From Arts to Social Work: Hannah MacQuarrie One of First STUdents to Pursue Newly Structured BSW at STU

When Hannah MacQuarrie visited the St. Thomas University campus for the first time, the welcoming energy made her feel at home.  
MacQuarrie, from Moncton, NB, is currently pursuing the newly structured STU Bachelor of Social Work after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 2021 with a major in Gerontology and minors in Sociology and French. She said she chose STU—both times—for the positive reputations of her desired academic programs.  
“Pursuing social work has been my intention since I finished high school. I always knew I wanted to go into a helping profession,” MacQuarrie said. 
During her undergrad, MacQuarrie said she participated in volunteer opportunities, internships, and various roles on campus as a residence advisor and campus tour ambassador. 
“These experiences I gained at STU solidified my desire to work with people and helped me determine I was on the right path.” 
In addition to extracurricular experiences, MacQuarrie said the connections she has made in the STU and Fredericton communities have benefitted her in her pursuit of social work. 
A Supportive Network of Peers, Professors, and Community  
“My decision to continue on at STU was largely impacted by the network of peers, professors, and community members that have supported me. Getting my academic and professional lives started at STU has made the university feel like home to me, and I am glad I was given the opportunity to stay for a couple more years as I continue to learn new skills and build more connections in the community.” 
Academically, MacQuarrie said starting in Arts at STU gave her a strong foundation of critical thinking and writing skills, that have helped her as she transitioned into the Bachelor of Social Work.  
“My critical understanding of diversity, our institutional and political systems, and ethics has improved significantly, and I have found myself questioning my beliefs and understandings of the world and the things around me,” she said. 
Exploring Different Areas of Social Work  
For MacQuarrie, a highlight of the Bachelor of Social Work has been meeting with social workers currently practicing in different fields in the Fredericton community. This has helped her consider which area of social work she is most drawn to. MacQuarrie also looks forward to the two work placements she will complete over the course of the program. 
“I am excited to find out how my new skills and insight will support me in a professional context,” she said. 
Her advice to all STU students, but especially those interested in social work, is to get involved in the community.  
“Whether it’s volunteering or a job, anything involving working with people is valuable if you’re considering pursuing social work.”