June 8, 2021
2017 GC alumna accepted into Master of Social Work program
Birmingham to attend University of Pennsylvania this fall
Kelsey Birmingham, 2017 GC Alumna
Garrett College alumna, Kelsey Birmingham, was recently accepted into the Master of Social Work program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. The program is ranked 10th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and carries a long and well-respected reputation.
While at Garrett, Birmingham earned an Associate in Arts - Arts and Sciences (psychology concentration) degree in 2017. A resident of Glen Burnie, Md., she was awarded the prestigious and extremely competitive Two-Year Transfer Scholarship to Bucknell University beginning in the fall of 2017. The scholarship covered tuition for two years of full-time enrolment at Bucknell University, a private liberal arts institution in Lewisburg, Pa.
“I will always hold Garrett College in a special place in my heart because it granted me the confidence to excel academically and the tools I need to do so,” stated Birmingham. “Go Lakers!”
At Bucknell, Birmingham conducted research in multicultural health psychology. She was granted the opportunity to present her findings at the Eastern Psychological Conference in Philadelphia, Pa. in 2018. She also performed research with the Sunbury, Pa. United Way in finding a measurement to appraise the teen impact programs in the local communities.
“Looking back at my educational career, it took perseverance, support from my family and mentors, and most importantly my faith in God,” she noted. “I am determined to continue to make my supporters proud and to be a role model for those who come from similar backgrounds as me.”
Her professional career began when she accepted an intern position at Behavioral Specialist, Inc., a mental and behavioral health services community organization for children and adolescents in central Pennsylvania, where she provided intensive group therapy sessions for physically and sexually abused children.
Birmingham moved on to join the Sheppard Pratt Health System in Towson, Md., where she worked as a mental health worker, providing compassionate care, support, therapy, and assistance to individuals with mental health disorders or disabilities. Her experience in both positions is what sparked her interest in seeking an advanced social work degree.
Her next journey will commence this September when she joins the University of Pennsylvania’s campus in Philadelphia.
“I cannot say enough how excited I am to have earned the opportunity to be educated at University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution. With a master’s degree in social policy and practice, I plan to create better educational opportunities for students of color and combat social injustices that affect African Americans,” she remarked.
"It is no surprise that Kelsey has been admitted to the Master of Social Work program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice,” observed Dr. Terry Kasecamp, GC’s professor of psychology.
Kasecamp continued, “what was particularly striking about Kelsey as a student was her perseverance and commitment to getting an education. The depth of her introspection and ability to apply what she was learning in the psychology courses that she completed at Garrett was impressive. This combined with her unique life experiences has made her acutely aware of how to work through challenging situations.”
At Penn, Birmingham will split her time between classroom activities and fieldwork during the two-year MSW program, with the option to select a clinical or macro concentration in her second year.
“She is a very intelligent young woman, will continue to excel academically, personally, and professionally, and will be an incredible asset to the field of social work,” Kasecamp added.
The Bucknell Community College Scholars program is designed for high-achieving, low- to moderate income community college students who aim to earn their associate’s degree and wish to take their education further.
After meeting the academic and financial criteria, potential scholars must apply and attend the summer program immediately prior to community college graduation. Students then return to the community college to complete the associate degree, and are eligible to apply for the Two-Year Transfer Scholarship to Bucknell University.
For more information about the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program in addition to other transfer opportunities available at Garrett College, contact Ashley Ruby at Garrett College at 301-387-3733 or email@example.com.