Continuing with highlighting our 2021-22 Faculty, Student, and Graduate Affiliates, we are happy to introduce one of our Graduate Affiliates, Betsy Butner.

Graduating from the Master of Social Work Program in May, Betsy is rounding out her collegiate career that began when she graduated from Salem College with her bachelor’s in Biology and Spanish. After graduating, she worked in a BioTech company for four years, along with independently using her license in massage and bodywork therapy.

Last April, we introduced the CSFE community to Faculty Affiliate Emma Miller, MSW, LCSW. Emma is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program for Professionals (BWHET) Project Coordinator. She has been working with CSFE, focusing her research on posttraumatic growth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shared traumatic event that is the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that our lives are operating on a daily basis and it has caused various other aspects of society to shift along with that. Emma’s research considered experiences in Western North Carolina as a way to extrapolate a helpful perspective for societies on a global scale.

Now, Betsy has joined this research initiative, aligning her beliefs and education into one.

“We are working towards developing the curriculum and making sure it stands with the positive psychology but maintaining a level that is not engulfed in academia,” said Betsy, continuing, “We want to be able to share this with any community member, for everyone to have access to the same tools.”

From this research, Betsy aims to influence human connection and provide the tools to bring together community, “This whole experience [the COVID-19 pandemic] has shown people different perspectives of community and what it offers,” said Betsy.

Throughout the process of posttraumatic growth post-COVID-19, the greatest strength lies in the ability to grow as a community while continuing to develop using the tools we have at our disposal.

After graduating in May, Betsy hopes to continue with this research as a mentor for the graduate student who takes her place along with her own line of scholarship as well, with the expectation of making monumental impacts on her community.

We are happy to introduce Betsy to the CSFE community and are excited to watch her along her journey.