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Reaching for Excellence

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Jessica Goheen

Current M.S.W. Student

Before being nominated for the Reaching for Excellence program, I was looking at different MSW programs in the area, but had not considered Smith. Smith felt too elite--and if I'm being honest, I did not want to write a thesis!

I was nominated for REX by a colleague in the field, Ruth Pearlman. I was flattered that she nominated me, but was still hesitant about applying to REX because I couldn't see myself fitting in at Smith, although I wasn't sure why.

Once I was accepted into the REX program and came to campus for the training, I was instantly blown away by the caliber of the professors who teach at Smith and by the conversations that were fostered through critical discussions with my peers. I felt like I had to pick up my jaw off the floor -- I was so stunned by the education I could potentially receive at Smith.

I have my BSW and was fortunate enough to be able to do the advanced standing program, which meant I would be able to finish my MSW at an accelerated pace. Once the staff shared that I would also receive a scholarship if I applied to the SSW and was accepted, I knew that I would be coming to Smith.

While my experience at Smith has had challenges, I'm forever grateful to Ruth Pearlman for nominating me, to the SSW for offering the REX program/scholarship, and to the professors who showed me a glimpse of what Smith had to offer.

I would not have come to Smith had it not been for those things, and I certainly would not be in the process of receiving the best social work education that exists!