Social Work administrative assistant makes a difference on and off campus
Kat Farlowe puts work into social work.
As the administrative assistant for students in the social work doctoral program and Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program in the School of Social Work, she not only guides students through the admissions process, but she also advises them and helps with paperwork as they continue through their program, providing "a shoulder" when needed.
Administrative Specialist II
- School of Social Work
- At UGA: 16 years
"It's all about the students," she said. "The most important thing I can do is to help these students on their road to success. We have Ph.D. students who are here four or five years, so I get to know them so well. I feel like they're part of my family. You remember these people forever."
In addition, she works with the school's dean, Anna Scheyett, on external events, planning details and logistics and creating materials.
Before joining the School of Social Work, Farlowe was in the restaurant business for 23 years. After that, she went to work for a temp agency. She tested well in managerial areas because of her experience, and the agency placed her at the School of Social Work. Within three months, she became the dean's assistant.
Her desire to help others comes naturally. Farlowe's mother ran Interfaith Community Services in Columbia, South Carolina, and her father, Horace Farlowe, was a professor of sculpture in the Lamar Dodd School of Art.
"I like doing things that make a difference," she said. "It's amazing what a little bit can do to help other people. Being around all these lovely people, the faculty, you see how they get out there and work with disadvantaged or special-needs people. The things that they're doing really opened my eyes to a whole new world of opportunity of giving. It's made me a much more charitable person."
This month, Farlowe is at the helm of a local charity project directing Project Safe's 18th annual production of Eve Ensler's award-winning play The Vagina Monologues. Farlowe took part in last year's production, reading a monologue about a woman witnessing the birth of her grandchild. When Joan Prittie, Project Safe's executive director, began making plans for this year's production, she asked Farlowe to direct the cast of 25 women.
"I cannot wait for everyone to see what they can do," Farlowe said. "It's just the most rewarding thing to be with them, knowing what some of these women have been through."
Productions of The Vagina Monologues are Feb. 16-18 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. at the Chapel. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at project-safe.org. All proceeds benefit Project Safe.
"The organization does amazing things for women," she said.
As a "huge fan" of the TV show Outlander, Farlowe also got involved in fundraising for two charities supported by the stars of the series. She joined the Heughan's Heughligans fan group, which raises money for Bloodwise, a charity in the United Kingdom. Sam Heughan is Scottish president of the nonprofit, which is striving to beat blood cancer. Farlowe helped plan an event in North Carolina that brought in $11,000 for Bloodwise. She's also part of Outlandish Gatherings and helped with an online auction that raised $11,000 for World Child Cancer, a charity actress Caitriona Balfe supports as a patron that helps children in developing countries with cancer.
In her spare time, Farlowe also creates suncatchers and jewelry, spends time with her dog and two cats, enjoys classic movies from the 1930s and 1940s, cooks and bakes (and is known for her rum cake).