Social Work & Psychology Grad Ready to Help as Hospital Behavioral Health Professional

Maryanne White found Seton Hill by accident.

“I came upon the Seton Hill campus coming home from a college visit at another school,” she says. “After exploring the campus a little, and talking to some current students, I decided to apply as an undergraduate psychology major. During my senior year in high school, I was awarded the Setonian scholarship. I was so overwhelmed by the demonstration of support I felt from the Seton Hill community that I couldn’t go anywhere else.”

Maryanne had interests in counseling and therapy, as well as case management. She saw herself in a career where she could be “the person that someone could learn on for support and resources, no matter what they needed.”  After hearing about her goals, her faculty advisor told her “You sound like a social worker.” So she decided to double major in psychology and social work.

“I didn’t really know what social work was when I entered the program,” she says, “but I was curious to learn more. As I took more social work courses, I knew it was where I was meant to be.”

 “Over my time at Seton Hill I have learned that I am capable of making my little part of the world a better place."

While at Seton Hill, Maryanne completed a field placement in the Behavioral Health Services unit at Excela Hospital in Greensburg, Pa.  

 “That was the beginning of my interest in working in a hospital as a behavioral health professional,” she says. 

She also discovered a talent for research while at Seton Hill. After doing a research study as part of a course, she developed her own research project on alleviating food insecurity in Westmoreland County. 

“This idea was met with encouragement, support and guidance from my professors, advisors and classmates,” Maryanne says. “Over my time at Seton Hill I have learned that I am capable of making my little part of the world a better place through the resources that I have helped establish, and the call to social justice that I make in my research.” 

This summer Maryanne plans to complete her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, she has gotten valuable experience working with the LEND Center of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital. (The LEND Center of Pittsburgh is one of 52 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities programs in the U.S.)  While the COVID-19 pandemic caused her to “struggle for a while with learning the technology needed for online classes as well as shifting my field placements to online and over the phone,” it also reinforced her belief in her chosen profession. She plans to sit for her social work licensing exam and begin full-time work in a local hospital after graduation from Pitt.

“If this situation has taught me anything,” Maryanne says, “it is that I am here to support and serve others. As a social worker, I am called to help others walking through a crisis, and to care for them with support and empathy.”

“Stumbling onto the Social Work Program at Seton Hill,” she adds, “was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”