Faculty & Instructors

aymerAymer, Samuel | PhD

Areas of Expertise:
Intimate Partner Abuse
Trauma/Community Violence
Mental Health/Clinical Practice
Application of Psychodynamic Theories in Clinical Practice with Diverse Client Populations
Clinical Practice with Men and Adolescent Males



blechnermBlechner, Maris H. | M ED | LCSW

Maris Blechner is an adoptive and birth parent, a licensed clinical social worker and educator, and a nationally respected trainer and speaker who has spent the last thirty-six years working for the improvement of the lives of older children in the child welfare system. One of the founders of the parent-led multi-service adoption agency that she directed for twenty-six years, Maris relates proudly that she comes from the citizen-activist child-advocacy community and brings that neighborhood and personal family experience to her professional work. These days she also enjoys mentoring for Children’s Corps, doing specialized consulting and training, and teaching on Wednesdays at her own school, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. She has recently been featured as a story-teller (about adoption) on the Moth Radio Hour, on NPR and podcasts, and even on the BBC.



bloeserBloeser, Katharine | MSW | PhD

Areas of Expertise:





robyn_photoBrown-Manning, Robyn | LMSW | PhD

Areas of Expertise:
Child welfare
Family and group social work
African American families and networks of care
African American mothers raising sons
Critical, multicultural social work



burghardtStephenBurghardt, Stephen | PhD

Areas of Expertise:
Community organizing for the 21st century
Transformative models of agency leadership
Child welfare: improving front line practice/ issues of racial disparity and disproportionality
Ending the macro-micro divide through mindful practice
Cultural competency & cultural humility



epstein_carrieEpstein, Carrie | LCSW-R

Carrie Epstein, LCSW-R is Assistant Professor in Social Work at the Yale University Child Study Center, where she is Director of Clinical Services and Training at the Childhood Violent Trauma Center. Recognized nationally as an expert in the field of child trauma and disaster response, Ms. Epstein has been providing treatment, clinical supervision and consultation on developing new programs for children and families impacted by trauma and traumatic grief for over 20 years. As part of her current work, Ms. Epstein is responsible for developing and overseeing national training initiatives and national learning collaboratives focused on the dissemination of child trauma-focused evidence-based treatment models, and provides training and clinical supervision both locally and nationally on child trauma-focused treatment and practices. Prior to this position, Ms. Epstein was Senior Director of Child Trauma Programs at Safe Horizon in New York City, where she continues to be responsible for clinical oversight of Safe Horizon’s Child Advocacy Centers.



gonzalezGonzalez, Manny J. | MSW | PhD

Areas of Expertise:
Mental Health/Mental Illness
Application of Developmental and Psychodynamic Theories to Contemporary Clinical Practice
Health and Psychological Well-Being of Hispanics in the United States
Impact of Parental Mental Illness on Children
Relational and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Urban Contexts
Developmental and Psychodynamic Dimensions of Fatherhood and Fathering



kennedysKennedy, Shakira A | PhD

Shakira A. Kennedy has over 13 years of Clinical, Operation and Facility Management experience. She has worked in partnership with several community agencies to assist them in areas relating to start-up management; adoption/foster care homestudy evaluations and community assessments. Prior to her full-time academic appointment, Dr. Kennedy worked for a large not-for-profit organization as an Assistant Vice President for Programs where was responsible for over 700 client beds and directly supervised Assistant Program Directors. Concurrently, she was an Adjunct professor for Touro Graduate School of Social work for seven years, teaching Research I & II, Policy I & II; Power, Privilege & Oppression; Organizational Context; and Licensing Preparation. Currently Dr. Kennedy is a full-time Assistant Professor at Touro College.




 Kucinkis, Christine | LCSW

Christine Kucinskis, ACHP-SW, CSW-G, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker in the home care, hospital, and nursing home settings with a Geriatric Certificate through the NASW. Kucinskis has been a hospice, palliative care, and geriatric social worker since 2001. She is currently at the Metropolitan Jewish Health System delivering direct services to clients as well as professional development workshops for MSW interns.  She is a Social Work Team Leader that supervises two teams of social workers at MJHS.  She also has been involved in teaching Continued Education courses through Manhattan Psychological Association, SWHPN and Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work.



macleodlMacLeod, Laura | LMSW

Laura MacLeod, LMSW. With a background in social work and 2 decades of experience as a union worker, Laura MacLeod created From The Inside Out Project® with all levels of employment in mind to assist in maintaining a harmonious workplace. She is an adjunct professor in graduate studies at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work and leads training sessions for social work professionals at The Coalition for Behavioral Health and Institute for Community Living in New York City. Laura speaks on conflict resolution, problem solving, and listening skills at conferences across the country and has been featured on CBS Moneywatch, Refinery29 and Human Talent Network.



mandibergMandiberg, James M. | MSW | PhD

Areas of Expertise:
Leadership and Management of Mission-based and Civil Society Organizations
Social Enterprise, Social Entrepreneurship, and Social Innovation
Social Sector Planning and Development
Community and Economic Development
Social Movement Studies



otuyelofOtuyelu, Folusho | LMSW | PhD

Dr. Otuyelu has been practicing in the field of social work for over 19 years. During her tenure, she has worked for prominent non-profit organizations and in the public sector. She has held a myriad of positions from direct practice to administrative and clinical supervisory roles. She has spent a significant number of years working with children, adolescents and their families in the mental health and child welfare areas of practice. Dr. Otuyelu is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Social Work at Touro College and continues to practice and consult as a clinical social worker and supervisor in New York City



pattersonPatterson, George | MS | PhD

Areas of Expertise:
Police Social Work
Stress and Coping Among Police Officers and Recruits
Criminal Justice




Rodriguez_Maria_smallRodriguez, Maria Y. | MSW | PhD

Areas of Expertise:
Social policy (macro and micro levels)
Community organizing
Data science
Mixed research methods
Housing – Federal housing policy, affordable housing, homeownership, Latino housing market participation



tricia_stephens2Stephens, Tricia | MSW | LCSW-R | PhD

Areas of Expertise:
The Effects of Historical and Contemporary Trauma on Mental Health Functioning for People of the African Diaspora
Child Welfare – The Intersection of Parental Trauma Exposure and Family Stability


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