Meet four of our especially noteworthy social work students! BSW student Chris Campau has been in his own substance abuse recovery since 2006 and he works hard as an advocate for individuals in recovery. Andi DeRoin, a first year MSW student, is interested in macro practice, and hopes to help shape the services of agencies. Kaimeng Lei, a second year MSW student, recently helped a friend start a social work agency in China. Stephanie Batchelor, who is in the Advanced Standing MSW program, is especially passionate about child and family well-being and eliminating barriers to academic achievement.
Chris Campau is a student in the Bachelor of Social Work program at NC State who has refreshingly ambitious goals. Because of his experience as a person recovering from alcohol and drug addiction (in recovery since May 18, 2006), he has become interested in advocating policies that remove barriers to finding effective treatment and supports for individuals in recovery. He would like to see affordable housing, fulfilling employment, and access to education for individuals in recovery.
Before he joined the BSW program at NC State, he graduated from Wake Technical Community College with a degree in Human Services/Substance Abuse Counseling. He also became a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor-Intern (CSAC-I). Once he completes his BSW, Campau plans to continue on to graduate school and continue his work with Collegiate Recovery, the Association of Recovery Schools, Governors Institute, and Young People in Recovery. His ultimate goal is to enter public office or work at the Office of National Drug Control Policy – Recovery Branch of the White House (ONDCP) to pursue advocacy for people in recovery at the policy level.
Andi Deroin, a first year MSW student, was always interested in mental health. Deroin earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Iowa, realizing that the field allows for research as well as direct practice and advocacy. Deroin’s interests are geared toward macro practice that helps shape the services of agencies. One of this student’s favorite things about the MSW program is the level of student involvement across the program. Deroin is involved in the Diversity, Retention, and Recruitment (DRR) Committee and the Curriculum Committee. Deroin’s MSW research includes designing, implementing, and evaluating programming with the purpose of boosting the department’s knowledge, skills, and preparedness to work with anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA. Deroin hopes to eventually become an executive director of a nonprofit agency and to teach within a college community. “Basically, if you put me somewhere I can facilitate positive change for a community, I’ll be happy,” says Deroin.
Kaimeng Lei is a second year Master of Social Work student who came to NC State from China. After growing up in Xi’an in northwest China, she completed high school at a boarding school and then attended Peking University in Beijing—one of the top two colleges in China. She graduated with a double major in sociology and psychology.
In addition to her sociology and psychology classes, Lei sat in on social work classes and discovered that she loved what she learned there. This prompted her to volunteer with migrant workers where she lived, especially with the children. Doing work that benefits the public good is very important to Lei, and she decided to pursue graduate education in social work. She chose to come to the United States for this because she had dreamed of studying abroad since she was very young, and she respects the well-established, high quality social work education that can be found in the U.S.
Lei discovered a particular interest in management, program development, and program evaluation. She has already accomplished a good deal in relation to these interests. She has had the amazing opportunity over the past year to assist one of her friends with starting a substance abuse treatment agency in China called Sober Life Addiction Family Support Center. Her role has been to create management policies, assessment tools, and evaluation plans. When she leaves here, she will serve as the research and development director for the agency. Her hope is that the agency will grow and expand into other cities.
While Lei can see herself remaining with Sober Life for a long time, she also hopes to eventually pursue a Ph.D. and begin teaching at the university level. She perceives a great need for more experienced professionals in social work in China, and she hopes to use the knowledge she has gained in this graduate program and her future experience to improve the profession within her country.
Stephanie Batchelor is an advanced standing MSW student who grew up in Lodi, California, and currently lives in Raleigh. After receiving her BSW from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, she worked in a variety of human service settings and provided crisis intervention and support to the community. Batchelor is especially passionate about child and family well-being and eliminating barriers to academic achievement. She is currently a research assistant for the Center for Family and Community Engagement, where she is working on a research project with Dr. Stage and Dr. Pennell on foster youth and education. Batchelor is interested in research and program development related to child development, trauma recovery, and improving foster youth outcomes. Her MSW research is a needs assessment of youth with multiple traumas, adoption interruption, and adoption disruptions. She hopes to give a voice to underrepresented populations. After receiving her MSW, she plans to gain experience in direct practice and become an LCSW and to work with children and families in outpatient therapy. She hopes to eventually provide leadership to a nonprofit organization and to pursue a doctoral degree.