Faculty & Instructors

Alford, Sabretta G. | MA | LMSW

Sabretta is a licensed social worker with over 17 years of education/training experience.  She received a Master Degree in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College- clinical track with individuals, families and groups and is certified in the Field of Aging Practice.  Her area of focus Aging with Intellectual Disabilities/Autism where she continues to gain additional experience and insight in the field of social work practice, working with diverse populations.  Sabretta Alford is the Program Manager of the Behavioral Health Care Coordination Training of Continuing Education at the Silberman School of Social Work and a Social Worker at Resolution Counseling Services.

As a mother of child with Autism and Intellectual Disability, Sabretta served as an Early Childhood Trainer for Program Directors that include topics such as, Suspecting Developmental Delays in Young Children: screening and identification, eligibility and diagnosis, IEP development and placement, instructional planning, and evaluation.  In addition, Sabretta continues to serve as an independent advocate/consultant in which she assists families of individuals with Intellectual Disabilities/Autism how to access to resources and services to promote family overall health and well-being.



Aymer, 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.



Bloeser, Katharine | MSW | PhD

Areas of Expertise:




Brown-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



Burghardt, 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



Andrea J. Calabrese | LCSW | CASAC

Andrea J. Calabrese, MSW (Hunter College School of Social Work) is a licensed clinical social worker and a credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counsleor.  She is currently working on her DSW (Doctorate of Social Work) at Rutgers University. Andrea has spent over ten years working in the areas of substance abuse and mental health treatment as well as homelessness and supportive housing. She currently holds the position of adjunct lecturer and Field Advisor at Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work as well as Adelphi University. She instructs substance abuse CASAC course work at Outreach Training Institute.  She is also a master trainer and curriuclum developer who has spent many years in the field training and educating social service staff throughout New York City and State in the areas of homelessness, addiction, emotional and behavioral health concerns as well as team building, staff development and supervision.



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.



Gonzalez, 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.



Mandiberg, 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



Patterson, George | MS | PhD

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



Rodriguez, 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



Stephens, 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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