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College of Social Work

BSW Award Winner: Ansley Hagenburger

April 22, 2020
Chris Woodley • 

During this week, the College of Social Work is proud to recognize our four Bachelor of Social Work students who were recognized (virtually) at the University of South Carolina’s annual Awards Day on April 16. The awards celebrate the service, scholarship, leadership and character of the student community. A group of four instructors in the BSW program provided input and discussion before selecting the award recipients.  

Ansley Hagenburger
UofSC Outstanding Senior
Hometown: Chapin, South Carolina 

Students who receive the university’s outstanding senior award have demonstrated major achievement in the categories of service, leadership, academics and research. Hagenburger was one of 164 recipients selected from throughout the university’s 14 academic units.

“I am thrilled to learn that Ansley Hagenburger has been selected as a UofSC outstanding senior. I know Ansley from working with her in three classes in her junior and senior years. Ansley has done exceptionally well in the BSW program, contributed a good deal, and is a great representative of social work and of our college.” – BSW Program Coordinator Brent Cagle

“What impresses me the most about Ansley is her determination and compassion. She has been put in some difficult situations this year and always handled things with maturity and a positive attitude. While never giving up and searching for solutions to any problem, Ansley has made an impact on so many people during her senior year, and I am extremely proud of her.” – Meghan Trowbridge, LMSW, CBIST; Adjunct Instructor, College of Social Work

What does earning the UofSC Outstanding Senior Award mean to you?

"This award is special because I don’t think of it as being for me. The only reason I applied is to recognize all individuals, not just myself, who have overcome mental health struggles and still managed to earn a degree. Being a student and young adult in this society is difficult with different kinds of pressure put on us, even outside of trying to earn decent grades." 

Have you had to overcome any hurdles to get to where you are right now?

"I am no stranger to mental health struggles. I came into college with an eating disorder, and although recovered now, I still deal with anxiety and depression and see a counselor. Sure, I’ve overcome these hurdles, but I think what was more difficult was overcoming the stigma. It wasn’t until I allowed myself to need help, ask for it, and let go of ideals of perfection that I could really heal." 

What leadership positions and activities have you participated in around campus or in the community?

"I am a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority on campus and have held leadership positions, including chapter president. I have also been a yearly supporter of Relay for Life, participating in fundraising and their main event. At Midtown Fellowship church, I help lead college students in their faith." 

What lessons have you learned from your studies at the College of Social Work that have helped you succeed academically?

"I credit a lot of my awareness, advocacy, and passions to the College of Social Work. The curriculum that I’ve gained over the years has been so impactful for how I see the world and interact with others. It was the catalyst in making me aware of my privilege and how I can leverage that to help more vulnerable populations. It has also helped me increase my empathy for others and learn how to care for disadvantaged populations in our society."

What are your future plans?

"I plan to move to Charlotte in June to start a new church with a group of individuals from my current church. I am pursuing a job in social work, though I haven’t landed with one yet. I look forward to continuing to work with vulnerable populations no matter what I do, perhaps those with mental health or physical health struggles."

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