Welcome new and returning students of the School of Social Work! I am excited about this year for several reasons. First, returning students will be one-step closer to accomplishing an important goal in our lives as students of social work. Even though learning is a life long continuous activity, we will have finally reached a plateau of earning the title, “Social Worker”. This journey may have been long and arduous, but well worth it. We have found a worthy cause and the support we can give to one another, as mentors, cohorts, and culturally competent social workers is invaluable.
Secondly, “Aloha” to our new students entering the BSW program. I am pleased that your reality of becoming a social worker is well on its way. During this time of change, learning, and growth, it is important to remember you have support within the BSW program and utilizing those resources will help prevent stress overload. A bond that we will share together will expand your horizons personally, academically, and professionally. I look forward to watching this happen.
I invite all of our new BSW students to the BSW Organization meetings to help plan events, activities, or give us your mantra for life. Sharing this upcoming year will sharpen our skills and connect us together. A chance for a great learning experience by providing community service and support to our community, but also fun.
Lastly, the BSW Organization has chosen the Kumulipo quilt design to represent Social Work in Hawaii. Our connections to our past, ourselves, the future, and one another is the basis of social work. Without those connections we become isolated, invalidated, and lost. My commitment to social work has given me a safety net, because I have realized I have the support of my cohorts. I hope to pass on the same ideals and opportunities to our new students and strengthen the support we already have. Let us be ready for this upcoming year by connecting to one another and by strengthening our connections to our community. The awareness we have as social workers permits this to be possible with ourselves, other individuals, families, and our community.
Have a Great Year Everyone!
Lisa M. Kuhlman
© 2004 University of Hawaii School of Social Work