Professor of social work Dr. Wendy Campbell spent much time on the Winthrop campus before knowing that she would one day be one of the professors teaching at the university; even then she recognized the beauty of Winthrop’s campus.
“My sister earned her undergraduate at Winthrop. So when she was an undergrad I would come here and visit her from time to time, actually staying over at the Winthrop Inn, and the beauty of Winthrop’s campus always struck me,” said Campbell.
Campbell comes from a family of educators, so from early on she realized that she too wanted to end up teaching in higher education. Her mother is a professor at Lander University, her sister is a professor at a university in Georgia and her father is a high school biology teacher.
Campbell attended Wofford College in Spartanburg where she earned her undergraduate degree, before attending Florida State where she earned a masters in history.
While still in her undergraduate program at Wofford College, Campbell got the opportunity to study abroad for a month.
“I had the opportunity to travel abroad for a month, and I went with a group from Wofford and we went to Nepal. We spent the month in a pretty remote village in Nepal so that really opened my eyes to some things I didn’t know,” said Campbell.
After earning her undergraduate and graduate degree Campbell realized that she didn’t want to spend most of her life in the library researching and made the decision to enter the Peace Corps, where she was sent to Nicaragua.
“I thought I would go to Asia and they sent me to Latin America, and I didn’t know any Spanish, so I ended up learning and I fell in love with culture,” said Campbell.
Campbell soon realized that she did not want to continue studying history. Campbell spent two years in the Peace Corps, before returning to the U.S. While deciding what she wanted to do she looked into fellowship programs offered by the Peace Corps, and one of the fellowships was through the University of South Carolina with an emphasis on social work.
Campbell spent much of her time working with the immigrant population in South Carolina; she was one of two fellows in that program at USC. The two eventually would start an interrupting and translation project in connection with the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health.
Campbell would also go on to work with the Migrant Health Project where she would work in outreach with seasonal migrant farm workers in South Carolina.
Campbell would go on to earn her doctoral degree at the University of South Carolina and would work on other projects at USC before becoming a professor at Winthrop.
Currently Campbell teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs, and in the summer of 2014 Dr. Campbell will take over as the director of the undergraduate social work program here at Winthrop.
Campbell really enjoys being able to interact with younger students and help them realize that there is much more to social work than they think or know.
“I’d have to say the intro class is my absolute favorite to teach,” said Campbell. “I want students to understand that you sometimes have to get leave your comfort zone, how social justice matters affect us all and that there is so much more to social work than just taking someone’s kids away.”
Campbell is planning to run her seventh marathon; running is one of the times she is able to get away from everything and think to herself. She is also enjoys traveling.
“I’m not into the typical tourist destinations as opposed to untapped locations; I’m more looking for adventure,” said Campbell.