Social Work Spotlight: Meet MSW Advisor Naelah Burks

Naelah BurksMSW Advisor Naelah Burks is new to the Warrior Family and has been with the School of Social Work Office of Admissions and Student Services for five months. Naelah provides academic advising support to all MSW students admitted with core/regular status and assists them with scheduling, plans of work and degree certification.

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

One of my biggest mistakes was not getting involved in student organizations sooner and not using all the resources that were available to me. As an undergraduate student at Eastern Michigan University I changed my major several times, as I was unsure of what I really wanted to do. However, if I had taken advantage of the available career development services I would have saved time and money by narrowing down majors that best fit me.

What approach do you take to advising?

I use appreciative advising when working with students. Appreciative advising is the practice of asking open-ended questions that help students optimize their educational experiences and achieve their dreams, goals, and potentials. I like appreciative advising because it is a student-centered approach.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

During my short time at Wayne State I have met several students with diverse academic and professional backgrounds. I really enjoy getting to know my students and learning more about what brought them to social work and their plans/goals after graduation.

Do you have any advice for incoming students?

Take advantage of the resources available to you. Not only does WSU offer an array of services such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Disability Services (SDS), the School of Social Work offers writing support to our students as well. We want to make sure students are successful in their program and prepared to work in the field as ethical and competent social workers.

Do you have any advice for graduating students?

Start studying for the licensing exam early. Take it while the information is still fresh!

How can students connect with you remotely?

I can be reached by email (, phone (313-577-9696) or students can setup an advising appointment with me via WAMS.

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