Molly Manske student profile

Molly Manske is a junior at Washburn, majoring in social work with a minor in Spanish. She is from Prairie Village, Kansas, about an hour away from Topeka. 

Her decision to pursue social work stems largely from her father. 

“My dad was a criminal justice professor here, so there was always a special desire to want to go to Washburn as well. I actually came to Washburn as a full Spanish major, then I kinda figured out what the social work major entailed, and it related back to more of what I wanted to do in life,” Manske said. “The social work part came from when I worked with non-profit organizations and advocacy groups.”

Social work has been a great fit for Manske. To her, it’s more than a job. It’s a chance to be a helping hand to those who need it.

“[I want] to help people,” Manske said. “That’s just such a common desire for social workers, but mainly to be a voice for the voiceless.”

Although social work has been a great fit, Manske still has a passion for minoring in a foreign language.

“I’ve studied abroad in high school and at Washburn in different Spanish speaking countries, so that’s where the Spanish speaking part came from,” Manske said. 

Manske has made trips to a variety of places. In high school, she went to Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Through Washburn, she has traveled to Italy and Cuba. She leaves for Columbia this coming spring semester.

“Both experiences provided me with a great opportunity  to gain cultural awareness and educate myself academically and personally,” Manske said.

Masnke also was the third place winner of the study abroad photo essay contest for her photos during her study in Cuba. 

In terms of what she does on campus, it would be an understatement to say she is involved. She’s in Young Life, Bod Squad, Friends of the Library, Delta Gamma, and Spanish Club. On top of that, she also works as a writing tutor at Mabee Library.

Rhonda Peterson Dealey, a professor in Washburn’s social work department, has much to say about Molly academically and personally.

“Molly is the type of student that makes teaching rewarding.  She loves new experiences.  She thinks critically about new ideas and asks great questions.  She cares deeply about her fellow humans and isn’t afraid to stand up for others,” Dealey said. “I can’t wait to see where her social work education will take her.

Assistant professor Beth O’Neill had a similar outlook on Molly.

“It has been such a pleasure to have Molly in two classes this semester, one seated and one online. Molly consistently demonstrates her dedication to the coursework, but more importantly, her passion for social work,” O’Neill said. “She is always excited to apply the course content to case scenario and role play opportunities, and is an active participant in class. I look forward to seeing her continued growth throughout the rest of her time in the social work program.”

Manske is already making an impact at Washburn and in the countries she travels to. She takes advantage of every opportunity to learn new things and make a difference.