Adrianna Satorski, a senior social work major from Sayreville, New Jersey, received a full tuition scholarship to attend the University of Michigan's M.S.W. program starting in the fall of 2019. Satorski will graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work from Seton Hall University in May.
The University of Michigan has the number one ranked Master of Social Work program in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. Michigan University gives out the Jim Wahlberg Dean's Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship opportunity, to one recipient each year. Satorski is this year's recipient.
As the Jim Wahlberg Dean's Scholar, Satorski will be presenting the research on drug policy and harm reduction she submitted as part of the application process at a conference for the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors in Birmingham, Ala.
Satorksi started out at Middlesex County Community College, later transferring to Seton Hall to complete her undergraduate degree. Her interest in Social Work began after taking a class that challenged the many misconceptions she had about the field. The profession's values of service and social justice aligned well with her personal views.
In the spring of 2018, she interned at Rios and Associates Therapeutic Solutions, a mental health agency that provides psychotherapeutic services, including individual, family, couple's, and group therapies. She also recently became a certified yoga instructor at the American Yoga Academy in Summit, NJ.
For her senior year field placement, she interned at the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (APN), an advocacy organization that seeks to ultimately end poverty in New Jersey through community education and legislative advocacy. With APN, she travelled to meetings and conferences with partners across the state, and was able to attend multiple "lobby days" at the New Jersey State House and in Washington, D.C. Satorski was the first B.S.W. student to intern with both Rios and Associates and APN, as they have only accepted M.S.W. interns before her arrival.
Her internship at APN is what led her to focus on policy in her career.
"Experiencing the promising impact that legislative advocacy can have on social justice issues has helped me better understand social problems not only as individual concerns, but as issues that are part of a larger system," Satorski said. "Without addressing the systemic problems, the social work profession cannot fully promote its value of social justice. My goal as a social worker is to promote the dignity and well-being of individuals and communities impacted by drug use by advocating for better national implementation of harm-reduction policies, practices and programs."
When Satorski began applying to four-year schools to obtain a Bachelors in Social Work, Seton Hall was her top choice.
"I have had nothing short of the most amazing opportunities since transferring to Seton Hall," she said. "I want to extend my gratitude to Seton Hall University and all of the wonderful professors, advisors and internship supervisors who have helped me achieve more than I could have ever imagined throughout my undergraduate career."