Nikki O’Brien, MSW ’99

  • Academic Specialist, Michigan State University College of Nursing

“I loved my time at Penn in the MSW program. I chose to attend SP2 because of the curriculum. The idea of earning a graduate degree that focused on social, economic, gender and racial justice was incredibly appealing to me. My area of interest was always on social, racial and gender justice, particularly as it related to diversity in the workforce. The curriculum at Penn helped shape my understanding of oppression and justice from a systems perspective. My classes intersected with my practicum experiences and guided me in my professional and personal identity. I am so grateful for the leadership and advocacy skills developed in my MSW program. The work I have done in higher education over the last 14 years has required an incredibly diverse skill set – from resource identification and acquisition to organizational change consulting, crisis management and student identity development. Penn prepared me for all of this and I have been able to be present and responsive to the needs of both students and colleagues. I felt fully supported in pursuing my interests and dreams in tandem with pursuing my degree. I am grateful every day for my experiences at Penn and for my degree in social work. My MSW is much more than a degree – it’s an integral and very celebrated part of who I am and I’m proud to be part of the Penn Social Work family.”

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