Washington Calling

The Steve Hicks School of Social Work launched “Washington Calling,” a week-long career development seminar held during Spring Break in Washington, D.C., for students interested in learning about social work in our nation’s capital.

During the inaugural trip in March 2018, twelve graduate and undergraduate students networked with and learned from social work alumni, met with Congressmen from Texas, and toured the National Gallery and the Lincoln Memorial.

Get to know the inaugural, 2018 Washington Calling cohort below.

Andrew DavisAndy Davis
  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work, Clinical Concentration
  • Social work internship: Seton Medical Center Austin
  • Interests: Geriatric social work
  • Fact: Andy comes from years of active duty in the United States Air Force, and is a GRACE Scholar. His interest in Washington Calling stemmed from meeting with his Congressional representatives and seeing how their passion for social justice culminated in legislation addressing disparities in mental health care.

 

Kimberly GarciaKimberly Garcia
  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work, Clinical Concentration
  • Interests: Medical social work, mental health and Latino populations
  • Research: Kimberly works at the Institute of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, where she is conducting a program evaluation of a legal aid hotline in Texas for survivors of sexual assault.
  • Fact: Kimberly has been selected as an Integrated Behavioral Health Scholar, a program that trains students to work in interdisciplinary medical settings.

 

Claire HodginsClaire Hodgins
  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work
  • Social work internship: The Excel Center, a charter school through GoodWill Central Texas
  • Interests: Social justice and politics
  • Future plans: Claire plans to continue working in the nonprofit sector after graduating in August 2018.

 

 

Vetrecia JonesVetrecia Jones
  • Program: Bachelor of Social Work
  • Social work internship: Communities in Schools
  • Interests: Education
  • Future plans: Vetrecia wants to work with agencies inside schools to provide guidance and support to students while understanding how policies impact their success, drive, and emotional well-being.

 

 

Magaly LopezMagaly Maldonado Lopez
  • Program: Bachelor of Social Work
  • Interests: Latinx children and families, immigrants and refugees
  • Fact: Magaly is a first-generation college student with parents who immigrated from a small town in Mexico
  • Future plans: Magaly would like to open up her own non-profit or run for office in order to change policies for the betterment of society.

 

 

McConnell MicaelaMicaela McConnell
  • Program: Bachelor of Social Work
  • Interests: Immigration, macro social work.
  • Future plans: Micaela plans to pursue a graduate degree in public policy, continue studying Spanish in order to work with Spanish-speaking populations, move to Washington, D.C. to get involved in macro social work at a national level and ultimately work in international policy.

 

 

Kaleigh Phelan
  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work, Administrative and Policy Practice concentration
  • Interests: Homelessness
  • Fact: Kaleigh was part of the initiative to end veteran homelessness in Austin, which was achieved in 2016.
  • Future plans: Kaleigh wants to continue her focus on homeless services, and to work at the policy level after graduation

 

 

Alyssa RamirezAly Ramirez
  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work, Clinical Concentration
  • Social work internship: UT Austin’s Counseling and Mental Health Center
  • Interests: Mental health, underserved populations
  • Future plans: Aly plans to do clinical work with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, and work to expand the availability and accessibility of mental health care among underserved populations.

 

 

Michelle RamirezMichelle Ramirez
  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work, Clinical Concentration
  • Interests: Help at-risk youth heal and grow
  • Fact: Michelle  is a first-generation college student from El Paso
  • Future plans: Michelle wants to develop programs to expand resources for Queer and Latinx youth in her hometown of El Paso

 

 

Alissa SughrueAlissa Sughrue
  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work, Administrative and Policy Practice concentration
  • Social work internship: Texas State House of Representatives
  • Interests: Federal policy and its impact on vulnerable youth and families
  • Future plans: Alissa wants a career in policy research and advocacy to strengthen social safety nets for youth and families in need

 

 

Margot Twomey
  • Program: Bachelor of Social Work
  • Social work internship: Easter Seals of Central Texas, Gladney Center for Adoption.
  • Interests: International adoptions and child welfare.
  • Fact: Margot contributed to international adoption policy between the United States and Colombia and prepared a testimony and policy brief over Texas Bill HB 3859

 

Rachael VidalRachel Vidal
  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work
  • Interests: Politics
  • Fact: Rachel has an undergraduate degree in political science
  • Future plans: Rachel would love to work in Washington D.C.