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Student Support with a Passion

For staff member Dora Safoh, her work at CU is driven by her lived experience

minute read

Written by SOP Communications on February 16, 2022

Tell us more about yourself. What shaped who you are today?
I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa but have spent the majority of my life here in America. We did not have much growing up but my father was determined to change our circumstances for the better. He worked incredibly hard and sacrificed a lot to bring my mother, sister, and I here in hopes of opening up a new world of opportunities that would otherwise not be available to us.

I am the first in my immediate family to receive a master’s degree, an accomplishment I am very proud of. I love learning and always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and worldview. This is one of the reasons I enjoy working in higher education. Not only am I surrounded by other lifelong learners, I also have the great privilege of supporting our future healthcare providers and helping them attain their goals.

How has your experience in sociology and social work prepared you for the Office of Student Services?
Understanding human development, behavior, and interactions has expanded my level of emotional intelligence and enhanced my interpersonal skills, both of which are key attributes to possess when working with people in general. Our office is committed to our students’ success, both professionally and personally. This requires adopting a student-centered approach that provides tailored support to meet individual needs. The ability to actively listen, empathize with students, and guide them in navigating challenging situations are all skills that that have been enhanced through my education.

You are an MSW [Master's in Social Work], which is awesome. How has your degree helped you in your role at CU?
I was drawn to an MSW degree for various reasons, a main one being the emphasis on social justice and a specific focus on the empowerment of vulnerable populations, both of which are core values of the social work profession. It’s very important to me to provide support that is equitable and customized to address a person’s unique needs and circumstances. Prior to joining the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS), I was the Lead Case Manager with central Student Affairs here at CU Anschutz. In this role, I served many students with varying challenges and needs. Understanding that one size does not fit all, I was intentional about really listening to their concerns and offering support and resources that were culturally responsive and appropriate. Additionally, I advocated for and spearheaded the creation of programs such as the Food Pantry and CU Anschutz Shares, an emergency fund to support students with financial insecurity. These are a few ways in which I have put my degree to use at CU and hope to continue with our SSPPS students.

What are your goals here?
I hope to start working towards my licensure sometime soon. Additionally, I’m committed to continuing to learn and expand my knowledge about our school and students so I can serve in a way that is beneficial and makes a positive impact.

Topics: Students, Pharmacy