Alumni Interview — Kandace Hillebrandt (’10)

With each year that passes there are more and more BIC graduates doing great work all over the world. At least once each year we hope to publish brief “Alumni Updates” where our alumni can tell us some about their post-BIC lives. In addition to these annual updates, we are posting interviews with some of our alumni. This month we are excited to post an interview with Kandace Hillebrandt (’10). This interview was conducted during the summer of 2014. We hope you enjoy, and if you are interested in being interviewed for a future blog post, email us at BIC@baylor.edu.

Kandace HillebrandtWhat year did you graduate from Baylor? What did you study?

I graduated from Baylor in December 2010 with a Bachelors of Social Work degree. I also graduated in December 2012 with a Masters of Social Work from Florida State University.

What are you doing currently for work/career? What do you enjoy most about your work?

I currently work as the Program Specialist at the Area Agency on Aging. Under the supervision of the Program Manger, the Program Specialist administers the Title IIIB, C-1, and C2 Programs, Title IIID Health and Wellness Program, Title VII Elder Abuse Prevention Program, and seeks grant opportunities that fall in the scope of the Agency’s mission. I most enjoy being able to work directly with clients at the local senior centers in our 14 county service area. I lead various evidence-based health and wellness programs with seniors and present on elder abuse prevention.

How has your BIC education influenced your life/career since leaving Baylor?

The BIC definitely taught me to look at the world in a new and different way. I learned how to analyze multiple viewpoints and carefully consider my own opinions. I developed a deeper and stronger belief system that has influenced how I approach my work and my life.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in BIC?

Some of my favorite memories from the BIC involve the amazing trips we took as a group. Each outing has unique and special stories surrounding it. However, my absolute favorite memory is the intense group study sessions we had at Erik and Travis’s apartment. More than 10 of us would cram into this tiny apartment living room to discuss and prepare for exams. Being able to openly express and debate our opinions was a fascinating experience. I believe we each learned more about the subject and ourselves during these sessions.

Is there something you learned in BIC that still sticks with you today?

During Social World we read and discussed Plato’s Republic for weeks on end and because of that I will always remember exactly what justice is.

What are your goals for the future?

In August [2014] I will begin classes at Florida State University College of Law. I eventually want to practice elder care law in the non-profit sector. I will always be a social worker and want that to be a driving factor in my law practice. Eventually I would like to be the executive director of a local public guardianship office. During my master’s degree internship I worked as a case manager at the Office of Public Guardian in Tallahassee and I loved the clients and work there. The attorney there really inspired me to continue my education.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like to share that I understand how difficult the program is and college life in general. When I was at Baylor I suffered with severe depression. It was even bad enough I had to drop out for a semester. If it was not for the relationships I developed within the BIC I never could have continued school and finished. My friends within the program and my professors strengthened me. The work is extremely challenging at times, but pays off in so many ways. I became more knowledgeable and aware of the world around me.

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