Social Work Spotlight: Meet Academic Services Officer Randi Bushman

Randi Bushman headshotRandi Bushman, LMSW is no stranger to the halls of the School of Social Work, only now she walks them as the newest Office of Field Education Academic Services Officer. Randi graduated from Wayne’s MSW Advanced Standing Program in 2012 and went on to work at a community mental health agency in Detroit for the next nine years. Randi currently works with undergraduate and graduate students connecting them with field placements that provide hands-on learning experiences in the heart of Detroit.

Why did you choose to work at WSU?

Firstly, I absolutely loved my educational experience at WSU. I became interested in returning in a professional capacity after becoming a field instructor. I really enjoyed the connection to academia and supervising student interns for the social work profession.

What is the thing you are most looking forward to with your new position?

I’m excited to assist the new generation of social workers; they are very much needed, especially right now! Having recently come from a community mental health clinic, I am very aware of the dire impact of this mental health staff shortage/retention crisis. I am hopeful that the School of Social Work can contribute creative solutions to these issues, and I look forward to being a part of that collaboration.

How did your education prepare you for what you are doing today?

The incorporation of the NASW Code of Ethics throughout the school curriculum was paramount. It took a few years of working in the field and collaborating with other professionals to realize how much an educational experience can shape someone’s personal style and professional standards, and I also learned how unique the NASW Code of Ethics is to the profession of Social Work.

What’s one of the biggest mistakes you made as student?

As is common for many WSU students, I as working while completing my degrees and had limited time or energy to get involved with activities on campus. While I try not to dwell on mistakes, I would have liked the opportunity to explore more ways to get involved and connect with others.   

How do you empower social change in your community?

I was heavily involved with the AFSCME union at my previous CMH job before transitioning into a manager role. Being both a steward and a member of the bargaining team, I was a voice for other staff and advocated for issues like wage parity. Currently, having a young toddler during the COVID-19 pandemic has really affected the types of activities I choose to engage in, however, I’m always quick to see opportunities for empowering others. I’m really looking forward to learning ways I can get involved here on campus and at the School of Social Work.

Do you have any advice for incoming students?

Yes! Don’t be afraid to have an eclectic field placement experience. You will have plenty of time in your career to invest in a particular specialty or gain your expertise. Your school experience is all about preparation and can be the best time to explore the multitude of areas in the social work profession.

What is fun fact about yourself others may not know?

In my very limited free time, I like to knit, work on two-stroke (moped) engines, and practice black and white film photography. I’ve had a partially finished darkroom in my basement for some time (I’m also a procrastinator).

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