All undergraduate students enrolled in the School of Social Work are eligible to become members of the USWO. This organization provides a format for student discussion of issues, both professional and academic as well as for socializing and fun.

USWO meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at 5:30 p.m. For more information about meetings, contact Ariel Smith, USWO president.


2020-21 USWO officers



Ariel Smith is a rising junior from Uniontown, Alabama. Though unsure of which field of social work she will pursue, she’ll will pursue a master’s degree immediately after finishing her BSW.

Favorite social work course: “Since I am a rising junior and have not completed most of my social work courses, my favorite course thus far has to be SW100. While this may seem mediocre, SW100 really introduced me to the profession and provided a solid foundation on why I should continue with my decision of becoming a social worker and why we are needed in the world.”

USWO goals: “As your USWO President for the 2020-2021 school year, I plan to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for my peers while addressing issues that we may face. I am also planning to partner with various organizations to implement community service plans to better our community.”




Vice President

Johana Chavez is a sophomore from Fayette, Alabama, “a small town with lots of trees,” she says. She chose social work because she “wholeheartedly loves people and building relationships.” Upon graduating, she hopes to obtain a master’s in business administration and practice, consulting with people in lower income communities to help build their business and share information they may not have had the opportunity to receive in school.

Favorite social work course: “Thus far, it’s Social Work 200  “History of Social Welfare,”  because of the stories I learned about the social workers before us and how they influenced people around them in small ways and continue to influence us to this day. It was my favorite because it taught me that everyone comes along in life contributing small moments never really entirely grasping just how much their kindness can change the world.

USWO goals: “I hope that we can create an inviting atmosphere that encourages students to love their major and seek joy in their careers. I also hope that, despite the barriers and challenges we may face with a majorly online format, we may still have the opportunity to create bridges that bring professors and students to further their understandings of one another and grow through university together.”



Madeline Paul is a senior from Daphne, Alabama. She’s open to different fields of social work, but currently, she’s looking forward to a career within child welfare. Madeline will graduate in May 2021 and will pursue a MSW degree.

Favorite social work courses: “It’s really difficult to single out which courses have been my favorite since there are so many amazing professors and interesting curriculums within the School of Social Work. But if I had to pick, I’d say my favorite social work classes thus far have been either SW 205: History of Social Welfare or SW 440: Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families. Both classes were so interesting, my professors were incredible, and I felt so much more prepared for a career in SW after leaving those classes.”

USWO goals: “Generally, my goal for USWO this year is to get more students involved in a variety of new projects and events that will encompass the interests of as many of our members as possible. I’ve been able to brainstorm lots of ideas over this quarantine period, and I’m excited to see what our members think of them!”




Kersten Taylor is a senior from Wichita, Kansas. She plans to pursue a MSW after earning her BSW and would like to work with juvenile delinquents and focus on prevention and rehabilitation.

Favorite social work course: “So far, it has been Juvenile Delinquency (SW 208). This course opened my eyes to how many factors contribute to juvenile delinquency. Every juvenile has a unique background and I enjoyed that the class visited various upbringings and risk factors.”

USWO goals: “My goal for USWO this year is to expose our members to more career options within the field of Social Work.”