Social Work Month Student Spotlight: Karinaelizabeth A. Calimee

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Each Friday, Johnson C. Smith University will share a Q&A with a student in the University's master's or undergraduate Social Work program in honor of Social Work Month.

Today's feature is Karinaelizabeth A. Calimee '24, a San Diego native who grew up in California and Las Vegas, Nev. and is a student in the Bachelor of Social Work program.

Karinaelizabeth A. Calimee
Karinaelizabeth A. Calimee '24

1. Why did you choose to study Social Work?

The ideas and beliefs of Social Work match my own. I strongly believe that everyone has goodness in them, and I see Social Work as a way for me to connect with, guide and support others in reaching their goals.

2. What do you like about being a Social Work major at JCSU?

Getting the opportunity to meet so many people in power, like Congressman Ed Towns. Also being able to participate in so many events and network with other social workers.

3. What would you like to do after you graduate from JCSU? 

I plan on going to graduate school to further my education in Social Work and become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker focusing on substance abuse and mental health and gain more experience within the field.

4. What is an experience you've had while studying Social Work at JCSU that is unique or stands out?

During my time as a Social Work student at JCSU, a unique and impactful experience unfolded when my advisor, Dr. Judith Crocker-Billingsley, connected me with social worker Johnnetta McSwain. Exploring McSwain's book became an emotional journey for me, as conversing with her provided a profound motivation to persist in the Social Work field. This encounter not only offered personal insight but also strengthened my commitment to the meaningful work that lies ahead. The ability to connect with established professionals in the field has been a distinctive and enriching aspect of my journey at JCSU, shaping my perspective and fueling my passion for Social Work.

5. How do you feel that JCSU's Social Work program has prepared you for life after college?

The JCSU Social Work program has been a game-changer for me. It gave me important skills such as my interpersonal skills which have been and will be super useful in the Social Work profession. The program taught me to be open-minded in all sorts of situations, helping me understand and handle different challenges. What has been extremely beneficial for me is that the professors have always been real with me, giving me helpful feedback on how to better my writing, research and speaking skills. This program has not only taught me basic skills, but it has shaped me on how I think and approach things. I feel ready and confident to take on whatever comes my way as a social worker, thanks to JCSU. The sense of community in the program also made the learning experience feel like a supportive family, and the hands-on experiences during internships brought classroom lessons to life.

6. Anything to add?

My time as a social work major at JCSU has been eye-opening and full of meaningful experiences. Choosing social work felt right because I believe everyone has goodness in them, and this major lets me connect with and support others. Meeting a lot of people being able to network at events added depth to my understanding of social work. The program's emphasis on real-world stuff and hands-on learning has been crucial, making lessons practical and memorable. I feel ready for what comes next, and I'm grateful for the supportive community at JCSU that made this journey impactful.


The March is Social Work Month theme for 2024 is "Empowering Social Workers." To learn more about Social Work Month, visit

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