunity to help implement the agency’s Family Self Sufficiency Program, which helped to strengthen my communication skills and expand my knowledge of issues that human service clients face. After researching the program and its federal requirements, I quickly began outreach to potential participants and started researching resources and services for participants. I sent letters, met with applicants, completed barrier and goal assessments, provided case management and resource referrals, and assessed program compliance. After many letters, phone calls, and networking with Housing Authority managers, I was able to reach full enrollment for the program. This meant that not only was the full potential of clients being served, but also the chance of creating a position for program coordinator was achievable through grant processes. This was a very inspiring time in my internship because I was able to see how my hard work had translated into success. This position requires a lot of hard work and dedication. At times, I felt overwhelmed by time constraints of going to school, having a job, and trying to make a difference at this agency. Instead of letting this discourage me, I found ways to organize my time and prioritize tasks to be effective in all expected areas. In addition, the staff and internship position are extremely flexible, accommodating, and helpful, which greatly contributed to my successful experience. I decided to intern at the Housing Authority because I was looking for a challenging experience that would set me apart from the crowd. The skills that I have learned have proven to be very transferable to my new career. I learned that it is important to utilize the expertise within your agency, demonstrate willingness to help with any task, and use creativity whenever possible. I was also provided many opportunities to network with professionals from other human service agencies, which to me is very important for career development. This position requires a lot of work and ambition, but provided me with an opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of low-income families while helping me transition from student to human service professional.
- Erin Wilkum's Success Story
I started as an equine specialist for my advanced HS internship. I was asked to stand in on individual therapy sessions (usually clients from our Special Gifts program with Autism, ADHD or diagnosis of the sort). It was my job to keep the clients safe and utilize my knowledge of horses to teach the counselors how to spot unsafe practices and carry out activities with the best results. I also helped with our annual Fall Frolic Fundraiser, collecting items for the silent auction among other tasks.
I have since grown to take on my own Special Gifts clients. I am seeing them on an individual and family basis as an undergraduate level counselor. I am also the acting case manager and an administrative assistant (without the official title). My case management duties are for our intensive outpatient day treatment program. I handle the files, connect with the families and other providers, run recreational therapy, get prior authorizations and request insurance coverage, in addition to many other tasks--pretty evenly split between paperwork and sitting in front of a computer and riding horses and taking the girls for walks.
I love my job. I have a 2 month old kitten sitting on my lap as I type this to you. I'm can see our mule and mini out of the window behind my computer. I wake up excited to go to work and laugh enough to make my sides hurt every day. I love the girls in the program, and really enjoy getting to know their stories and watch them make the significant progress that they do. I love talking to parents and hearing how amazed they are to see these new people coming home and actually talking to them about their day. Our current group has gone from self-harming on a daily basis to no cutting or self mutilation in 3 weeks. It is an amazing program, and I'm lucky to be a part of it.
Several Human Services Leadership students participated in the Study Abroad to Australia during the winter Interim. The following comment was sent by a representative at St. Vinnie, where some of the students did some of their service learning. The below message has been forwarded by our on-sight liason from Phi Beta Dingo:
"I would like to very sincerely thank you for the assistance provided by the below students at our op-shop at Glebe. It was the first time that we have had an overseas university group volunteer with us in retail and we are glad that everything worked out so well that our expectation was exceeded, by a big margin.
The students were highly energetic, organized, submissive, well behaved, motivated to do the job and they were fun to have in the shop. As a result, a lot of work was accomplished particularly because we were in the process of transforming that shop to a lovely warm place for shoppers, volunteers, workers and clients. We are very thankful for the assistance offered and we could not achieve the great outcome without your involvement, coordination and commitment to work with us. Thank you."
Phi Beta Dingo
Human Services Leadership Titans around the World by Lindsay Tatro:
Click the box below to read Lindsay's story
When I had first heard of studying abroad my freshman year at Oshkosh, I knew it was something for me. At the beginning of my junior year I was reflecting back on my college experience and realized that something was missing. My freshman and sophomore years had already flown by and I had yet to even consider studying abroad.
To my luck and to my fate as I'd like to think, there was a Study Abroad fair just a week out. I browsed a few of the programs until I sought interest in, "Education, Society and Culture in Modern Greece and London". It was being held over spring interim that year. What appealed to me even more was that the trip also counted as credit towards my Human Services intermediate field placement. Everything seemed as if it were meant to be.
However, I did have thoughts like, "How am I ever going to be able to afford this?", and, "I will be away from my friends for three weeks?!" running through my head. I knew it was something I had to do though, for me and my personal growth and for me academically as a student. I signed up! The next week I scrambled together the application fee and was then officially had a spot reserved with my name on it for the trip!
The next few months were a blur. In the midst of class, homework, working, and being involved in school activities, we did have a few meetings for the trip. We were to buy two books on the history and culture of Greece and London and then have discussions and presentations on what we had learned. We were taught to speak the Greek language at a session and also had the chance to try some of the more famous Greek foods. The year went by so fast that before I knew it, the trip was a week away. I was nervous, excited, but most of all ready for a new cultural experience.
The trip was all of that and more. Money-wise, I have no regrets. The financial aid office was more than helpful in assisting me with a few of the trip costs. Also, the trip was a financially maturing event in my life. It was something to work for and something to save for that will now pay off in the experience itself for the rest of my life. The sights were nothing short of breathtaking everywhere we went. The beaches in Volos were postcard snapshots and the service work we did there was so humbling and rewarding that I will forever be changed beneficially as a human service worker.
Lastly, the trip has created a new found itch to travel the world and I plan to do just that! This December, I will be spending two weeks in Europe, soaking in the culture and sights while also visiting my boyfriend’s family. I cannot express enough my love for the opportunity Oshkosh gives its students to travel abroad. I am in no way saying, "You must go to Greece!", but instead just saying, "Go somewhere!", broaden your horizons, see the world in a new light, your mindset and life from then on will be forever changed.