Sac State Magazine is a publication produced by the Office of Advancement Communications and Stewardship at Cal State University, Sacramento highlighting alumni, students, faculty and staff.
Issue link: http://sacstatemagazine.uberflip.com/i/143423
Momentum "How wonderful to be able to have an education with that special component and that was due to Dr. Kennedy's insight and her advocating for students." "This year I'm going to have my own support group. That's the first thing I wanted to create with the internship. They have groups with psychiatrists and medical doctors, but they didn't have a social worker there, so I get to spend the next year showing them what we do and how we complement that trans-disciplinary medical team. That's really exciting — Maritza Madrigal to me." Madrigal worked in health care administration prior to the injury that dramatically altered her career path. The mother of three enrolled at Sac State as part of her recovery. "I came to school without a goal, just to use my brain," Madrigal says. "I was recovering and still had to work on my short-term memory issues. As I went back to school I realized I couldn't find a therapist that really understood chronic pain during the years I was struggling." Madrigal found her calling and hasn't looked back. She was awarded both the Renaissance Society Scholarship and the Sutter Health Care Scholarship last spring. She credits Division of Social Work director Robin Kennedy for emphasizing hands-on learning throughout the curriculum. Kennedy helped tailor courses for Madrigal, knowing she had a passion for the pain management field. "She teaches a doctoring course and I was able to do my elective with third-year medical students," Madrigal explains. "It was such a rich environment. How wonderful to be able to have an education with that special component and that was due to Dr. Kennedy's insight and her advocating for students." Hands-on learning takes many forms What's the best way to prepare for a career as a bridgebuilder? Build a bridge. Want to paint murals for a living? Prepare by wetting your paintbrush and going to work on the canvas. In many courses of study, hands-on learning is straightforward. Other subjects are a bit more challenging. "Different programs handle it differently. Some programs traditionally have been hands-on," says Sac State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Charles Gossett. "In many of the sciences and engineering, they are learning practical skills they will be doing on the job in the future. In other programs, there are group projects and extensive role-plays. I think instructors are always looking for opportunities to give students that hands-on experience. "Another element for getting practical experience is participation in teams and contests, like our construction management team or our Model United Nations." Sac State faculty and administrators have worked to develop curriculum that is practical, but also programs that complement lectures and classwork. "The term extracurricular has been replaced by co-curricular and those activities have a very important role to play along with academics," Gossett says. "Students gain experience and it's a great way to develop leadership skills." While there are classes that require experimentation, or implementation of specific skills, in more abstract offerings students must RECOVERY LEADS TO CAREER— Recovering from an injury suffered in a car accident led Maritza Madrigal (pictured at right with Dale Russell, chair of the Divison of Social Work) to pursue a career in social work. csus.edu/sacstatemagazine | Summer 2013 7