School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.


Kristin Lennox, a Virginia Commonwealth University B.S.W. alumna and current M.S.W. student, wasn’t’ sure what to expect when she met with Cameron Carter, assistant professor in teaching in the School of Social Work, in August 2015. “I was only anticipating to find out if the school was planning any more cultural immersion opportunities,” said Lennox. Now, she is planning to co-lead a trip to the Dominican Republic with Daryl Fraser, assistant professor in teaching in the School of Social Work.

In 2009, Lennox joined other B.S.W. students for a unique service learning and culture immersion experience in the Dominican Republic. Led by Randi Buerlin, they traveled to Santo Domingo and Hato Mayor for a hands-on perspective of the local social systems, social work practice and a better understanding of the present social issues. Lennox recalled the trip saying, “The service-learning trip to the Dominican Republic during my undergraduate years was a defining moment. It was the catalyst that pushed me to where I am today–professionally and academically. This trip helped me realize my enthusiasm for social work, engaging with low-income communities, Spanish-language and international work.” Moved by the impact of her experiences, Lennox worked with the School of Social Work and the Global Education Office at VCU to reestablish Social Work in the Dominican Republic.

Social Work in the Dominican Republic is an international service learning course located in Santo Domingo. Students will examine a range of topics pertaining to the Dominican Republic, including regional social work education and welfare systems, community, culture as well as local history. Students will actively participate in community engagement and group facilitation for rural residents.

“It’s kind of surreal,” said Lennox, “this began with a little curiosity and now I am helping build an immersive experience for fellow students and future colleagues. I am grateful for this opportunity and hope everyone will find it as enlightening as I did.”

Kristin Lennox is an alumna of the VCU B.S.W. Program and a current second-year student in the VCU M.S.W. Program, clinical track. She anticipates graduating in May. Lennox is an M.S.W. peer mentor and a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Workers.  Lennox is one of the Social Work in the Dominican Republic program directors and hopes to continue to learn through immersion experiences, ultimately working with children and families

Photo: Kristin Lennox during a community visit to Don Bosco School fo Girls in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Categories Alumni, Community, Faculty and staff, Students
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