Master of Social Work graduate developed an early passion for the field
Nahema Moore, MSW’23 (Flor)
By Rebecca Maxon
June 8, 2023 — Nahema Moore felt drawn to social work even before she knew what the field was called. She got along well with her elementary- and middle- school guidance counselors. In high school, she became a peer mediator, resolving disagreements and supporting fellow students in challenging relational situations.
Now she’s a member of the inaugural Master of Social Work (MSW) class — the first to graduate from FDU’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences — and is poised to set off on an international journey, seeking to do social work abroad. The lover of the beach, mountains and hiking says, “I am always looking for adventure and am willing to take chances. I think I will find a place that fits me and the work I want to accomplish as I explore the world and learn more.”
“I wasn’t sure whether the macro setting [involving interventions, social-policy work and advocacy on a large scale, affecting entire communities, states or even countries] or the clinical setting [featuring one-on-one individualized sessions] would suit me better. I was urged to sign up for FDU’s MSW program since it would give me a combined education in both subjects. I believe it has.”
Moore thrived within the program’s online format, learning from her home in Philadelphia, Pa. “Learning online improved my time management abilities,” she says. And, as an outgoing person, she was eager to meet new people and to make new friend, which helped her form relationships with classmates.
A project for the Advanced Mezzo Practice course required students to work together in groups of five. “We started a group chat to work on the project, and it quickly evolved into weekly discussions about homework from other classes, the sharing of random motivational quotes and encouraging one another,” she says.
She also sought opportunities to speak with her professors one-on-one. “I would ask questions about various career options so that I could learn more and about the subject.”
To keep motivated, Moore created a vision board to remind herself why she was pursuing the degree. Among the things she has posted to it are, “a blank master’s diploma with my name on it; a map of the world; ‘Hello’ written in three languages I’d like to become fluent in (Spanish, Greek and Swahili); and the logo of the United Nations, where I hope to work one day.”
Two of the courses that influenced her deeply were Advanced Micro Practice and Trauma, which emphasized intervention and one-on-one meetings with clients. During an internship, Moore conducted biopsychosocial evaluations on people suffering from serious mental illness and homelessness. “My trauma course, which I took concurrently with my internship, was beneficial since a lot of what I was learning was closely tied to what I saw there.”
As Moore’s interest in social work grew, she says, “I discovered many areas of need. I think there are numerous prospects for advancement in the field.” Moore would like to work in what is called macro-level social work. This.
“I want to help people broaden their sources of education. Every single interaction brings a lesson — positive or negative. From negative interactions we learn what not to do and how to improve. From positive interactions we learn how to foster respect and be empathetic to one another.”
Moore’s desire to work internationally will help her achieve her goal of traveling to all 197 countries, learning new languages, experiencing different cultures and foods.
Eventually she would like to settle down in a home of her own with her dream pet, a Great Dane dog.