At the Brown School Recognition Ceremony on May 19, Marcus Brown, Mobolaji Fowose, Charlotte Key and Lei Chen carried the banners that lead their respective classes into the Washington University Field House.
Selection as a marshal is an honor: These students were nominated by faculty and other students for commitment to their scholarship, passion in their practica and contributions to the school community. Learn more about their time at Brown and where their degrees will take them next.
Master of Social Work Marshal: Marcus Brown
MSW Concentration: Social and Economic Development
“The Brown School provided me not just the classroom, but a lab for me to learn and apply my knowledge through various practica,” Marcus, an Arkansas native, said.
His most recent practicum position as policy coordinator at the Deaconess Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the health of St. Louis’ vulnerable children, allowed him to gain experience translating community input into action. At Missouri Jobs with Justice, he developed policy memos for the Ferguson Commission’s Opportunities to Thrive Committee. He also served as the student group liaison on the Brown School’s Student Coordinating Council.
Marcus is entertaining career options in strategic consulting, economic development or resource allocation. “The diversity of thought and experience woven throughout Brown School’s social fabric is by far what I’ll miss the most.”
Master of Public Health Marshal: Mobolaji
MPH Specialization: Epidemiology/Biostatistics
During her time at the Brown School, Mobolaji worked at the Institute for Public Health (IPH), investigating ethical lapses in research and medicine. For her practicum, she conducted research in the Department of Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine.
“I was drawn to the school based on the many research opportunities that are available and the wealth of knowledge I knew I could attain from the experienced faculty,” she said.
She engaged in the school’s community as a co-chair of the Brown School African Student Association. Nigerian-born, Mobolaji moved to Baltimore at age 11. Following graduation, her next challenge keeps her in the St. Louis area: She’ll be entering medical school at Saint Louis University.
“My long-term goal is to utilize my clinical skills and research experiences to develop and guide health policies that will save millions of lives,” she explained. “I’d like to thank all the faculty I’ve taken courses with and interacted with … They have challenged me to exceed my limits and dream big.”
Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health Dual Degree Marshal: Charlotte Key
MSW Concentration: Healthy Aging
Charlotte chose the Brown School for the flexibility and multitude of curriculum options, as well as the dual-degree program in social work and public health. She complemented her studies with a concentration practicum at BJC Hospice, working with patients and the bereavement support team. She also worked in the Office of Admissions & Recruitment as a Student Ambassador and was a member of the Aging in Graduate Education student organization.
After graduation, Charlotte will move to Nashville to pursue a career in hospice social work.
“I want to make a positive impact by addressing issues of aging and promoting better end-of-life care.” Of her time at the Brown School, she remarked: “I would like to thank all of my professors for pushing me to produce high-quality work and encouraging me to pursue topics that I am passionate about.”
Master of Social Policy Marshal: Lei Chen
As the marshal for the first cohort of the Brown School’s Master of Social Policy degree, a collaboration with Fudan University in China, Lei Chen made a bit of Brown School history when she carried her banner into the Field House. From Changzhou, China, Lei came to Washington University with a special interest in comparative social policy.
Working with Professor Tim McBride, she assisted with research that focused on a comparative analysis of health reform in her home country and the United States. A Brown School trip to Washington D.C. during spring break allowed Lei to meet with social policy experts at the national level, including staff at the Brookings Institution and Department of Health and Human Services.
“This gave me a direct and deep understanding of how social policy is processed in the U.S., which was a really unforgettable experience in my life,” Lei said. Her next step, she says, will be a PhD in social policy with a focus on aging and health policy.