When social work major Marianna Chriscoe, ’17, came to Meredith as a Wings student, her initial thought was simply to get her degree as quickly as possible. But the sense of pride that resulted from being accepted into her first honor society gave her the motivation to challenge herself further.
“As a non-traditional student, I came in with a ‘let’s get this over with’ type of attitude, but the honor societies made me want to keep striving higher to excel in the classroom and in my career. It was the assurance that I needed to know that I was in the right major and place in my life.”
After graduation from Meredith, Marianna will be attending Western Carolina University, where she was accepted into the advanced standing Master of Social Work program, with an expected graduation date of May 2018.
She made powerful connections with her classmates in the social work program. They formed study groups and encouraged one another when things were tough. One particularly lengthy study session stands out:
“One of my favorite memories is being holed up in the library with other social work students in the fall semester of 2016. We were all incredibly stressed about the length of one of our last assignments and we motivated each other to keep going,” said Marianna. “I am so thankful for the friendships that I have gained and I know that they will all be lifelong; we can thank Meredith for bringing us together.”
In addition to the support of her classmates, Marianna found champions among faculty and staff, particularly Joy Learman, director of the social work program, Kris Macomber, visiting assistant professor of sociology, and Tom Manning, director of Wings.
Because an emphasis on responsibility and leadership are an integral part of a social work major’s experience, Marianna came to see herself as an effective leader – a new concept for her, and one that she will put to good use in her career moving forward.
“By serving in a leadership position, it’s helped me to see the importance of collaboration and to find strengths in each member, and that can be translated into my professional relationships with coworkers and clients.”
Marianna leaves Meredith with a greater sense of self-confidence, and feeling of excitement to see what lies ahead, in graduate school and beyond.
“I wanted to attend Meredith because I want to be a strong woman who is not afraid to speak up. I now know and believe that my input matters. That is something that will forever remain with me.”
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