Social Work Spotlight: Meet SOR Evaluation Project Manager Rachel Kollin
Rachel Kollin started her Warrior journey in 2016 as the Student Life Wellness Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office. By 2017, Rachel had joined Social Work’s Substance Use Research Team and now works as the Evaluation Project Manager for the State Opioid Response (SOR) and SOR 2 Grants. The SOR grants seek to address the opioid crisis by providing greater access to evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery support services. Rachel is also working towards the Graduate Certificate in Research and Evaluation offered in the School.
Why did you choose to work at WSU?
I chose to work at Wayne State because this University offers a wide variety of opportunities for its students, faculty and staff. During my time here, I have been able to implement sexual violence and substance abuse prevention programming, serve on Academic Senate and the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, teach First Year Seminar, take classes towards a research certificate, work on four SAMHSA grants, and conduct, write, and present research.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love that I learn something new every week at my job. Our evaluation works covers 30 programs throughout Michigan so I am always learning more about a prevention EBP, Naloxone distribution strategy or treatment methodology.
How did your education prepare you for what you are doing today?
Through my community psychology coursework, I learned to look at my areas of interest through the social ecological lens and focus on the relationship between individual, relationship, community and societal factors. This applies to sexual violence and substance abuse (and many more issues!) and jives really well with social work principles.
What is one of the biggest mistakes you made as a student?
Cramming! When I think about all the hours I spent cramming for exams in undergrad, only to immediately forget the information after the test, I get so frustrated with my past self. Now I know it takes less time to learn the information the right way.
How do you empower social change in your community?
Until recently, I was the Social Justice Committee Chair for the WSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women. Our committee organized community events such as Take Back the Night, the No More Campaign Photobooth, and the Clothesline Project.
Do you have any advice for incoming students?
Dive into university life and take advantage of every opportunity you can. Attend lectures on topics that seem interesting; check out student art shows; join a student or professional organization.
How can the community learn more about research taking place in the School?
Visit our Center for Social Work Research and Center for Behavioral Health and Justice for information on how faculty, staff and students partner with local organizations to conduct research that benefits the community, cultural humility and advances social justice.