Part-Time MSW Program Student Spotlight: York Chow

The Part-Time MSW Program allows students who are not able to pursue full-time study to work towards a master’s degree on a structured, time-extended basis with classes delivered in a hybrid manner. Some courses are designed as blended courses with a mix of online learning and in-person sessions, while others are taught as online courses. In-person sessions take place every other Saturday on our Madison campus.

York Chow in front of multi-colored mural, wearing dark blue shirt and short dark hair
York Chow

Job title and organization:
I currently work as a Prevention Supervisor at Vivent Health.

Year in the program:
I’m in my 4th year. Graduation’s around the corner!

Focus area:
My focus area is on Health. I am very passionate about expanding accessibility to care, especially for LGBTQ+ folks experiencing intersectional oppression.

Future job interest (if decided):
I’d continue to work on the macro-level at a non-profit or a government agency that focuses on creating equitable change for marginalized groups.

Why did you choose the Part-Time Program?
UW-Madison offers one of the best MSW programs in the country, and the Saturday scheduling of the Part-Time Program allows me to have an excellent education while keeping my professional full-time job.

How would you describe your experience in the Part-Time MSW Program?
I really appreciate how the program has evolved through my four years I’ve been here to better meet the needs of their students, especially during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hybrid model has been very accommodating to our busy schedules! I also like how students in the Part-Time Program can grow from the real-world experiences each of us bring to class.

What has been your favorite course so far in the program and why?
Oof, this one’s tough! I’d have to say it’s a tie between two. Advanced Macro Practice with Laura Dresser is up there for offering students the chance to engage in advocacy projects with community organizations. Another favorite is Grief, Death, Loss, and Life with Carissa Hodgson. I look back fondly on the assignment where the class got to explore grief through a myriad of cultures.

How do you think the Part-Time MSW Program has prepared you for entering the field of social work?
One of the best aspects of the Part-Time Program for me is the opportunities I get to apply the materials I learned in class to my day-to-day experiences as a working professional. Field placement has also given me a lot of insight about the strategies start-up organizations use to develop programming. I also appreciate the different backgrounds social work instructors have that gives us a glimpse of the career paths we can have after graduation.

What would you say to someone who is considering the program?
I would tell them that the part-time program is a rewarding experience for its in-depth education and the connections it has to agencies across the state. The years-long commitment to Saturday classes can be difficult, but the network of friends they would make in their cohort alone may be well worth it.

What UW support services have you used during your time in the program and how did they help you?
As a student, I’ve definitely leaned into DesignLab for insights on how to create more visually appealing PowerPoints and Sway websites. My involvement on the committee of the Social Workers Confronting Racial Injustice Conference has also been incredible. Beyond the programming offered by the School of Social work itself, the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center and the Association of Asian American Graduate Students have been essential to helping me find community at UW-Madison.