Meet BSW graduate Brian Irwin '20!

Meet Brian Irwin

Social Work, 2020

Current Position: Master of Social Work Degree Student 

Brian Irwin always wanted to pursue a helping profession. Soon, he’ll be ready for the workforce having already earned his master of social work degree. GMercyU’s Social Work program makes students eligible for advanced standing in CSWE master degree programs, so they can complete their MSW degree in just one year instead of two.

As a result, Brian will graduate in May 2021 with his MSW degree from Widener University, one year after earning his BSW degree from GMercyU. “When I graduate I hope to work in the medical field as a medical social worker,” Brian said. “I also plan to obtain my license to become a licensed social worker (LSW). GMercyU’s BSW program prepared me so much for my master’s degree schooling, especially my Human Behavior & Social Environment course — it informed me on people’s behaviors in specific environments, which is very important in this field. I also really enjoyed working with Dr. Luquet in general and even got to propose a grant.”

It was Brian’s field experience (a requirement of all GMercyU Social Work majors) that inspired him to continue his education. At his field placement, he worked with clients who were struggling with substance abuse.

“With this population, I ran support groups, conducted biophyschosocial assessments, and gained more education on this specific population,” he explained. “It was such a great experience.”

What he loved most about GMercyU’s BSW program, however, was his relationship with his classmates. While he found the GMercyU Social Work program challenging, he said the professors created a learning environment where students felt comfortable expressing themselves and as a result, came to the classroom with a positive attitude, ready to tackle the material. Professors made sure students understood the material before moving forward.

That healthy learning environment is one of the reasons he chose GMercyU years ago.

“I knew I would be able to engage with the professors more than any other school,” said Brian, who was also a member of the track team and played first singles and first doubles on the tennis team.

“The ratio of professors to students is phenomenal, it creates a healthy environment for students to form great student-professor relationships,” he said. “If you are looking for a place to be thoroughly taught, and not lectured, GMercyU is for you. Go Griffins!”