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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Margaret Ko

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Since August 2009, Margaret Ko has been an adjunct faculty for the Department of Social Work, teaching and imparting social work knowledge and skills to both undergraduate and graduate students. Below she tells her story about becoming a social worker.
After she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi, she served as a counselor at a prison in Singapore for several years, working mainly with male inmates. She returned to the U.S. and obtained an MSW degree at the University of Minnesota in December 1996, and then was hired as a county case manager working with persons suffering from serious and persistent mental illness. She served at Martin & Faribault Counties for 4 years and then at Blue Earth County for another 5 years. After working 9 years with this population and still loving the job, she knew she'd found her niche! Margaret was one of the earlier batches of social workers working at the Community Behavioral Health Hospital in St Peter. This facility is an acute, inpatient psychiatric facility working on stabilizing individuals suffering from mental illness. During this time, she also worked 4 hours a week at the Faribault County Jail as the Mental Health Clinician. In 2009, she applied to work with persons committed as Mentally Ill & Dangerous at the Minnesota Security Hospital at St. Peter. She says there is no dull moment and no two days are the same. She wore many hats as a social worker and more recently, since December 2013, has worked as a therapist working on trauma and instilling appropriate social skills with this population.