Academic Highlight: Human Services

by · February 16, 2018

As part of our celebration of the Division of Social Sciences this week, we sat down with Mount senior Alyssa Castellani, a Human Services major and president of the Human Services honor society on campus, to talk about her last four years at the Mount. Her path to finding her major was unique – Alyssa came in to the college as a Nursing major, switched to Education, and finally found her calling in Human Services – but was definitely worth the wait.

KL: What made you decide to be a Human Services major?

Alyssa: I knew I wanted to be part of the helping professions; I just needed to figure out what career path matched my desire to help and care for those who need it and give them the best life I can – not to mention motivate me to want to attend my classes and love the job that will become part of my everyday life when I graduate! Once that desire to help became clear, Human Services stood out to me because there are so many different areas of focus within the field that provide me opportunities to help. Whether you want to work with children, mental health, the elderly, etc., the options are endless. Although I have changed majors a few times during my time here at the Mount, I am happy with the path that I took to get to where I am today. I honestly wouldn’t want to change a thing. My participation in the Human Services major here at Mount has had such an impact on me and has reassured me that Human Services is absolutely the field for me.

Above: Alyssa Castellani (right) with Mount Professor of Psychology Lawrence Force at a recent honor society induction ceremony.

KL: What makes the Human Services program at the Mount unique?

Alyssa: Being a Human Services major at the Mount is such a wonderful experience. It encompasses so much more than just learning about the field I am passionate about; it’s also about the professors and my fellow students. Human Services at the Mount isn’t a large program, so we all know each other and have become more than classmates – we’re friends. As seniors, we have spent hours in classes together for the last four years which has created a familiarity not only with each other, but with our professors as well. We are all very close; we study together and help each other out as much as possible. The professors all know us not only by name, but they also know our personalities and our passions. They learn about us as individuals and tailor lessons toward our interests in the Human Services field.

Our professors are more than just teachers; they are professionals who also work in the field and relay their real life experiences and knowledge. Having that connection with our professors is uncommon in larger programs, and I have come to really appreciate this bond as I near the end of my college career and look to my future. I have learned so much during my last four years as a Human Services major at the Mount, not only about the field, but also about myself. The experience has truly has shaped me into the person that I am today.

KL: You touched on this before, but how have the Human Services professors impacted your Mount experience?

Alyssa: The professors in the Human Services major at Mount are the best! They not only want you to do your best, they give you as many opportunities as possible to become involved in real life experiences in the field. The professors in my major really make a difference; they support you, encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, and are there for you to help at all hours. They always make learning and going to class an enjoyable experience.

KL: Tell us about one experience you’ve had studying Human Services that stands out in your mind (class speaker, trip, internship, etc.).

Alyssa: I’m a senior this year and preparing to graduate in May. I’m participating in my second internship this semester and can say without hesitation that internships make all the difference. There is no classroom lesson comparable to being able to see firsthand the kind of work I’ll be doing when I graduate. I just returned home from my internship at Sunshine Adult Daycare where I spent the day interacting with seniors and adults participating in social, programmed activities designed to help nurture their bodies and minds. I love my co-workers, who help me learn every day in a real-life setting, and the clients make my heart feel full. Internships are honestly life-changing experiences because they provide an opportunity to “test drive” a career, they create networking and future employment opportunities, and, in my case, reinforce that I am definitely on a path to a career I am passionate about and want to do for the rest of my life.

KL: What would your advice be to someone interested in studying Human Services?

Alyssa: Please do it! The best parts of you will come out while studying Human Services. The field of human services has changed my life. I can’t imagine my life on any other career path than the one I am in right now. Be passionate and caring, and you’ll do amazing things in this field, not only changing your own life, but the lives of so many other people as well.

Want to learn more about the Division of Social Sciences at the Mount? Click here!