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Ashley Zajacs, '10

Ashley Zajacs, '10Ashley Zajacs, ’10, took it as a sign when she received her acceptance letter to Muskingum on Christmas Eve, so she accepted her admission offer despite not yet having visited campus! She adds, “In hindsight, that wasn’t a smart thing to do, but it all worked out for the best.” Zajacs, who is from Evans City, Pennsylvania, a town north of Pittsburgh, applied to Muskingum on the recommendation of a high school friend.

After graduating from Muskingum, Zajacs attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. She graduated in 2012 and has worked in several different settings since then. For a while, she worked as a mobile therapist for children and adolescents, then went in a different direction and did hospital social work while completing supervision hours to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Zajacs now works as an outpatient psychotherapist in a private practice in Pittsburgh. She says, “We're doing a lot of new, innovative, evidence-based treatment, which is really exciting.” In addition to in-office visits, Zajacs practice offers virtual visits, which offer more flexibility and privacy than traditional office visits.

Zajacs says, “Along with my cousins, I was one of the first in my family to go to college. My mom had started but never finished once I came along. I grew up, then, with a lot of encouragement to work hard and realize my full potential, which is really a life-long process. While we stereotypically think of kids only wanting to be firefighters, policeman, or doctors, I always wanted to help people in a different way. By high school, I knew I wanted to be a therapist.” She adds that her advisor, Sandra Schroer, helped guide her towards social work to achieve her goal of working as a therapist.

Zajacs says that majoring in sociology gave her an advantage in the social work field. She explains, “I was less focused on internal processes and more aware of what a huge impact society and our environment play in our lives in the short and long-term.”

In addition to being thankful for faculty who taught and challenged her, Zajacs also appreciates the time she spent living in the French House, which she says gave her “an appreciation for different cultures and perspectives.”