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Celebrating Social Work Month

Faculty member included in state exhibit honoring those who serve others

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Social workers provide services to people during every stage of life, and if you ask them why they chose this profession the popular response is “to help others.”

“Social workers are involved in every facet of a person’s life,” said Bridgewater State University Professor Mark J. Brenner, who is also interim chairman of the School of Social Work.

Their work includes supporting premature babies and children, working in hospitals and schools, assisting families where there is abuse, and providing hospice care. 

“Social work is about helping people, practicing kindness and helping people better their situations,” explained Brenner.” Social workers help people rally their resources and provide the resources they need to get to a better place in their life.”

Brenner was recently featured in a week-long exhibit that highlighted the vital roles social workers play in society. The event was organized to celebrate Social Work Month and took place at the Massachusetts State House.

Brenner has worked in social work for 39 years and taught at Bridgewater State University for 16 years. He said he is humbled to have been included in the exhibit, hosted by the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

“Exhibits like this one help to educate state legislatures about the important work social workers perform and their impact,” Brenner said. “I was surprised to be invited but really honored that they included me.”

At BSU there are more than 300 students enrolled in the undergraduate social work program and more than 200 seeking master’s degrees.

“Our students are out in the field and annually provide 110,000 hours of service to the community through social work placements,” Brenner said.

The BSU programs show no sign of slowing down in terms of enrollment.

“This is a growth industry, it would be best if we went out of business, but unfortunately there will always be some need for social work,” Brenner said. “Being here at Bridgewater allows me to train the next generation of social workers.”

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