Hood Alumni Among Social Work Panel

Social work panel

When people think of the work that social workers do, they often think of one-on-one interactions with one person. However, social workers are trained to work with populations of many sizes.

Arthur Claybon '08 and Jasmine Shortridge '03


  • Social Work (B.A.)


  • Sociology & Social Work

As a part of their class unit focused on communities and organizations, senior social work students in SOWK 442 (Methods II) hosted a panel of four “macro level” social workers.

These panelists included:

  • Laura Atkinson, director of social services at Ballenger Creek, a Genesis Healthcare facility
  • Arthur Claybon '08, co-founder of The Hoop Zone, a program that supports youth basketball skill development
  • Jasmine Shortridge '03, Spanish-speaking program therapist for Frederick County Public Schools
  • Karen Parker, director of the Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office at the National Institutes of Health 

Two of the panelists, Claybon and Shortridge, are proud Hood alumni from the social work program. Each identified the ways in which their Hood education prepared them well for the professional world. They emphasized the importance of learning about people in relation to their surroundings, which known in social work as PIE, person-in-environment.

The panelists responded openly to students questions, first clarifying the day-to-day duties of their jobs, and then sharing more about the various paths their careers have taken. No two panelists’ stories were the same. Each person on the panel also shared their success stories and their professional missteps. They freely shared their advice, which the students appreciated. After the panel, students remarked how helpful it was to learn about the different settings in which macro social work can happen. The panelists’ advice also helped to reduce some students’ anxiety about working in macro settings.

In an exercise after the panel, students were able to make several connections between what they learned from the panelists and the course content.