"At Carlow, you can find out what
you're passionate about, and discover what you want to do to make a
difference in the world."
"Social Work speaks to my heart," says Jessica
Friedrichs, MSW, MPA. Her mind, she says, is rooted in "big-picture
For Friedrichs, coordinator of Carlow's Service-Learning
Program, assistant professor in the Department of Social Work, and
co-director of the Honors Program, the big picture means making
connections so that she can best reach those in need-and teach
others to do the same.
Friedrichs—joined by Carlow students—participates in Amizade's Water Walk, helping to raise funds for clean water initiatives around the world. Friedrichs is on the far right, holding her son.
She is dedicated to the concept of
service-learning-courses where learning outcomes are met through
meaningful community service-something she's been involved in for
years, both locally and globally.
Prior to Carlow, Friedrichs spent four years facilitating and
co-teaching global service-learning courses in Bolivia, Tanzania,
Northern Ireland, Jamaica, and the Navajo Nation through the Amizade Global Service-Learning
Center. Projects ranged greatly-including a trip with a
filmmaker to help Jamaicans promote and raise money for
a new children's camp.
Locally, she worked with the Pittsburgh Refugee Center, helping
Somali Bantu refugees adapt to life in Western Pennsylvania. That
position, too, led to service-learning when she connected them with
college students working on an oral history project.
Friedrichs is passionate about her field. "I believe in the
mission of social work," she says. "We help the most vulnerable
people, and we believe in the dignity of all
Jessica Friedrichs, MSW, MPA, coordinator of Carlow's Service-Learning Program, assistant professor in the Department of Social Work, and co-director of the Honors Program
Coming to Carlow, she says, was a "perfect fit," given
the university's continued mission of service to others-and because
of the strength of the social work department.
"Carlow students have real relationships with their faculty
members," she says. "Because it's small and intimate, they're
not lost in a sea of people. The students go through as a cohort,
so they have an opportunity to really connect with each other."
Friedrichs is thrilled by Carlow students' enthusiasm for
"Students come in and see service-learning is required," she
says, "and they say, 'Cool!' They're excited about it, in a way I
haven't seen before."
Service-learning opportunities abound at Carlow. Some recent
- An Early Childhood Education partnership where students tutored
children who are homeless.
- A Community Health Nursing course, in which students provide
health education to groups with limited access to it.
- An Adult
Development course where students volunteer with the
elderly-research from which was published in the Journal of
Prevention and Intervention in the Community.
It's opportunities like these-and so many others- that make
Friedrichs proud to be part of the Carlow community.
Jessica Freidrichs at Mercy Service Day with Kendra Jenkins of Schenley Heights Community Development Corporation—a community partner
"I'm so happy here," she says. "The programs that come out of
our school really give you experience out in the community so you
can find out what you're good at, what you're passionate about, and
discover what you want to do to make a difference in the
Connecting students to one another so that they can more
effectively connect to their community, service-learning fosters
both passion and intellect in realizing Carlow's historic mission—to serve others.
Find out more about Carlow's Honors Program and the Department of Social Work.