ASU social work graduate finds calling in well-being of seniors


December 12, 2017

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

A native of Silverdale, Washington, Chelsea Raulsome came to Arizona State University specifically for the social work program. Although she originally was interested in nursing, her mother suggested she look into a social work degree. It was a good suggestion. Chelsea Raulsome Chelsea Raulsome is the fall 2017 outstanding graduate of the School of Social Work. Download Full Image

Raulsome is the ASU School of Social Work's outstanding graduate for fall 2017.

Raulsome interned at a hospice during her last year of college, which impacted her greatly. After graduation, she will enroll in the School of Social Work's advance standing master’s degree program in May. With her MSW, she plans on becoming a medical social worker in the gerontology field.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: It took me awhile to figure out that social work was the right degree for me. I knew I wanted to help people and make a difference in this world and I thought nursing would be that route for me. Turns out you need to pass chemistry, and math and science was never a strength for me. My mother told me about social work, as I looked into the degree and the courses I would be taking, it hit me. This is the route I was supposed to be on and once I had my first day of school, I never felt more confident in that decision.

Q. What's something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: I grew up in a pretty Republican household that has swayed my beliefs. During my years at ASU, I learned to be open-minded and not assume my opinion of subjects was the right answer. This is something that I am so thankful for and glad I was able to view my classmates' perspective on issues and learn from them.

Q:  Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because my sister and brother-in-law recently moved down to the Phoenix area and were trying to have a baby. I knew that I wanted to be close to my future niece/nephew and was willing to do whatever it took to do that. When looking at schools in Phoenix, I noticed that ASU had a really good social work program and so I applied and thankfully got in! My sister ended up having a beautiful baby girl and I am so grateful I ended up here and at ASU.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: My best piece of advice that I would give any student still in school is what my favorite author always says: "We can do hard things." Yes. We can and we will! Keep going, it is worth it.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: My plans for after graduation is first to sleep in for a few days, celebrate with my friends/family, and get back at it. I plan on doing the advance standing master's program in May. I really want to get my MSW so I can become a medical social worker and start my career in the gerontology field.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: If someone gave me $40 million dollars to solve one problem I would use it to tackle the gerontology side of things right now. Although this question is a hard one for a social worker to answer, I would want to use it to ensure that each senior ends up having all the resources they need to live their best life. I did my internship at a hospice my last year of school and noticed time and time again the resources that were needed to make a person's end of life most comfortable for them and their family required an incredible amount of finances. I believe that our gerontology population needs to be taken care of and it is our job to make sure they are not suffering because they can't afford a decent nursing, group or at-home care. This population relies on us.

Written by Malkaya Perkins

Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions

602-496-0001

First-generation ASU graduate blazes a trail for higher education


December 12, 2017

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

When Jesús López graduated from Arizona State University this week, he became the first in his family to earn a college degree. Jesus Lopez Fall 2017 graduate Jesús López. Photo by Will Argeros. Download Full Image

Originally from Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, he is graduating with his bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature and culture and a minor in criminology and criminal justice.

López attended college straight out of high school in 2007, but dropped out after three semesters.

“I was hanging around the wrong crowd — overwhelmed and unprepared,” he said.

Eventually, he decided it was time to give it another try and enrolled at Mesa Community College. There he discovered the Maricopa to ASU Pathways Program (MAPP), which helps students plan and complete prescribed coursework to help them make a smooth transition to a four-year university for their bachelor’s degree.

López says the program helped him realize what he wanted to study and how he would achieve his goal. He completed his Associate of Arts in Spanish at MCC before transferring to ASU in spring 2015.

“My inspiration leading to my current studies are my parents and the Latino/Hispanic community,” López said. “Coming from immigrant parents, I know firsthand the struggle of them not knowing proper English.”

His ability to speak both English and Spanish has been advantageous for him, both personally and academically.

“While challenging, I really enjoy the process of listening, speaking, reading and writing in both Spanish and English.”

During his time at ASU, Lopez also helped others forge a path toward higher education as an ambassador for Access ASU’s me3 program. me3 is an innovative career exploration tool developed by ASU to help high school students find a major, degree program and career that fits the student based on their interests and passions. 

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: Something I learned while at ASU is I learned all about myself. I learned not to underestimate myself, to be a successful student and to grow to be a leader. As a first-generation college student, I did not know what to expect from college and knew even less of how to be a successful student. 

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: When I was enrolled at Mesa Community College, I was introduced to the Maricopa to ASU Pathways Program (MAPP). If I was not introduced to MAPP, I would not be attending ASU. The MAPP program provided me with a multi-faceted approach that encouraged academic achievement, promoted personal and professional development and provided support for me to stay in college, persist and graduate.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: From my perspective, the advice or words of wisdom I would give to those still in school is take more advantage of the office hours that the instructors provide.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: My favorite spot on the Tempe campus to study is Hayden Library’s second and third floors because the library has study zones. Throughout the library there are three types of zones, with corresponding noise expectations: Common Study Zones, Quiet Study Zone, and Silent Study Zones.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: My plans after graduation is to pursue my MEd in higher and postsecondary education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: If someone gave me $40 million to solve one problem, I would tackle education. I am a huge believer that every man, every woman and every child deserves a higher education.

Copy writer and editor, Educational Outreach and Student Services

480-965-6837