“At Mason, anything is possible—you just need to ask”
May 9, 2020 / by Michelle Thompson
Sabrina Hansen (MSW ’20) Makes the Most of All the Mason Has to Offer—And Gives Back in the Process
Fortunately, Master of Social Work student Sabrina Hansen approaches life with an open and flexible mind-set. This has served her well throughout her Mason experience—especially during her Graduate Research Assistant role where she had the opportunity to participate in a Telehealth Pilot Program Serving Vulnerable Populations During the Pandemic.
“I saw the pilot program as a once in a lifetime opportunity to grow my skills and interprofessional network,” says Hansen, who sees possibility behind every obstacle. “Despite the current challenges during this very difficult time, we created innovative ways to stay connected and to help our fellow human beings.”
Hansen has a long track record of making the most of the opportunities presented to her during her time at Mason. “My curious nature led me to discover other departments such as the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, where I was able to study abroad in Malta, as well as the department for Innovation and Entrepreneurship," she explains. "In addition, I have been able to serve as a graduate research assistant for two different professors, where I have learned a tremendous amount about the variety of work and research within the social work profession. I have learned from my time at Mason that anything is possible, you just need to ask.”
“My Mason education and experience has allowed me to better understand myself and has allowed me to recognize my strengths and natural talents, as well as provided me with the tools and knowledge to take these characteristics to the next level.” She reports that all the teams she has worked with at Mason have been warm and welcoming and have nurtured her desire for learning and development. “Regardless of your interest, there is a way to engage it at Mason as well as a professional and knowledgeable team who can help you on your journey.”
After graduating, Hansen is invested in becoming a thought leader in sexual dysfunction as it pertains to chronic illness and disease. Through her work and advocacy, she hopes to normalize the conversation on this topic and help individuals live the highest quality of life possible. She became interested in this area while working on a project with her now mentor, Sage Bolte, PhD. As she continued to learn more, she noticed a large gap in research on the topic as well as a lack of open dialogue. She noted, “Modern medicine has allowed us to manage and cure many diseases and allow people to continue to live despite what would have previously been a death sentence but that sometimes the quality of life for these patients has decreased—especially as it pertains to areas of the ‘sexual self.’” Her goal is to bring this important topic to the forefront so that medical providers and other caregivers feel comfortable navigating the topic so patients can not only live, but experience life in all of the ways that are meaningful to them.
Hansen chose Mason for its positive reputation and its dedication to higher education for all students and says that Mason’s affordability was also a big plus. “The faculty has been absolutely spectacular, and I have appreciated the options for both online and in-person learning. In my opinion, what sets Mason apart from other universities is diversity of its students. I have had the pleasure of getting to know individuals from a wide array of backgrounds and cultures which has been one of the best learning experiences I could have asked for.”