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Social work graduate helps hometown

December 14, 2016 8:45 AM
 | 
Joseph Halm jhalm@tulane.edu
  

(Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

 

New Orleans native Brandy Alexis has been around social work all her life so earning her Master of Social Work at Tulane was a natural fit.

“When I made the decision to practice social work, I wanted an education that was based in New Orleans,” she said. “I wanted to be able to give back to the city that has given so much to me.”

Alexis is one of 73 social work graduates set to receive their degrees this Friday at 7 p.m. at Dixon Hall.

“I’m very interested in how communities work, how organizations work.”

Brandy Alexis

Alexis earned her bachelor degree from the University of Southern California in 2006 and worked as a social work recruiter before she returned last fall to earn her masters.

“I think one of the most important things is the holistic focus of the education. It’s the factor that distinguishes social work from other mental health professions,” she said. “Our professors stressed looking at the bigger picture in all situations. People and situations are never just one thing. There are multiple intersecting factors that can affect a person’s day-to-day life.”

Alexis also earned a Certificate in Disaster Mental Health and Trauma Studies and completed her field placement at the Broadmoor Improvement Association.

“I’m very interested in how communities work, how organizations work,” she said. “I would love to do organizational development and conduct diversity and mindfulness trainings in the work place. I want to bring a little more work/life balance into corporations.”

Alexis, who has two aunts and a cousin in the field, plans to work in New Orleans after graduation.

“I’ve learned a lot about who I am,” she said. “A lot of social work education is reflective on who you are and what your biases are and what your values are. In any situation that you go into, you’re going to bring yourself.”