AU social work major serving in East Asia

Fri, 2012-08-10 08:21 -- univcomm
August 10, 2012

Anderson University junior social work major Abbie Galat is taking advantage of an opportunity this summer to travel to East Asia. She learned of the opportunity through Camp Wapogasset in Amery, Wis., where she worked last summer. The camp provided her with the opportunity to go on the trip, and after hearing stories from friends at camp who had gone in previous years, Galat was certain this was an opportunity she could not miss.

The Center for Public Service (CPS) at AU, an organization Galat belongs to, encouraged her to find trips and experiences that would enrich her life and prepare her for a career in social work. Galat knew that the teamwork involvement, relationships built, and immersion into a completely different culture would all greatly impact her life and broaden her experiences.

Earlier this year, Galat shared about the upcoming experience. “We will be spending the first couple weeks training in Wisconsin,” she said. “We will then have a practice week of Vacation Bible School (VBS) with children in Minnesota to prepare for the VBS we put on. When we arrive, we will be spending a couple of weeks traveling to various places for training. We will then spend four weeks in the mountains, counseling for Boundless Love Youth Camps. These camps are essentially English camps, where we will be counseling adolescent children.”

Joel Shrock, director of CPS, has witnessed Galat’s initiative to serve in places that will provide the utmost opportunity for her to practice skills she has learned in the classroom. Shrock has offered his wisdom and insight on how applying academic knowledge to experience is greatly beneficial to students.

“Abbie has gone above and beyond with efforts to connect her academic experiences to the hands-on activities that she is participating in on the trip this summer,” said Shrock. “This will be an invaluable experience for her as the social work profession calls for individuals who can relate to people different than themselves. The skills that she will gain will be transferable to her work that she will be involved in after graduation. The intercultural competence will give her an awareness of differences and ability to work with a diverse range of people.”

The social work major is an area of study in which experience is vital and the new skills gained through the experiences are equally important. Thus, experiences such as her trip to East Asia are invaluable to Galat’s life and future career.

“First and foremost, I wish to come away from the experience knowing that I did God's work and influenced others towards Christ,” said Galat. “I hope to return with a deeper understanding of the human race as a whole. Wherever I travel, I am constantly aware that each person is unique and different. This will be very helpful in my career as a social worker, as I will be working with many different populations and clientele.”

— Emmalee Strait is a junior from Anderson University, majoring in communication arts and minoring in marketing. Emmalee is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.