Anthony “Tony” Tepedino
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Personally collaborating with children and their families, Tony Tepedino soon discovered that’s what set his path to private practice therapy.
After being an educator for over 20 years, Tony Tepedino sought a second career. He had worked closely with school social workers for many years and realized his personal beliefs were the same. Further, he learned that social work was a career that offered different opportunities in a variety of settings.
Tony enrolled full-time in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program, which takes two years to complete. One of the program’s benefits was that it meets in downtown Rochester, a central location, and a short commute.
“Social Work was a great fit for my values and the work I want to do. Brockport fits my needs perfectly,” he said. “I had a chance to meet a few professors before the program started. All of them were kind and helpful, offering guidance and support. And they still are!”
Embedded in the MSW program is the specialty of integrated practice, which are the themes of social justice, ethics, and values. Courses emphasize the intersectionality of power, privilege, oppression, discrimination, marginalization, disparities and their impact on the human experience.
Tony’s most impactful experiences were his two field placements, where he gained the clinical skills to prepare him for the field. He took specific practice courses concurrently with each field placement to apply the competencies in that setting. Both field experiences were in college counseling offices, one at Genesee Community College and the other at SUNY Brockport. Tony gained hands-on practical experience working with clients alongside professional clinicians in each location.
“Getting to do clinical work has been rewarding, fun, and challenging. During this process, I have received positive support and feedback from both the Brockport staff and at my field placements,” he said. “This experience has allowed me to understand what I am walking into while gaining critical skills by practicing and learning with experienced supervision and support.”
Tony plans to become a private practice therapist once he finishes his degree. And he feels well on the way to realizing that goal. He values relationships, and that is what therapy is all about. But he didn’t realize it until he experienced it. Making the connection to his previous career, he would again be working collaboratively with individuals and families to find unique solutions to their challenges.
“Social Work is super rewarding but difficult work,” said Tony. For those thinking about getting their MSW, he expressed that many career paths are available to practice it. “You can do clinical work, advocacy, policy, human resources, leadership… etc. I am sure there are more. I love that an MSW gives you so many options.”