Titania D. Grace, GSS 2010
Why did you choose to attend Fordham for your MSW?
Fordham has an amazing reputation, especially within the social work community and was definitely top on my list of graduate schools that I applied to. Yet, it was after I attended an information session for prospective students that it was made clear that Fordham was where I belonged. While I had already known about the academic excellence that Fordham has to offer, it became very clear from speaking with students and staff members that the environment was also incredibly supportive.
What was the Fordham experience like for you?
My Fordham experience was very rich and filled with excellent opportunities to learn both in class and out in the field during my internships. My fellow classmates and my professors were knowledgeable, came with varied backgrounds, were very approachable and supportive every step of the way.
Which Fordham professors had the greatest impact on you?
Adjunct Professor Pamela Brice is one of the most compassionate, intelligent and captivating professors I have ever had the privilege to learn from. Additionally, former Ph.D. student and professor, Thalia MacMillan was another remarkable and creative educator.
How did you get started in your career?
I have always had the desire to be a social worker, but my professional path wasn’t clearly cut. While I wanted to help children who had experienced struggles similar to mine, I did not simply want to pick a career based on my childhood circumstances of growing up in foster care.
So I initially picked a different path based on my interests and talents in writing and verbal communication. I studied Public Relations and pursued a career within this field. While there were interesting and exciting moments studying and working in PR, something was missing. My desire to help people couldn’t be suppressed. At college, I took great joy and went well beyond what was required in participating in community service on and off campus. I contemplated continuing my career in Public Relations while also volunteering but ultimately realized I was running from what I really wanted to do, much like I was running from the most difficult parts of my past. When I finally stopped running, my true purpose became clear. This led me to pursue an MSW degree.
How has Fordham helped you get to where you are today?
Before attending Fordham my background wasn’t in social work, so Fordham definitely helped to provide me with the knowledge and educational tools needed to start my career as a social worker. Additionally, being a student of the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham helped me to enhance my critical thinking and analytical skills, which definitely serve me well within this field.
What are you currently involved in?
I published a book titled, Through the Belly of the Beast and Back: My Life in Foster Care, which details my personal struggles of growing up in foster care as well as those of several foster children I have worked with. Additionally, my book offers recommendations for changes affecting foster children (e.g. reducing the number of child-welfare and mental-health providers simultaneously working with them), their families (e.g. policies that keep biological connections), and child-welfare workers (e.g. reducing bureaucratic paperwork to prioritize working with children).
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy creative writing, designing jewelry, taking long walks and being surrounded by nature.