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Elizabeth McElroy

Hospice Social Worker at University of Penn Wissahickon Hopice
Class of 2006, Sociology with a minor in Gender Studies

My relationships with my adviser and my social work and sociology professors were incredibly important during my four years at school. They helped me expand my knowledge and focus on my goals for my college education and beyond.

How has your liberal arts education influenced you? How do you apply your LAE in your current career?

My education at Washington College was heavily focused on writing and communication, which continues to be to my great benefit more than ten years later. Graduate school was challenging, but I felt prepared to face the heavy course load because of the focus on writing that a liberal arts education afforded me. Before utilizing the writing center during my freshman year of college, I had no idea how to revise my writing effectively. I spend a lot of time writing in my current position as a hospice social worker, both in my job and at professional conferences where I have had the privilege of presenting my work.

I chose Washington College in part because the classes were small and the professors knew their students by name. My relationships with my adviser and my social work and sociology professors were incredibly important during my four years at school. They helped me expand my knowledge and focus on my goals for my college education and beyond.

Who was your favorite faculty/staff member? Story?

Barry Barrell remains one of the best teachers I have had the pleasure of learning from. I knew for years before I started college that I wanted to be a social worker. Sitting in Barrell’s classes and hearing his stories about his work and career path only reinforced my drive and excitement about my chosen profession. He set me up with my first internship at Kent County’s Medical Adult Daycare, which started me on the path to work with older adults and healthcare. He tells a “dad joke” about liberal arts education that I can’t do justice–ask him about it if you run into him in town or on campus.

Beyond his teaching skills and his help sending me off into the professional world, Barrell was a great source of guidance to me when I felt lost and alone. My senior year of college was one of great change and upheaval; Barrell offered clarification and insight that I sorely needed. I will never forget his influence.

What is your favorite Washington College memory?

There are so many. The friends I made at Washington College are still a major part of my life. They were at my wedding, at my baby shower, at my mother’s funeral. There is something to be said for going to a small school and truly knowing the people you meet there.

A particularly good memory is playing wiffle ball with my friends in Kent Circle on spring evenings, when the days were getting longer and warmer.

Campus Involvement
  • Peer Mentor
  • Habitat for Humanity
Graduate School:

University of Maryland, Baltimore.  Masters in Social Work