For Rebecca Laumbattus, a typical work day might include a trip to the Medicaid office, the grocery store and a client’s home. Financial counseling and job search assistance also appear on her regular to-do list.
A case manager for Human Support Services, in Waterloo, Ill., Rebecca carries a caseload of 40 clients, each with a unique set of needs and issues. She works with people who have mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance abuse issues in addition to those who deal with homelessness and poverty. Daily, she faces challenges with bureaucracy and her clients’ expectations.
“You find that everybody expects things to be done quickly as society revolves around instant gratification,” she said. “However, social workers know that the world moves at a slower progression than we would like.”
The bachelor’s degree in sociology that Rebecca earned from Huntington University in 2005 provided her with tools to cope with these complex issues.
“Huntington gave me heart knowledge with brain knowledge,” she said. “I learned how to ethically use the Christian principles I adhere to in the rules-oriented, democratically based and all-inclusive world of social services.”
To enhance her skill level and better serve her clients, Rebecca pursued a master’s degree in counseling at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. After accumulating internship hours and passing an exam through the intensive two-year program, Rebecca planned to become a licensed professional counselor or therapist.
“Huntington gave me a really solid foundation for this graduate form of studies,” Rebecca said. “I feel very adequately prepared to tackle this advanced degree from my coursework at Huntington – both in Biblical knowledge and social science knowledge.”
Along with her classes at Huntington, two internships helped set the foundation for a lifetime of service to those in need. In January 2003, she served in the Olive Branch Mission, an inner city shelter/chapel for homeless individuals in Chicago. As she cultivated relationships at the mission, Rebecca developed a deeper empathy for those struggling with poverty.
“My time there prompted me to identify the effects of materialism in my life. I truly was able to see individuals in love with God who had not been blessed monetarily,” she said.
During the spring semester of 2005, Rebecca worked in the Indiana State House of Representatives for three congressmen in Indianapolis. She learned how an idea becomes a policy and encountered the action on the legislative floor.
“This experience allowed me the opportunity to see how the laws come about that govern the world of social work,” she said.
Rebecca also learned from the example of her professors. Dr. Mary Ruthi, professor of sociology, challenged her to apply Christian ethical principles to social problems.
“It was interesting to see how Dr. Ruthi was committed to sociology and its purpose within the church as she has sat on many of her own church committees and boards,” Rebecca observed. “She truly demonstrated the connections of faith and learning.”
Rebecca benefited from relationships with her professors in and outside of the classroom. She views this as a hallmark of a Huntington University education.
“Professors are everywhere you plant yourself, giving you the ultimate opportunity to soak in years of knowledge and experience built up in these overseers,” she said. “You will experience not only classroom interaction, but also interaction in cafeterias, workout rooms and even church sanctuaries.”
The professors who invest in the lives of their students signify Huntington’s commitment to provide a Christ-centered, holistic approach to education.
“God wants to stretch us in every way imaginable,” Rebecca said. “Huntington encourages this stretching mentally, emotionally, physically and most importantly, spiritually.”
For Rebecca, Huntington provided a foundation for a way of thinking that serves her well in her position as a case manager and a maturing Christian. She advises others in search of an all-encompassing education to consider Huntington.
“Huntington’s sociology program will give you an in-depth look to sociology as you will be working directly, and I mean directly, with professors who are very committed to the overall education and practical experience of their students,” she said. “After graduating from the sociology program, I no longer see the world as a set of individuals each pertaining to their own, but rather as a set of individuals belonging to different influential groups which help mold their ideologies of life.”Discover what Huntington University can do for you.
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