Social work grad gains a new outlook

Story by Haleigh Cannalte

Dean Graby is dedicated to service: serving our country, serving his community and serving veterans.

Nominated as one of the School of Social Work’s outstanding graduates, Graby is a veteran of the U.S. Army, husband and father who graduated in December from Colorado State University with his degree in social work from the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Graby said that CSU’s social work program “offers insight into both micro and macro levels of practice” and that the program’s generalist approach allows him to “operate competently across the spectrum.”

“My experiences in the military were shaped by a ‘black and white’ and ‘life or death’ way of thinking,” he said, adding that his coursework contributed to a shift from “this dichotomous way of thinking.” He now recognizes how “an individual’s environment shapes their life choices, access to resources and opportunities.”

Graby plans to bring this new outlook to his future career, where he hopes to serve veterans and their families, and develop support systems to deal with issues of mental health and trauma that often come with military service. He is currently engaged with Colorado State University’s New Start for Student Veterans program, which provides one-on-one academic and transition assistance to former military service members.

“I decided to major in social work because I wanted to continue to serve my country,” he said. “I know first-hand the challenges service members, families and veterans face when trying to cope with trauma and the transition from military to civilian life.”