Each year students in the social policy class go to the State Capitol in Des Moines to lobby the legislature. They meet with legislators, attend committee meetings and learn lobbying skills. They advocate for bills on issues such as: requiring photo IDs for voting, mental health system reform, and the placement of convicted sex offenders in care facilities and nursing homes.
"The Iowa NEW Leadership residential institute equipped me with a variety of skills that I was not expecting to gain. It provided a safe place to meet intelligent, humorous, and driven women as well as an encouraging environment to practice skills such as networking and wage negotiation. We had the opportunity to listen and speak with many female leaders in all areas of the public sector from legislators to teachers to non-profit directors. We were encouraged to explore opposing political issues and work together to think critically and support other women despite the possibility of having different opinions. It was an amazing learning experience that further motivated me to empower women, explore diversity, take action, and understand current disparities in our public leadership."
Social Work Major Alexandra Lohrbach ('15) has been selected to attend the Iowa N.E.W. Leadership institute May 19-23 at the University of Iowa.
This 5-day residential institute is designed to empower women across the political spectrum to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in all sections of public leadership. The institute experience is built around a challenging curriculum that develops knowledge and skill in strategic communication, policy analysis, philanthropy, negotiation, community development, professional sustainability, relationship-building, productive engagement with difference, conflict and collaboration.
"As a social work major, I have noticed that leadership and innovation in many social welfare systems have taken a back seat in the grand scheme of maintaining the status quo. I am particularly interested in the intersect between health, social welfare, and the policies that drive systems innovation. I hope that this institute will help me in my strategy to better communicate, analyze, develop, and be equipped to take on leadership roles in my future." Alexandra Lohrbach ('15)
Representative Roger Thomas welcomed social work majors from Luther College with advisor, Dr. Craig Mosher, to the Statehouse on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014.
Social Work students and Associate Professor of Social Work, Britt Rhodes, traveled to Northern Ireland for a 3-week study abroad course in January 2013 titled Forging Paths to Peace: Personal, Political and Social Reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
Fifteen social work students attended the "Minimal Facts" Training with staff from the St. Luke's Child Protection Center. Students learned how to identify and talk to children who have experienced child sexual abuse.
College Ministries representatives Aaidha Majdhy ’11, Campus Pastor Amy Zalk Larson ’96, and Alma Gast ’10 presented on interfaith engagement at the 2010 annual gathering of the Council of Synod Lutheran Youth Organization Presidents (CSLYOPs), held at Camp Carol Joy Holling in Ashland, Neb., Oct. 28–31.
Gast, a social work grad, lives in Jersey City, N.J.,and volunteers at an after-school/safe-haven program for youth living in public housing.
Their presentation addressed the need for more respectful appreciation of—and bridge building with—persons of diverse religious commitments in a pluralistic world.
Sally Ea ’12, a social work major from Maplewood, Minn., and her father, Houkling Ea, toured the ancient temple Angkor Wat during a nearly monthlong trip to Cambodia last summer. It was Ea’s first trip to the Asian nation—and her father’s first return trip since immigrating to the United States from Cambodia 30 years ago.
“I was overjoyed to finally meet my dad’s family—cousins, nieces, and nephews I never knew he had—and to see my culture firsthand,” she says. “I also got to see the towns where both my parents grew up.”
Ea and her family had discussed visiting Cambodia for some time, but it was a conversation she had on campus with Sense of Vocation program visitor Eileen Summers ’67 last April that inspired Ea and her father to finally book the trip.
“When Eileen came to campus last spring, I was surprised to learn that she had spent such a significant amount of time working in Cambodia,” says Ea, who met Summers for coffee while she was on campus. “I told her about my goal of working in international social services, and Eileen shared with me her story and how she landed in Cambodia.” Summers put Ea in contact with a colleague—Ellen Minotti, director of Social Services of Cambodia. “We were able to meet while I was in Cambodia and talk about the work of the agency and my future goals,” says Ea.