March 15, 2013

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Social Work Student Helps Area Veterans

VALDOSTA — A graduate student in the Valdosta State University Division of Social Work, Kathleen “Katie” E. Crock spends 20 hours a week working with the men and women who volunteered to serve their country in the armed forces. She was placed with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic in August 2012 to put into practice theories learned in the classroom.

“… my practicum will end in May when I graduate,” she said.

As a primary care and mental health social work intern at the Valdosta clinic, Crock holds individual and group therapy sessions with the veterans. She provides case management services and conducts clinical psychosocial assessments. She also helps the veterans receive the services they need within the Department of Veterans Affairs and the community.

“Since a social worker wears many hats, I do a little bit of everything,” she said. “It has been such a wonderful experience working with this population.”

Crock is currently collecting clothing, nonperishable food items, and donations for gas and/or grocery gift cards to assist these men and women. These items will be given to local veterans during the Veterans Outreach Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at the Valdosta Middle School track.

“There is a lot of need in our community, so any support would help,” she said.

Born in Michigan to Richard and Elaine Crock, Katie Crock grew up in Washington D.C. and then Georgia. She graduated from Lassiter High School in Marietta in May 2007 and enrolled in VSU as a freshman the following August. Four years later, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.

“… I knew I needed my master’s degree in order to fulfill my dream, which is to work with people and do counseling,” she said.

“Since I received my undergraduate degree at VSU, I looked into a couple of other schools (for graduate study), but VSU has the most opportunities for social work,” she added. “The Master of Social Work program at VSU is an advanced generalist program, meaning you get experience with both the clinical and administrative sides of social work, which many other schools do not offer. At other schools, you must choose one of these tracks, clinical or administrative. The program at VSU has given me the most options for the future in using my degree.”

Crock, 24, plans to graduate from VSU with a Master of Social Work on May 3, “less than two months away,” she said with much enthusiasm. Afterward, she hopes to find a job and begin working toward clinical licensure, a process that takes three years in Georgia.

“Ideally I’d like to work with children and their families,” she said. “That is where my true passion lies. My ultimate goal is to go into private practice someday.”

Between September 2011 and May 2012, Crock completed a practicum/internship experience at the Florida Sheriffs’ Boys Ranch, a residential facility for at-risk youth ages 8 to 18, in Live Oak, Fla. She maintained a caseload of four boys, developed and implemented treatment plan reviews, provided both individual and group therapy, and more.

“I must credit VSU for assisting me in receiving two wonderful internship placement experiences,” she said. “I have learned so much at both of these placements.”

Crock also works as a graduate assistant in Alumni Relations at VSU on a part-time basis. She serves as the ritual chairman advisor for Zeta Tau Alpha, attends church services at Solomon’s Porch, and volunteers with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration Survivors Benefit Fund, which benefits families of DEA agents killed in the line of duty.

“I have enjoyed my time at VSU very much,” she said. “I have had great experiences here, and … (my professors) have provided me with so many opportunities. I have received an outstanding education and training from this university. I would not be the person I am today without these experiences and opportunities. I’m very excited to see what the future has in store for me.”

The Division of Social Work at VSU offers a Master of Social Work program focusing on multi-level, advanced generalist practice. Students learn about both clinical and community practice and develop the skills to work in schools, hospitals, residential treatment facilities, forensic settings, and so on. The Master of Social Work program offers students the option of attending traditional on-campus classes or web-based classes. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Kathleen “Katie” E. Crock can be reached via email at for more information.

Visit the Social Work website to learn more about Valdosta State University’s Division of Social Work.