Billie Chapman: UW Alumna '05,'08 & Social Worker

Her Campus: What is your position? How long have you held it?

Billie Chapman: I am the Social Worker for Mountain View Living Center and the Community Nursing Home Program Manager at the Sheridan VA Medical Center.

HC: How did you end up in the position?

BC: I had been working at the VA since 2008, and this position came open just over a year ago, so I already had my foot in the door since I was working there as a social worker. It was a promotion so I applied and interviewed and was selected for the position. 

HC: What are your duties?

BC: in a nutshell, I provide social work support to the veterans at Mountain View Living Center, which is a nursing home unit, and I also am in charge of oversight of the nursing homes in the community that have contracts at the VA.

HC: What do you like most about the job?

BC: I love working with our veterans and their families, particularly those that are receiving hospice services, which has been a passion of mine since graduate school. I think it’s important people have choices about the end of their life and I enjoy being able to companion them and their families.

HC: Where are you from originally?

BC: I am from Wyoming. I claim Sheridan as home but I did live in Edgerton for nine years and then I moved to Sheridan and finished high school. I have lived in Wyoming most of my life.

HC: How did you end up at UW?

BC: I received the President’s Honor Scholarship, which is now the Hathaway. It covered tuition and fees and it just made the most financial sense to go to UW.

HC: What degree did you obtain from UW, and what years did you graduate?

BC: My Master’s in 2008 is in Social Work, my Bachelor’s degree in 2005 from UW was in Psychology.

HC: How did your experience at UW help you get to where you are now?

BC: It certainly provided me with a very quality education. I felt very well-prepared to enter the workforce after I completed my education at UW. It provided me with support services as well in terms of career planning and getting help with my resume and just in preparation for applying for jobs and Career Services were helpful. And then also, I got some leadership experience through involvement in Pi Beta Phi, which was a sorority at UW. That was also a very important and instrumental part of my UW experience.

HC: What is the best advice you can offer a woman going into your field?

BC: I think to really be careful about the internship that you choose and to choose an internship that you are going to learn and grow from and that will challenge you, not just one that is going to be easy. Choose an internship that will prepare you for heading into the field. And then for graduating and starting in the field, being open to not focusing in on one area of social work and refusing to consider another area, but being open to other fields. I started in a field I wasn’t interested in, but it provided me with a lot of skills to get me where I am today. Be open to all areas of the field instead of just choosing one and focusing on that one.

HC: If a current UW student in your field had more questions about your journey to success, would you be open to talking with them? If so, what is the best way for them to reach you?

BC: Oh yes, absolutely. Probably by email, initially [email protected]

HC: Is there anything else you would like to share?

BC: I just think that for all women it’s important to, as cliché as it sounds, to follow their dreams and be persistent in working toward their goals.