U N E employee and M.S.W. student Bella Bocal

Belle Bocal '20

Social Work (M.S.W.)

Interprofessional Opportunities

I work at UNE, but I would have preferred to come here anyway because of all of the interprofessional opportunities. Interprofessional education is a huge perk of coming to UNE because all of the health professions here in one house, meaning the College of Osteopathic Medicine, the School of Nursing and Population Health, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Social Work…we're all here. The opportunities to work together on different kinds of projects and to be able to train together is incomparable. It prepares us for the real world.

UNE’s [Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education] puts on all of these different opportunities, even during the pandemic. They really made sure that our learning was seamless, whether it was seminars or projects that we could continue without a hiccup and get out of our own disciplines for lack of a better word. Specifically, I worked with a team on a pandemic plan project. Our team had a couple of students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and from the School of Pharmacy. I also worked with Mercy Pain Clinic, which normally is in the hospital at Mercy Hospital, but we did it virtually for the first time ever with an interprofessional team from OT, PT, nursing, and the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Welcoming Community

My favorite thing about UNE is 100 percent the people. I work with alumni and seeing all those familiar faces and hearing their stories is amazing. I would say the same about the students, the faculty, and the professional staff. UNE is such a special place. We feel like a small college, but we have a large-scale impact.

What I want to do for my community s someone who is first-generation Vietnamese and identifies as an Asian Pacific Islander Desi American, is work with the BIPOC community here in Maine. Something that we've seen here in Maine, definitely in the past few years, is that there isn’t a huge representation of people of color in the mental health space, so it's just something that I knew of my own experience is that I can go and get the training here at UNE and then serve that community.

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