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College of Social Work

Meet the Class of 2024: Renee S. Shaw

Major: Master of Social Work

Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina

How USC changed my life: From my life as a Black woman having lived experiences of childhood abuse, disordered eating, homelessness, domestic violence, disability, motherhood and professional therapy, the odds of living a "normal life" would have been 50-50. However, the University of South Carolina College of Social Work MSW program has changed my life into a different trajectory from an introvert into an outgoing, professional social worker excited about my future. I love USC; it has given me the courage to dream big, something I would have never thought about. Before coming to USC, I was unsure how or where I wanted my life to go. But in my classes, I had the opportunity to hear my professors share their experiences about their social work practice. I had the opportunity to become a Charles L. Gheen Jr. Scholar and an SC AHEC Scholar. I participated in the G.A. program and am a Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work student members. For my last internship, I have the pleasure of serving as a Magill Intern for Greenville schools. I am grateful to USC. Forever to Thee.

I love USC; it has given me the courage to dream big, something I would have never thought about.

Renee Shaw


Advice for incoming students: Become good at managing your time, even if that means using a calendar and writing down all assignments and due dates. Next, establish a routine of practicing self-care, even if you feel good. Activities such as walking, meditating, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, listening to music or connecting with family and friends can keep your emotions in check and feeling refreshed to conquer your day and workload.

What’s next: During my internship, I discovered that I am passionate about working with children. I also realized that there is a growing need for school-based social workers and licensed clinical social workers for all grade levels. One of my goals is to start my career by working in school-based mental health services. I am also interested in forensic social work. I plan to use my MSW and undergraduate degree in legal studies to gain experience at a child advocacy center or in schools. During my internship, I learned that child advocacy is an important role social workers can help fill. This experience has inspired me to pursue a clinical license, and I have already completed a continuing forensic education course to help me achieve.

my plans. Another goal I want to accomplish is to become a field instructor. I want to give back to the profession and mentor other social work students. And lastly, I want to become a registered drama therapist. In my classes, I enjoyed role-playing. I want to use drama techniques such as playback theater, acting or storytelling to help others heal from addiction and trauma, express feelings or learn movement.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.