Hannah Rule cannot imagine working in any other field than child welfare. The Glynn County native will soon graduate with a master’s in social work and says her bachelor’s from UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences made returning to UGA for graduate school an easy decision.
St. Simons Island, Ga.
MSW - Masters in Social Work
BSFCS - Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences - Child and Family Development.
University highlights, achievements and awards:
Surviving graduate school while working full-time is an achievement within itself. At the agency where I work, my staff and I serve our community 24 hours a day/7 days per week which means participation in an after-hours and weekend on-call rotation. Having a job that never ends meant having to be creative about how to squeeze in time for classes, studying and internship hours. There is no way I would have been able to complete the MSW program without the support of my husband and co-workers. It has definitely been a ‘team effort’.
Department of Family and Children Services
Family Ties to UGA:
I am the first member of my family to attend UGA. My father graduated from the University of Tennessee, so orange was the color of choice in our house!
I chose to attend UGA because...
I live in Athens and work in a neighboring county. After learning about the quality of education and the variety of opportunities offered through the UGA School of Social Work, completing my graduate degree at UGA was an obvious choice for me. I also had an extremely rewarding experience completing my undergraduate degree at UGA within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, which made returning to UGA an even easier choice.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
Getting to know my peers in my classes. The students participating in the part-time MSW program are a very diverse group. There are students who recently completed their undergraduate degrees and others who have already achieved professional success in other arenas and are now starting down the social work path. Geographically, there are students from both near and far. Many are from Gwinnett and Athens and other commute from the other side of Atlanta or as far away as Macon. I have definitely developed relationships with other students in my cohort that will last far beyond graduation.
When I have free time, I like...
To spend time with my husband (whom I rarely see on the weekdays!) We enjoy spending time with our blended-family of six dogs as well as hiking and traveling whenever possible.
The craziest thing I've done is...
Make the decision to accept a promotion at work, start graduate school and plan a wedding–all in the same semester! I remember returning from the airport on the Sunday following my wedding and staying up all night to write a policy paper that was due the next day. I drove to work that next morning and thinking….yikes, what have I gotten myself into?!?
My favorite place to study is...
In my bedroom with one of my dogs and the comforts of home.
My favorite professor is...
Dr. Sandra Murphy. During each of the classes I took with her, I learned so much about the roles and responsibilities of professional social workers. Her outlook on the world of social work, specifically public child welfare, is very refreshing and served as a point of support for me during times when I questioned the direction in which my career should grow.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
It would be with my father who passed away several years ago. I’d like to be able to let him know how much he taught me about treating people with respect and dignity regardless of their background or situation and how I am able to use these lessons everyday in my social work career.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
Design and build my own home. Not literally but just oversee the entire process. It seems like an enormous undertaking right now, but hopefully it will happen sometime in the future.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to...
Jump on a plane with my husband and move to Vancouver for a year, spend the summer in Italy, live on the beach until I was completely relaxed, and then come back to Athens and help fund the animal rescue groups.
After graduation, I plan to...
Continue working for the Department of Family and Children Services. For me, words can not adequately describe the rewards of working in public child welfare. I feel very fortunate to be a part of positively impacting the lives of children and families, whether it’s keeping a child safe in their birth home or creating connections that lead to other permanency outcomes. From a leadership perspective, I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of helping grow and develop new frontline social services workers and supervisors into successful social workers. I cannot imagine working in any other field.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
Would be all the wonderful undergraduate times that so many other young Bulldogs have experienced – home games, away games, downtown, North Campus, the Botanical Gardens and driving up and down Highway 15 from Athens to go home to St. Simons Island. As for my graduate school memories, I will always remember the day that I decided to apply to graduate school. I was talking with my co-worker in the hallway at work. She said she’d been thinking about applying to graduate school, and I said that I had been thinking about it, too. Other people thought we were just being silly and that we were such workaholics that we’d never take time away from work to do school. That afternoon, we registered for the GRE, and it was full-speed ahead from there. We gave each other the boost that we each needed, and now we are both preparing to graduate.