Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Meet Spencer Dowd

Spencer Dowd is a social work major, black belt, ballroom dancer, tailor, and a peacebuilder. He is from Hillsboro, Oregon and just beginning the certificate this semester in the first class of IPB 121. He is a force to be reckoned with on the dance floor, known as the dancing ninja. Spencer received that nickname by coming straight from taekwondo to ballroom dance class dawned in his uniform and black belt. To add to his skill set, he enjoys tailoring clothes. Spencer honorably served his mission in St. George Utah (2010-2012), and came to the university under social work and peacebuilding studies. Initially Spencer came to this school with hopes to study ICS, so he looked in to the programs available. He already had a specific plan of what he wanted to do as a career and he felt social work was better suited for the job with a certificate in peacebuilding. He plans on setting up an after school program for high-at-risk students. He explained that he wants “to catch them before they are thrown into prison.” We went on to discuss the hopeless cycle of recidivism once youth come out of programs because they have no healthy networking afterward. Spencer would intervene before youth break the law or join a gang. In one of the lecture’s we had in IPB 121 was on the containing, resolving and preventing of conflict as discussed in the book, The Third Side. Spencer looked so pleased when Brother Ford taught the necessity and wisdom in focusing heavily on prevention in conflict. I am excited to see what becomes of his goals to change his community of young students by investing time and money on youth at risk, while still having influence over them. Spencer is bright and means business in his studies. He has a goal with his future career, and is using the peacebuilding certificate and social work program as a vehicle to his vision. His peacebuilding courses are training him in mediating and teaching theories of how everyone is interconnected in this web we call society. In fact, peacebuilding is applicable to all majors that require working with other human beings. Peacebuilding enriches, not distracts from future career goals. Certainly Spencer will be applying his conflict resolution skills daily as he teaches his students to look at each other for the first time and see the humanity of that person. Spencer has an inspiring and meaningful vision. His example is not only for his fellow social work buddies, but also for all his fellow BYUH students.

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