Grad profile: Serving a community of newcomers

Stephanie Barron, Health (Social Work)

- June 7, 2023

Stephanie Barron. (Provided photo)
Stephanie Barron. (Provided photo)

This article is part of a series focusing on the grads of the Dalhousie Class of 2023. Spring Convocation runs from May 29 to June 7 in Halifax and Truro. Read all our profiles here as they are published, and for more information visit the Convocation website.

Name/Preferred Name: Stephanie Barron

Pronouns: she/her

Degree: Bachelor of Social Work

Where you’re from: Hamilton, Ontario

How significant is it for you to receive this degree?

Graduating from the Bachelor of Social Work degree is significant because it will allow me to serve my community in better ways. With this degree I am equipped with frameworks of practice, theories, and social work skills that I can apply to my current and future work with newcomers to Canada. This degree is also special because I am one of the first in my family to graduate with a university degree in Canada.

What were the highlights of your degree?

The highlight of my degree was without a doubt getting to meet my classmates. Learning together and from one another has been a joy. Having the opportunity to engage in transformative discussions in the classroom has been the most valuable experience. Another significant highlight has been learning from such passionate professors. Their wide variety of experience and contributions to the field of social work have been helpful insight into how to be in the field doing the work from an anti-oppressive standpoint and with a commitment to social justice.

What was your journey to Dal and to this program?

Growing up, my parents instilled a passion for social justice in me. They were politically active, took me to migrant worker justice events, and showed me the shelters that supported them when they first arrived in Canada. After high school, I knew I wanted to continue my education, but I did not know what path was right for me. It was part way through my previous degree when I began volunteering at different community organizations and realized I wanted a career where I would work with people directly in a supportive way. That’s when I found social work. In the fall of 2021, my partner’s career brought us to the East Coast. Dalhousie’s emphasis on critical and anti-oppressive social work was the deciding factor for me to apply to the BSW program and I’m happy I did! 

What topics/research/work did you become passionate about during your education?

The assignments throughout our BSW program gave us a lot of flexibility to explore what topics we felt passionately about. During the program I consistently found myself exploring topics related to migration and the experiences of newcomers in Canada. This program has given me the opportunity to become involved in three different research projects related to the immigrant and refugee community which I am grateful to be a part of.

What will you miss about your time at Dal?

Moving on from Dal is bittersweet. I will miss getting to see my classmates every week and learning together with them. Having done seven years of university, being a student has very much become a part of my identity and it will be a challenge to transition out of “student life”. However, I am very much looking forward to entering the field. I am eager to begin working with clients and linking my academic learnings to practice.

What’s next for you?

I hope to begin a career in social work dedicated to supporting immigrants and refugees in Canada.



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