Spencer Bowersox 1st Year Trainee - Social Work




Spencer Bowersox is a 2nd year student in the Masters of Social Work program with a certificate in Mental Health at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a 2015 graduate from Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. While attending Mount St. Mary’s, he volunteered at Frederick County’s Special Olympics as an Assistant Coach for the aquatics team. Spencer has been a participant in Special Olympics’ Polar Bear Plunge event for the past six years and plans to continue this tradition for the upcoming plunge in 2018. Additionally, he was a research assistant for Dr. Caitlin Faas investigating alternatives for standardized testing as components for college applications. As part of Dr. Faas’ team, he worked with Dr. Angela Duckworth, the author of “Grit: Passion and Perseverance” to develop an alternative application process for Mount St. Mary’s University.

In 2015, Spencer moved to Pittsburgh to work at Western Psychiatric Clinic and Institute as a Milieu Therapist on the John Merck Inpatient Unit. He assists clients with daily routines, conducts social skill groups, and creates a calm atmosphere for all clients. In 2016, Spencer was a SNAP Outreach Intern at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank where he assisted individuals applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. He created a volunteer program for members of the community to volunteer to assist individuals in the Greater Pittsburgh Area connect with programs to decrease food insecurity.

Currently, Spencer serves as a Research Assistant on a problem-solving skills training study for families of children who are diagnosed with sickle cell disease. Spencer works with families in order to systematically teach caregivers of children with cancer ways to identify and solve problems to increase coping skills. The Bright IDEAS problem-solving framework aims to give parents the skills to solve problems in order to reduce distress and increase their levels of self-satisfaction and overall being.

Spencer is elated to be a 2017-2018 LEND Trainee and hopes to gain further skills to develop and excel as a leader in the field of social work in order to help children and their families navigate stressful circumstances.