Joana Lampe enjoying working with and learning from fellow social workers. Her experience at Wichita State gives her hope that her profession can help change things for the better.
Joana is one of more than 3,500 students eligible for spring/summer 2021 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad.
What degree did you earn?
Master’s in social work
What is your hometown?
What led you to Wichita State to begin?
I completed my associate degree at Butler Community College and WSU was the obvious choice to continue.
How are you feeling leading up to graduation?
I am feeling all kinds of things. Pride for having finished my graduate degree, during a global pandemic no less. Excitement for my move to Michigan and for starting my doctoral degree in social work at Michigan State University in the fall. Sadness for leaving the WSU community, the amazing fellow social workers I have met and become friends with, my awesome friends outside of school, and my American family.
What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at Wichita State?
I am not sure if it is a learning experience in the traditional sense, but when I entered Wichita State's social work program, I found my people. I had the distinct honor to meet and connect with so many bright, passionate, and hard-working fellow social workers. I truly do believe that we have the power to change the world, even if it is just one child, one family, one organization, one policy change at a time.
What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?
Especially as a grad student, balancing school, my field placement, and self-care was the biggest challenge. I am fortunate to have great family support that made it possible for me to have time to go for daily walks with my dog, and indulge in the occasional binge on Hulu.
What are your plans after graduation?
I was accepted into Michigan State University's social work Ph.D program, beginning this fall.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State or your post-graduation plans?
The pandemic affected my time at WSU in a profound way, including less socializing with my fellow social work students. However, I think Zoom was the best substitute under the circumstances. It still made it possible to at least see each other on screen, and allowed for honest, authentic, and raw spaces of shared vulnerability during the year.
What advice would you give other Wichita State students?
Find your passion.
I went to law school in Germany because I thought that's what my family expected. I was miserable until the day I decided to quit. Is getting a degree in accounting a responsible choice? Yes. But if it doesn't make you happy, if you don't burn for it, don't do it because you "should.”
Life is too short to be stuck in a degree or job that does not call to you. So, if you can, experiment and find what you are passionate about and go for it.
And if that is accounting, by all means, you go, Shocker! But if it's not, change course. It is never too late to get that degree (or job without a degree) you really want.
You do you, and pursue what makes your heart full.