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Mother of four, Christina Marsh wins Student of the Year at professional luncheon
Monday, April 30, 2012

By Raul Lopez, '12

The Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work, & Criminal Justice department has named graduating senior Christina Marsh as the Social Work Student of the Year at the Annual National Association of Social Workers Western Division Luncheon on Thursday, March 29. Marsh will be graduating with a 3.67 GPA with a major in Social Work and a minor in Public Health. She was nominated for the award by Professor Rolanda Ward of the social work program at Fredonia.

A mother of four boys, Marsh decided to go back to school after working in various positions in the human services and educational fields. Over the past few years, Marsh has had to split her role as a mom with academe--she has been taking upper-level classes and completed internships at the Chautauqua County Health Department, Chautauqua County Rural Ministries, Teenage Motherhood and Education program, and most recently at the Chautauqua County Advocacy Program.

When Marsh started her higher education at Jamestown Community College, she took a job at Chautauqua Institution as Operations Manager at the Refectory, a restaurant in Bestor Plaza known for its ice cream. She continues to work there. The job is full-time in the summer, and part time in the pre and post season.

“It has absolutely been a challenge, although my children are older, I have still had to miss going to their games or functions at school and college," she said. "I have had significantly less time to spend with my family in the last four years but they are very supportive. However, my college experience has provided me with an excellent opportunity to serve as a role model for my own boys that are in college,” said Marsh.

What’s next for Marsh?

Marsh is preparing to continue her professional preparation at SUNY at Buffalo's advanced, part-time MSW program. “I know that being a social worker is who I was always meant to be," she said. "I cannot think of anything more worthy of my time than spending it working to improve the well being of my community by advocating for social justice.”

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