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Q & A with Sarah Himmelheber


Contact: Emily Williams
Himmelheber displays baked goods she made for the emergency shelter.

Posted March 15, 2011

Columbia, Maryland.

What is your program of study and projected graduation date?
I am planning to complete the Ph.D. program in May of 2012.

What are your previous degree(s)/year and at which school(s)?
As an undergraduate I attended New College of Florida, earning a B.S. in political science and sociology in 2000. I then came to UGA for my MSW in 2002. And then I returned to UGA SSW in 2009 to pursue the Ph.D.

Prior experience?
Professionally, I worked for two years as a case manager for a transitional housing program after college. After completing my MSW I worked doing street outreach and resource coordination for the Northeast Georgia Homeless Coalition for about a year before starting
a four year stint with Advantage Behavioral Health Systems Assertive Community Treatment Team. I have also had great social work experiences outside of my work life, which is one of the opportunities that social workers have.

Why social work?
My first job out of college being a case manager in transitional housing really pushed me towards the MSW program... some of the people that I interacted with and learned from on that job were social workers. I learned about the profession's respectful and pragmatic approach and it really made sense to me. In college I had thought that studying policy was the best way to address social inequity and contribute to positive, progressive change. However, after spending a small amount of time interviewing for congressional staff positions, I felt distanced from reality... I knew that route was not for me. When I began the case management job, it felt right to me... and that led me into the social work profession.

March is Social Work Month. This year's theme is "Social Workers Change Futures." How are you changing futures?
Choices we all make are shaping the future everyday. I try to be mindful and move towards living in a way that makes sense...for me that included trying to help where I can, since we are all kind of in it together. Contribute what you can, be open and learn: hopefully that will help us create a future more just than our present.
Learn more about NASW social work month: