BGSU student recognized for her passion in the field of social work
By Denise Koeth
Social work isn't always easy, but its impact can make it all worth it.
Just ask Jamie Wlosowicz '16.
The Bowling Green State University graduate student is currently working toward a Master of Social Work, and is driven to make a difference on a large scale.
Her passion, specifically within the field of social work, was recognized by the National Association of Social Work, which named her NASW Student of the Year for Region 1 of Ohio.
Wlosowicz, who earned her bachelor’s in social work (BSW) from BGSU and also holds a master’s in higher education from the University of Toledo, already has a varied professional background and the empathy and open-mindedness needed to excel in the field.
“Jamie is an excellent representation of a social worker committed to creating the structural changes needed to achieve social equality in our country and world,” said Dr. Jordan Wilfong, assistant professor of social work at BGSU, who nominated her for the award.
“Jamie is an excellent example of a new social worker who has the knowledge, creativity, and justice-oriented mindset to envision and create much needed progress within our society on issues related to racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, income inequality and other critical topics."
As Region 1 Student of the Year, Wlosowicz is a finalist for the Ohio Student of the Year, which will be announced in January.
“I was truly shocked,” Wlosowicz said. “To learn that my faculty members see the potential in my work and the value of what I do is very touching. I've never received accolades for my education, so it was humbling to not only be recommended for the award, but also selected.”
Involvement at BGSU
During her undergraduate years, Wlosowicz volunteered for the SAAFE Center, a rape crisis center in Wood County. After earning her bachelor's degree, she worked at the YWCA Rape Crisis Center as a campus advocate to support faculty, staff and college students in northwest Ohio.
“I love working with college students; that's what led me to my current job at BGSU,” said Wlosowicz, student engagement coordinator for the Center for Women and Gender Equity (CWGE) and the Center for Violence Prevention and Education (CVPE). "When I was doing social work, I realized I wanted to be on a college campus. I got my master's in higher ed and now I’m doing more education and prevention.
“I realized that I have the ability to do more of what I'm passionate about with a master's in social work," she said. With the MSW, instead of doing case management work, she hopes to create more structural and systemic changes and work with policy.
When it came to selecting a university for her MSW program, Wlosowicz’s choice was easy.
“Having faculty who are so committed to their students and their success, both in school and beyond, is key," she said. "I knew I could count on the faculty at BGSU for personal growth and to challenge me. These educators will become my network of colleagues and people I can depend on.”
BGSU Division of Diversity and Belonging
Working with the CWGE and CVPE within the Division of Diversity and Belonging has taught her lessons related to her field of study.
“Some of our main goals at the CWGE are education, recognition and community,” she said. “Our main mission is to center folks with the most marginalized identity and ensure that everybody has resources. We focus on building community and pushing that needle toward social justice, gender justice and gender equity.”
For the CVPE, education and awareness of sexual assault, dating violence and stalking are offered through training and campus-wide campaigns.
“I’ve learned so much from the faculty and staff on our campus,” she said. “Being a social worker brings a unique perspective, but it's also really cool to be surrounded by folks with very different educational backgrounds, because diverse thought will always bring new perspectives and more opportunities.
"As a white cisgender heterosexual woman, I feel like I'm constantly learning about my personal privileges and how that really sets the tone for the way I see the world, the way that I seek support or receive support, services and resources.
“Hearing from folks who have different experiences and recognizing systemic oppression and systemic injustice continues to create a narrative that we all have a different experience with these resources,” Wlosowicz said. “It's so important to use my voice, but to recognize when I need to step back and push an agenda as a group or with someone else in the lead. Listening is obviously key, and so is supporting individuals who have experienced oppression, racism and/or injustice based on their identities.”
In the future, Wlosowicz would like to be a school social worker for grades K-12. She also plans to become a Licensed Independent Social Worker.