Spotlight on the USC Social Work Faculty

By Shannon Baucus

Frances Burke, LISW-CP (S), is the On-site Coordinator for the University of South Carolina’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program that is offered at the Lowcountry Graduate Center (LGC). She holds many different responsibilities in her position with USC and she acts as the liaison between the LGC and the College of Social Work (COSW) in Columbia. She also serves as a student advisor, coordinates student services, advocates for students, mentors new faculty, and assists in resolving student/faculty issues. Beginning in the Fall 2014 semester, she will be orchestrating and maintaining a Charleston COSW student council, as well as aiding the students in the completion of a new student handbook for the satellite campus.

Before Fran moved to Charleston seven years ago she received her BA degree in Deviant Behavior from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and then her MSW degree from Fordham University in New York. She decided to go into the field of social work while she was working on her undergraduate degree, but she’s had an interest in psychology and helping other people since she was a child. It was after working as a peer counselor at John Jay College that she was driven by the versatility that social work had offered. Now after working as a social worker for thirty years, Fran has focused her career in direct service to adolescents and families. She finds it rewarding to watch her clients succeed by making healthy connections with resources in their environment and advocate for justice after working with them.

At this point, her goals are to teach, continue supervising and work on growing the COSW’s program at the LGC. According to Fran, “The LGC has been a great fit for this program, and I appreciate how much the staff cares about the students of the MSW program. It has been a journey for everyone to watch the program more than double in size at the LGC, and everyone is happy to see how local students have had the opportunity to pursue their MSW degree in the Charleston community.” Fran has found throughout her career that the best part has been being surrounded by solid professionals who motivate her to be a better professional each and every day.

“We are stronger and better at what we do because of committed, highly seasoned professionals such as Fran Burke who want only what is best for the MSW students here in the Lowcountry” comments Nancy Muller, Director and Associate Dean, at the LGC.

To learn more about the University of South Carolina’s Master of Social Work program offered at the Lowcountry Graduate Center visit http://cosw.sc.edu/academic-program/msw-program.