Eberly Center Ambassador Finds Her Calling as Social Work Graduate

December 16, 2021 | Graduate News, News, Student Success, UToday, Alumni, Arts and Letters
By Meredith Troxel

Although this chapter of Emily Wegert’s life ends at UToledo, it didn’t begin here.

She spent one semester at a nearby university in their education program until she realized that there is more to being a teacher than subjects like science or reading.

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CELEBRATING SUCCESS: UToledo recognizes the Class of 2021 with a series of stories featuring students receiving their degrees at fall commencement.

Wegert changed her major — and school — to focus on social work, a field where she can guide others through life’s challenges.

“The education system has a lot of power over people’s lives,” she said. “I realized that I don’t want to teach them math with all these big deals going on around them. I want to care about the big deals and help people with the larger things and the more personal things in life.”

Wegert, a 21-year-old Elmore native, transferred to UToledo, allowing her to commute from home and join friends who were fellow Rockets. For Wegert, UToledo was welcoming, accessible and provided a small-college feel but with large-college resources.

She will receive her bachelor’s degree in social work at the Dec. 18 Commencement.

Wegert completed her senior-year internship with UToledo’s Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women. She became interested in the work of the Eberly Center after attending a Title IX training session during her junior year. She knew the center would be perfect for her internship — fueling her curiosity while expanding her social work experience aside from casework.

“One of the biggest things I worked on was our woman of the week highlight,” Wegert said. “Every week, I talked with many women around campus who people nominated. That turned into woman of the year. I also worked with a lot of different programming types and evaluated them to see if they were helping people.”

Now, she’s wrapping up her third and final semester at the Eberly Center, this time as a student ambassador. Wegert focused her time on outreach and growing connections with organizations to increase the awareness of the Eberly Center’s programming.

Her time with the Eberly Center provided Wegert with more than a firsthand look into her future field. She grew her personal and professional connections with the staff in the center — especially Danielle Lutman, program manager for gender equity student initiatives.


“She’s an awesome role model, feminist and social worker who is always trying to better herself and the people, environments and communities around her,” Wegert said. “I’ve definitely found myself going to her for advice the most.”

Lutman is proud of the growth Wegert has made during her year and a half working with the Eberly Center.

“It has been incredible to watch Emily’s growth as a student and a leader,” Lutman said. “Her passion for learning and making the world a better place is inspiring. I can’t wait to watch all the amazing things she does in the future.”

On top of her work with the Eberly Center, Wegert also is a member of Pi Beta Phi and helped with a student-led pre-health seminar series that educated students on disparities in the medical field.

Thanks to her time at the Eberly Center, Wegert is more than ready for the next step — graduate school.

And while she continues to narrow her choices of potential career paths, no matter what she does, UToledo’s social work program prepared her to turn passions into knowledge.

“They make sure each of their students are well rounded in the things that they care about,” Wegert said. “We learn about many issues and where we can contribute to their improvement.”

For now, Wegert wants to use her education and experiences to focus on sex education and reversing rape culture.

“I am interested in diving deeper into the underlying, often unseen factors that play into rape culture and how to stop them on a cultural level,” Wegert said. “I think it is an extremely prominent and important area that is rarely discussed.”

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