Kristian Patterson arrived at SVSU in Fall 2008 “undecided,” though she knew she wanted to “help people or be involved with people behind the scene, fighting for change.” Classes and volunteering with Boys/Girls Club, the tutoring program, and the Organization of Black Unity (president 2011-2012) helped Kristian decide on a social work major, youth services minor.
This semester she interned with the Saginaw Intermediate School District's Early Childhood and Parenting Services Department.
KP, as she is known to friends, finds the social work faculty helpful at many levels. Professors provide us with knowledge from texts as well as their personal experiences; but most importantly they gives us the opportunity to apply or practice what they teach.
“If you need help with classes or have field work questions, they’re there for you.” KP cites her advisor, Vanness Brooks-Herd (assistant professor of social work) as someone she admires. “She is experienced, she doesn’t force her opinion on you and, she challenges you.”
She compares the guidance and mentoring from Brooks-Herd to that which you would expect at a small, private school. But, as she explains, SVSU offers students the best of both worlds, with the resources and amenities of a larger institution.
KP has written what she thinks is a great tagline for SVSU: “Little School. Big Knowledge.”
"From the classroom to campus programming I am always getting a new lesson. It's everyday learning here, and everything has been beneficial for me. Things I have learned at SVSU have been helping me tremendously during my internship. I have no concerns about my future because I know this "small school atmosphere" has provided me with enough BIG knowledge to get me to the next level."
After graduation in 2013, she plans to study social work in graduate school with the hopes of one day starting a non-profit organization.