Aly Calef

Aly Calef

What made you decide to enroll in the Social Work department here at UNH?
Prior to choosing social work as my major here at UNH, I was interested in special education due to my many years as a coach for the Special Olympics. After taking some time to discover the education major at Keene State College as a freshman, I continued to explore my options. I spoke with a close family friend who previously worked in the Social Work Department here at the University of New Hampshire. With little convincing, I had received enough information about the program to realize it was exactly what I was looking for.

Describe your most memorable experience in the program.
After being inducted into the National Social Work Honor Society, Phi Alpha Pi Chi Chapter, I was elected president of the chapter and continue to hold the position. I have been a member of the Project Sunshine organization; opening my eyes to the endless possibilities of one day working in a hospital with children.

The university has allowed me to explore many options through the various clubs, programs and work opportunities provided.  I have been an intern at the Institute for Health Policy and Practice here on campus.  Through the institute, I have worked alongside project directors and research associates on projects for The Center on Aging and Community Living, Healthy UNH, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services as well as the All-Payer Claims Database and more.

What are your plans after graduation?
I  hope to do some traveling after graduation. It has always been a dream of mine to go to Africa and educate communities on HIV/AIDS while raising awareness and supporting those affected by the outbreak. I plan to attend graduate school and receive my Masters in Social Work as well as obtain a license in the practice. I would love to work in a clinical setting such as a hospital or care facility in a palliative or hospice care location. I am interested in working with families of children with fatal and/or chronic illnesses as well as the elderly population.

What are some of your favorite aspects of the program?
The social work program allows students to get involved locally and internationally from courses that travel to the Dominican Republic and Ireland as well as other options throughout the College of Health and Human Services. With these resources available to students they are able to better the social welfare within our communities as well as at a global level.  As a Senior, I hope I am able to have the opportunity of traveling with the program and using my knowledge of the last four years in a global context.

Describe why you would recommend UNH to potential students.
My college experience allowed me to push myself out of comfort zone in my professional career, classes and when meeting new people.  UNH offers a variety of options and opportunities for students through courses and the hundreds of clubs on and off campus. My advice to incoming freshmen is that you may not have the slightest idea of what you want to do when you get here, but if you take advantage of the endless options to get involved here at UNH, you will learn a lot about yourself.