Student Spotlight, March 2022

February 22, 2022 By Amy Laskowski
Walkway on campus lined with EWU banners

CPP Student Spotlight: Lindsey McEwen

Image of Lindsey McEwen

The College of Professional Programs is proud to feature Lindsey McEwen, a MSW graduate student earning a dual degree in Social Work and Public Administration.

“Social workers are not just therapists and group counselors; they can be involved in all sorts of areas of change.” -Lindsey McEwen

Hometown: Vancouver, WA
Graduation Date: June 2023 for MSW, March 2024 for MPA

Lindsey McEwen has always wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. After earning dual degrees in social work and public administration, she plans to work for policy and law change. “If your goal is to make a difference in the lives of people in need then social work is an excellent and long-standing field,” says McEwen.

When asked why she chose to study at Eastern, McEwen cites numerous reasons, namely program options, name recognition, and affordability. While she initially struggled to fit college coursework into the necessities of a working life, McEwen eventually earned her associate’s degree from Clark Community College, and her bachelor’s degree from Washington State University, Vancouver. Then, after several years of employment, she lost her full-time job due to economic forces of the COVID pandemic. McEwen recalls thinking “well, I’ve been meaning to try and go back… maybe now is the time.”

Currently thriving in her second quarter at EWU, she credits her mentors Deborah Svoboda, MSW, PhD, Graduate Program Director, School of Social Work, and Tricia Hughes, Senior Director, EWU Counseling and Wellness Services.

McEwen explains that her largest surprise so far has been the discovery of her own abilities:

“Being in the Social Work graduate program, having a consistent cohort, and building this practicum have taught me that I am far more capable of getting things done than I could have ever imagined myself to be. I’m more persuasive, creative, and determined than I had given myself credit for in the past and it’s been an amazing discovery of self-worth.”

McEwen reports that she is most proud of two specific efforts so far at Eastern. First is her work on the student-led, campus-wide Basic Needs Program. Lindsey hopes that through continued study, discovery and networking, she and others involved can connect students to more services, and that this growing program will continue to be of benefit to many long after she graduates. In coordination with EWU’s Counseling and Wellness Services, McEwen hopes to help build “how-to” workshops, with topics ranging from navigating the Washington Health Plan Finder website, and completing applications for SNAP and other food benefits.

Secondly, Lindsey is the coordinator of the EWU Food Pantry, a program that makes food and basic hygiene items available to students and staff on a regular basis. Recently, the EWU Food Pantry was awarded a micro grant from Swipe Out Hunger, which will allow the purchase of perishable items, like milk and cheese, for distribution. Of her work at the pantry, Lindsey adds, “we are happy to help alleviate some measure of food insecurity in our community so we’re always happy to see people come in.”