From June 14 through June 16, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College hosted the 18th Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress, organized by Professor Michael Lewis in collaboration with the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network and Basic Income Canada. In 2017, Silberman was the first American school of social work to host a NABIG Congress. This year, more than 150 participants came together at the School’s East Harlem, New York campus from across the United States and internationally. Their transdisciplinary conversations focused on developments and opportunities in the universal basic income (UBI) movement, and reflected their diverse professional and disciplinary backgrounds – from social work to philosophy to economic policy – while intersecting in their common commitment to questions of socio-economic security. The entire Silberman and Hunter College community commends Professor Lewis and our co-organizing partners, as well as all staff colleagues who assisted, for the success of this significant conference.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College proudly graduated its Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work classes of Spring 2019 at two ceremonies – the Silberman School of Social Work Recognition Ceremony and 219th Hunter College Commencement – on Wednesday, May 29.
In Hunter’s historic Assembly Hall that morning, a record-setting 500+ MSW graduates were recognized alongside the School’s second cohort of BSW graduates, 48 strong, at its dedicated Recognition Ceremony. The Recognition Ceremony was an exuberant event celebrating students’ individual and collective achievements. Thirteen MSW students received awards for excellence in course work, writing, and field education; and BSW graduates were applauded for their outstanding academic performance. In total, more than 550 graduating students crossed the Assembly Hall stage to the uplifting cheers of their friends, families, and colleagues.
Silberman was privileged to welcome as its distinguished keynote speaker Dr. Mary Pulido, the Executive Director of The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and an Adjunct Professor at the School. In addition to Dr. Pulido, MSW graduate Nandini Ahuja gave an inspiring address to the assembly; Hunter College Provost Lon Kaufman delivered moving remarks; Professors Andrea Savage and Terry Mizrahi were honored for their faculty service of nearly 40 years each; and Associate Dean Caroline Rosenthal Gelman was recognized as she ends her service in that role and assumes the role of MSW Program Director.
The exuberance of the Silberman Recognition Ceremony was matched just a few hours later by the 219th Hunter College Commencement, held for all graduating Hunter College students at Madison Square Garden. With extraordinary enthusiasm, more Silberman School of Social Work graduates took part in this College-wide ceremony than ever before. During the ceremony, graduates heard motivating remarks from keynote speaker and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton along with Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab.
The Silberman School of Social Work community sincerely thanks all those who made the Recognition Ceremony and Hunter College Commencement such a special moment for each graduate, their families, and their networks of support. Special gratitude goes to Director of Student Services Rob Lorey for his tireless dedication in executing this event; Assistant Director of Student Services Alicia Greene, Student Services Office Manager Leslie Casanova, and all Student Services staff; and all faculty, staff, and students for their contributions to ensure such a successful celebration.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College commends Dr. Gerald P. Mallon, Associate Dean of Scholarship and Research and Julia Lathrop Professor of Child Welfare, whose seminal book LGBTQ Youth Issues: A Practical Guide for Youth Workers Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth was released this month in its third edition. First published in 2001, with a second edition in 2010, this text has been a transformative and widely respected resource for social service professionals who work with LGBTQ young people. The newest edition incorporates the most recent research and evidence to help guide affirming practice relationships.
Dr. Mallon is an internationally recognized expert on LGBTQ youth and family issues, particularly as they relate to child welfare, adoption, and permanency planning. In 1997, he established the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections at the Hunter College (now Silberman) School of Social Work, which remains under his leadership as the National Center for Child Welfare Excellence (NCCWE). His teaching and research have significantly shaped the School’s acclaimed child welfare practice specialization and its overall strength in educating for work with children and families.
Congratulations to Dr. Mallon!
Building upon its success two years ago as the first American school of social work to host the North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College will once again host this significant international conference.
The 18th Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
Saturday, June 15 – Sunday, June 16, 2019
Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
2180 Third Avenue (at 119th Street)
New York, NY 10035
2019 marks 50 years since a basic income guarantee was first introduced in the U.S. Congress. Basic income is once again on the policy agenda in North America. Pilot programs, controlled trials, documentaries, and debates are bringing basic income into mainstream policy conversations.
Organized by the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network, Basic Income Canada, and the Silberman School of Social Work, this year’s NABIG Congress will bring together researchers, activists, policymakers, and students from around North America and around the world who focus on universal basic income guarantee policy questions. Participants will discuss the implementation and financing of basic income policy in the U.S. and Canada, as well as alternative and complementary policies, such as conditional cash transfers and federal jobs guarantees. Discussions will also address the politics of efforts to get basic income on political party, social movement, and legislative agendas.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Andrew Yang, author, The War on Normal People (via teleconference)
- Jessie Golem, photographer, “Humans of Basic Income”
- Karl Widerquist, Georgetown University in Qatar
- Sukhi Samra, Stockton Basic Income Demonstration Project
- James Janeiro, Senior Policy Advisor to former Ontario Premier
- Michael A. Lewis, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
- Michael Howard, University of Maine, USBIG
- Almaz Zelleke, New York University Shanghai
- Sheila Regehr, Basic Income Canadian Network
- Peter Frase, author, Four Futures: Life after Capitalism
The 2019 NABIG Congress is FREE – However, attendees are kindly asked to register in advance. To learn more and register click here.
We hope you’ll be able to join us for this important and exciting conference.
Dr. Gerald P. Mallon, Associate Dean for Scholarship and Research at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, and Director of Continuing Education and Licensure Dr. Patricia Gray both received the National Association of Social Workers-New York City Chapter (NASW-NYC) Ruby Leader Award at the Chapter’s 12th Annual Leadership Awards Dinner on March 28. The Ruby Leader Award recognizes individuals with more than 25 years of leadership experience in the Social Work profession, reflecting the core qualities of “passion, courage, and emotion.” In particular, this esteemed award is given to leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to the Social Work profession while demonstrating a commitment to cross-cultural, anti-racist, and intersectional perspectives and practice. The Hunter College community warmly congratulates Dr. Mallon and Dr. Gray on this very well-deserved honor!
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College was well-represented with an impressive, productive delegation at the 2019 Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), held in January in San Francisco, CA.
This year’s conference theme, Ending Gender-Based, Family and Community Violence, spurred crucial conversations bridging social work research, practice, and education – and echoing the mission and values of both the Silberman community and the social work profession. Hundreds of attendees came together from around the country and the world to take part.
Making outstanding contributions to these conversations, 12 Silberman faculty members presented their research in more than 20 paper and poster sessions, roundtable discussions, workshops, and symposia across four days. Their work – including several collaborations among SSSW colleagues and with external researchers – covered an array of topics as diverse as the courses they teach, from mental health outcomes for child welfare-involved teens; to community organizing as post-traumatic healing for Black youth; to the use of algorithmic and digital data in social services; and so much more.
Click here for a full listing of faculty presentations delivered.
Alongside this slate of faculty research presentations, a dedicated team of support staff worked throughout the conference to ensure the School’s impact reached beyond session walls. They set up and staffed Silberman’s first official booth at a national conference, highlighting its programs and engaging with dozens of visitors over three days.
Staff also brought faculty contributions from San Francisco directly to viewers and friends around the world by sharing live in-session highlights on the School’s social media channels. More than 50 posts were published overall. Make sure to check them out on our Facebook and Twitter pages!
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College made an extraordinary showing at this annual conference – underscoring its intellectual excellence and, moreover, its mission of social work research and education in the public interest. The SSWR 2019 Annual Conference offers just a hint of what is to come from New York’s oldest and largest public school of social work.
Hunter College mourns the loss of Lois Silberman, a visionary philanthropist, who along with her beloved husband Buddy, had a deep commitment to social work education as a catalyst to improve NYC communities.
In the 1960s, Silbermans’ generosity helped Hunter build its renowned School of Social Work on East 79th Street. With their continued financial support and guidance, the School’s reputation flourished. Fifty years later, the Silberman family made possible the transformative relocation of our Social Work School to East Harlem, which we proudly rededicated as the Silberman School of Social Work.
Lois’s legacy will live on in our legions of Silberman Social Work graduates and the countless individuals, families, and communities they serve. Our deepest sympathy to Jayne and the Silberman family.
With profound sadness,
Jennifer J. Raab, President, Hunter College
Mary M. Cavanaugh, Dean, Silberman School of Social Work
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College is proud to recognize each of its outstanding faculty members who will be presenting at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) 2019 Annual Conference this week in San Francisco.
With this strong showing of sixteen faculty presenters at the Annual Conference, the Silberman School of Social Work exemplifies its commitment to social work research excellence – a commitment manifest in our classrooms, field practica, and community partnerships throughout the year.
The Silberman School of Social Work is once again excited to partner with the New York City Department of Homeless Services to carry out the 2019 HOPE and Shadow Count – an annual count of those across the five boroughs who are experiencing homelessness and are unsheltered, taking place overnight this January 28th into the 29th.
The Shadow Count involves paid “decoys” who are stationed in pairs throughout the city. As they are located by the same volunteers who count the population experiencing homelessness unsheltered, these decoys help measure the HOPE Count’s overall accuracy. Over the next few weeks, the Silberman School of Social Work will recruit and train all decoys to participate on the night of the 28th.
We want you to join us and become part of this important, impactful evening.
Compensation: All decoys earn $85.
Learn more: https://shadowcount.commons.gc.cuny.edu/
Register now: http://bit.ly/shadowcount
Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NYCShadowCount
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shadow Count Hotline: 212-396-7766
Dr. Mimi Abramovitz, the Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, received the prestigious Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) at its Annual Program Meeting last week in Orlando.
This award recognizes a social work educator’s exemplary achievements in research, scholarship, pedagogy, curriculum development, and organizational leadership over their entire career. In 2004, Professor Abramovitz received CSWE’s Award for Distinguished Recent Contributions to Social Work Education.
The 2018 award was presented to Professor Abramovitz at a special luncheon on Sunday, November 11, capping four exciting days of learning and collaboration among social work educators from around the country. Colleagues, peers, and friends of Professor Abramovitz were present in full volume to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments reflected in this award.
Professor Abramovitz also received special recognition from the Silberman School of Social Work’s Dean Mary Cavanaugh (pictured with Professor Abramovitz) and dozens of Hunter community members at the School’s dedicated reception on Saturday evening, November 10.
The entire Silberman School of Social Work and Hunter College communities warmly congratulate Dr. Abramovitz on this outstanding and well-deserved honor.
The Silberman School of Social Work’s Professor Sarah-Jane (S.J.) Dodd has been awarded a cooperative agreement grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as part of a major NCI-funded collaboration announced this month between Hunter College and Temple University to reduce cancer-related health disparities in the New York-Philadelphia corridor.
Dr. Dodd’s sub-award, a U-54 grant scheduled to run for five years, will fund her role in research planning and process/outcome evaluation vital to the success of the $13.5 million project. Working with Hunter colleagues across numerous schools and departments, as well as collaborators from Temple in Philadelphia, Dr. Dodd’s contributions will help address the significant barriers to cancer diagnosis, treatment, and service access that disproportionately affect minority communities in the northeastern United States.
Dr. Dodd and the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College are uniquely well-positioned to advance the aims of this groundbreaking partnership, described by Principal Investigator Dr. Olorunseun Ogunwobi as “identifying research-based solutions to overcome disparities, improving quality of life and health outcomes, and building a racially diverse pipeline of cancer researchers and clinical providers.” The oldest and largest public school of social work in New York, Silberman is committed to social work excellence and evidence-based research in the interest of the public and the pursuit of social justice.
Earlier this month in Porto, Portugal, Associate Dean Dr. Gary Mallon delivered a keynote address at the fifteenth annual international conference of the European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF). Speaking to 700 participants from 45 countries, Dr. Mallon’s talk was titled, “Let’s Get this Straight – We aren’t: Building Professional Competency Toward Working with LGBTQ Youth in Schools and Residential Settings.”
Dr. Mallon is the Associate Dean for Scholarship and Research and Julia Lathrop Professor of Child Welfare at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. He is an internationally recognized expert on LGBTQ youth and family issues, who has championed a commitment to permanency and opportunity for the most vulnerable children and families for more than 40 years. In 1997, he established the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections, based at the School of Social Work, which remains under his leadership as the National Center for Child Welfare Excellence (NCCWE).
Underscored by his keynote address and contributions to the EUSARF conference, Dr. Mallon’s scholarship, practice, and advocacy have influenced policies relating to LGBTQ families and child welfare across the United States and the globe.
Faculty from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and two of Afghanistan’s leading universities, Kabul University and Herat University, came together in Cairo, Egypt last month for the third “Study Tour” of the Hunter College/Kabul University/Herat University Counseling Degree Partnership – a one-of-a-kind global partnership in social work education.
Active since 2016, this collaboration is led by principal investigator Martha Bragin, Associate Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work and Chair of the School’s Global Social Work and Practice with Immigrants and Refugees (GSWPIR) field of practice. It is supported by FHI-360 and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the University Support and Workforce Development Partnership (USWDP) initiative in Afghanistan. Combining Hunter’s resources and experience delivering the highest caliber of social work education across its 60-year history, with the unique human service needs and expertise of its Afghan partners, the Counseling Degree Partnership is developing rigorous academic programs in psychological counseling at both Kabul and Herat Universities. These programs will educate and train Afghan students to become professional psychological counselors reflecting, supporting, and transforming the lives of their fellow Afghans.
Throughout the life of this partnership, formal conferences called Study Tours have been vital opportunities for partner institutions to meet and mutually build knowledge and resources. Held in Cairo from August 15-21, the last Study Tour spurred extraordinary learning and productivity that bridged cultural contexts, languages, and topics.
Eleven faculty members and deans from Kabul and Herat Universities collaborated with Professor Bragin, co-PI Bree Akesson of Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University, Hunter/Silberman staff specialists, Dari-English translators, and consultants to ensure the strength of their counseling degree programs. Professor Gerald Mallon, Associate Dean for Scholarship and Research at the Silberman School of Social Work, facilitated workshops on key issues including research and scholarship; program policies; recruiting and retaining excellent students; and effectively managing program personnel. Dean Mallon was assisted by Jacob Gutter and Matthew Goldman, Silberman’s dedicated communications designer and writer, who worked with the Afghan faculty to develop international-grade digital resources and policy documents. By the end of the Study Tour, materials were in place to support both universities’ new programs in perpetuity.
The Counseling Degree Partnership, particularly the recent Study Tour, is a testament to the global reach of Hunter College and the Silberman
School of Social Work. This collaboration exemplifies how Hunter’s commitment to social work excellence in service to the public crosses borders and supports communities far and wide.
Dr. Anna Ortega-Williams is joining the Hunter College Silberman faculty as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Ortega-Williams is a social work scholar, practitioner, educator, and activist. She earned her doctorate from the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, having previously earned her MSW from Stony Brook University (SUNY) and her bachelor’s degree from Hunter College. Dr. Ortega-Williams is interested in the intersections of micro- and macro-level social work practice and aims to contribute to peer-led trauma recovery approaches that include social action. Her research focuses on the experiences and creative strategies of Black youth interrupting systemic violence and social inequities as a form of healing, post-traumatic growth, and recovery from historical trauma. Her dissertation explored the ways in which Black youth organizers in New York City were impacted by their participation in social and economic justice movements. Dr. Ortega-Williams also brings to her academic work 17 years of direct practice experience in individual, group, and family counseling, in addition to 14 years working as a director, program developer, capacity builder, and evaluator at the Red Hook Initiative.
Dr. Geetha Gopalan comes to the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College as an Associate Professor from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Her research focuses on the implementation of evidence-based mental health interventions with youth and families, particularly family-level interventions to improve youth mental health and reduce youth risk behavior among families with intensive service involvement and psychosocial needs (such as those involved in the child welfare system). Recently, she was the Principal Investigator on an NIMH-funded study to expand the implementation of a Multiple Family Groups (MFG) intervention to reduce child disruptive behavior difficulties, and she has participated in two NIMH-funded intervention research training institutes. Dr. Gopalan has also worked as a clinical practitioner in the New York City child welfare system and the child and adolescent emergency psychiatry program at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.
Dr. Rong Zhao joins the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work at the rank of Assistant Professor. She earned her doctorate from the Columbia University School of Social Work this past spring, and previously studied at the Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China. Dr. Zhao’s research deals with social welfare practice and policy in a global perspective. Her specific research interests include the human service workforce, gender in relation to nonprofits, volunteering, and service contracting. Dr. Zhao’s recent scholarship has analyzed the workplace gender inequality in the United States; service contracting and NGO development in China; and the impacts of social capital on volunteerism and philanthropy in urban China.
On Thursday, June 7, Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab hosted a special reception to celebrate the appointment of Dr. Mary M. Cavanaugh as Dean of the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. A great many members of the Hunter College and Silberman School of Social Work community came together for this jubilant event, held at the Silberman campus in East Harlem. Guests included faculty, staff, alumni, and senior administrators from numerous Hunter College Schools, and community representatives. They warmly welcomed Dr. Cavanaugh to the Deanship and heard moving remarks by President Raab; Associate Dean Dr. Gerald Mallon; and Dr. Cavanaugh herself.
Dr. Cavanaugh was appointed Dean of the Silberman School of Social Work in January 2018 after a competitive national search. She previously served as Interim Dean and, prior to that, Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs. You can read more about Dr. Cavanaugh and her appointment here.
“I am so deeply honored to lead this extraordinary School – the finest School of Social Work in the United States,” says Dr. Cavanaugh. “I am especially grateful that our School receives such strong support for its mission and for the core values of social work from Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab, Acting Provost Lon Kaufman, and our stellar faculty and staff. I truly cherish the opportunity to serve as Dean of the Silberman School of Social Work.”
Dispatches from Puerto Rico: SSSW student joins Hurricane Maria recovery effort with CUNY Service Corps
This summer, hundreds of CUNY student volunteers will travel to Puerto Rico for two-week deployments with the CUNY Service Corps, as part of New York’s commitment to the island’s recovery and rebuilding efforts. Silberman School of Social Work student Sheila Gamarra was there June 17-30 with the first team of Service Corps members to begin this vital work.
A rising second-year student in the Clinical Practice method, Sheila took note of her experiences serving communities with significant challenges and resilience – and she sent dispatches back to Silberman when she could.
We invite you to check out all of Sheila’s photos, videos, and reflections on our Facebook page along with the highlights below.
- June 21
“The work to be done was much harder and more physically intensive than I had imagined. However, it feels immensely rewarding. The team I am working with just finished our first roof.”
- June 26
“Today we started working on a new home. This is the third home my team and I are working on. The home-owners are an elderly couple and live by themselves. Our job consists of cleaning and disposing of belongings along with fixing their roof. The home-owners were so appreciative of our hard work and received us with love. They thanked us by giving us pineapples, soda and coffee which we all appreciated very much. I can’t help but feel that no matter how hard I work, I am not doing enough; however, the majority of my team along with other students feel the same way.”
- June 29
“Today was a bittersweet day, since it was my last day of work. I took a picture with home owners Israel and Miriam. We met for only a three-day period; however, they made an everlasting impression in my memory. I would not trade this experience for anything in the world.”
- July 1
“Looking back on my experience, I can say that I am extremely humbled, and I am beyond grateful for the commodities that we New Yorkers take for granted. The work that was accomplished wasn’t easy. The hot weather along with the strenuous physical labor made some days harder than others; However, seeing how thankful the homeowners were that they had not been forgotten in the long aftermath of Hurricane Maria made the sweat and tears worth it.”
- “As Social Work students, there are many lessons we are taught regarding how to help victims of traumatic life events. Being able to step into their homes and visibly see what they have gone through was a lesson in empathy that I will carry with me both professionally and personally. In a world where we place so much emphasis on money and materialistic possessions, I can definitely say that experiences like these are priceless.”
- June 21
Silberman School of Social Work professors Ilze Earner (pictured, left) and Colleen Henry (right) presented research this week at the 22nd Congress of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) in Prague, Czech Republic. The ISPCAN Congress convenes researchers and practitioners from all over the world who, like Professors Earner and Henry, are committed to child welfare. Their contributions reflect the global reach of the Silberman and Hunter College community.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College is proud to announce that Professor Willie Tolliver has received the 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching for Full-Time Faculty from Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab. This distinguished annual award recognizes one full-time Hunter faculty member who demonstrates outstanding teaching capability, talent, and commitment to their students. Nominations for the award came from across the College.
Professor Tolliver is a deeply respected educator, scholar, and community advocate, whose career-long dedication to social change through teaching, learning, and just practice exemplifies the Silberman School of Social Work mission. Because of Professor Tolliver’s contributions, the debilitating impact of racism and other oppressions on human functioning is better understood today. His work has also focused on helping students understand how systems of oppression influence education for social work practice.
Throughout the School and College community, Professor Tolliver is widely recognized for his abiding commitment to the core principles of the social work profession. Our heartfelt congratulations to Professor Tolliver on this outstanding, very well-deserved achievement!
Professor Tolliver will be recognized at a special reception for all 2018 Presidential Award winners:
Thursday, May 17
Faculty Dining Room: Hunter College West Building, 8th Floor
Kindly RSVP to the Office of Special Events at email@example.com or by calling 212-772-4007.
Jama Shelton, Assistant Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, has been recognized as an emerging LGBTQ leader in New York by the widely respected media organization City & State.
Professor Shelton is one of 10 individuals on this year’s Pride “Watch List” – part of City & State’s annual recognition of “the most influential LGBTQ leaders in government relations, business, culture and social services.” Along with their fellow leaders-to-watch, Professor Shelton has “garnered attention for excelling while taking on growing responsibility … on a path to become more influential in coming years.” Professor Shelton will be profiled in a special commemorative magazine released on June 11, alongside the others on this list and the 50 established figures on the 2018 Pride “Power List”, and honored at a reception that same day.
The entire Silberman School of Social Work community commends Professor Shelton on this extraordinary and well-deserved recognition.
On Wednesday evening, April 25, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College held our sixth annual Maria Rosenbloom Memorial Lecture: Lessons from the Holocaust for the 21st Century Refugee Crisis. The Rosenbloom Memorial Lecture Series honors the legacy of our former colleague Professor Maria Rosenbloom, an inestimable and fierce advocate for social justice who was committed to educating about the Holocaust as well as the experiences of refugees around the world.
This year’s keynote speaker was Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS, the world’s oldest organization dedicated to refugees. He was joined by three social work leaders, each a child of Holocaust survivors. Together, they forged an important dialogue on how to understand and assist today’s global refugees in light of lessons like those Professor Rosenbloom so powerfully taught here at Hunter. This special evening was well-attended, including a great many Silberman community members who came together to share in the conversation.
We are very grateful to all who made the 2018 Rosenbloom Lecture such a success. A special thank you goes to Professor Harriet Goodman for her work organizing the lecture, and the entire advisory committee for their vision and dedication: Martha Bragin, Daniel Gardner, Caroline Gelman, Alex Gitterman, Patricia Gray, Paul Kurzman, Gary Mallon, Terry Mizrahi, Gloria Rich, and Ana Paulino. The School community is particularly grateful to Dr. Alex Gitterman, whose remarkable support in memory of his aunt, Maria Rosenbloom, makes this annual event possible. Finally, appreciation goes to Matthew Goldman, Jacob Gutter, and the School’s Facilities and A/V teams.
The Silberman School of Social Work is proud to honor and uphold Professor Rosenbloom’s legacy through the Rosenbloom Memorial Lecture Series. Please stay tuned for updates about next year’s program.
Dr. Bob Schachter, Hunter Social Work Alumnus and Former NASW-NYC Director, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College warmly congratulates alumnus Dr. Robert (Bob) Schachter for receiving the Network for Social Work Management’s Chauncey Alexander Lifetime Achievement Award.
Established in 1989 in honor of esteemed social work leader Chauncey Alexander, this award recognizes “the entire career of exceptional social work managers that reflect [Alexander’s] passion and commitment to the social work profession.”
Dr. Schachter, who earned his MSW and DSW from the Hunter College School of Social Work (the latter in concert with the CUNY Graduate Center), is a highly accomplished leader in the Social Work profession in New York City and nationally. Across his career of more than 40 years and counting, he has demonstrated a deep dedication both to effective organizational and professional development and to fighting systemic social injustice – exemplifying not only Chauncey Alexander’s model but also the foundation of Social Work itself.
Dr. Schachter served for 27 years as the Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers New York City Chapter (NASW-NYC), one of the largest NASW chapters in the country, until his retirement in 2017. Among the many initiatives he undertook in this position, Dr. Schachter worked to develop and sustain the chapter’s commitment to racial equity and social justice. He co-founded and co-chaired the Latino Social Work Task Force, which has expanded support and opportunities for multicultural, multilingual social work students including raising over a half million dollars for Latino student scholarships; served as founding chair of the NYC Human Services Council’s Racial Equity Work Group; encouraged all NASW-NYC staff, board members, committee members, and more than 100 social service agency CEOs to attend Undoing Racism Workshops; and established a pathbreaking social work labor alliance.
Dr. Schachter was also instrumental to an overall expansion of professional opportunities and standards of excellence in Social Work. He developed some of the first, strongest, and most enduring partnerships between New York City’s social service professionals and its citywide agencies both public and private, including the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; the NYC Department for the Aging; and the New York Academy of Medicine. These significantly enhanced the role of social workers in community-engaged mental health care and advocacy across the metropolitan area. Dr. Schachter additionally led a major effort to achieve full licensure for social workers in New York State, and he was the architect behind mandatory continuing education for licensure renewal at a time when New York was the only state in the country to lack this professional development provision.
In recognizing Dr. Schachter with the Chauncey Alexander Lifetime Achievement Award, the Network for Social Work Management applauds his “rare and historic leadership,” ability to “think and act inside and outside of the box to bring about change,” and “extraordinary legacy from which others can learn and build.”
The entire Silberman School of Social Work and Hunter College community offers our congratulations to Dr. Schachter for this well-deserved honor reflecting his extraordinary contributions to the communities of New York and the profession of Social Work.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College is pleased to announce that Dr. Mimi Abramovitz, the Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy, will be honored by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) as the 2018 recipient of its prestigious Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award.
This award recognizes a social work educator’s exemplary achievements in research, scholarship, pedagogy, curriculum development, and organizational leadership over their entire career. In 2004, Dr. Abramovitz received CSWE’s Award for Distinguished Recent Contributions to Social Work Education.
The 2018 award will be presented at the CSWE Annual Program Meeting in Orlando, Florida, November 8-11.
The entire Silberman and Hunter communities warmly congratulate Dr. Abramovitz on this outstanding and well-deserved honor.
The Silberman School of Social Work proudly congratulates Adjunct Assistant Professor Antonio M. Young, a 2018 recipient of the Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund Leadership Award. Professor Young was honored at the Coalition’s Annual Gala on April 26, along with fellow Leadership Award winner and SSSW alumna Leslie Jeanette Marroquin-Soto (MSW ’06), among others. This esteemed award recognizes outstanding leadership and service in the Latino social work community. It is a fitting honor for Professor Young, a longtime faculty member and contributor to the Silberman community who is highly committed to his students’ success. Congratulations!
In February, the Silberman School of Social Work’s Professor Terry Mizrahi and Moses Distinguished Visiting Professor Darlyne Bailey traveled to Zefat, Israel, where they headlined the international macro social work conference “Making Macro Matter: Advancing Macro Social Work Education, Research and Practice.” As guests of Zefat and Tel Chai Colleges, Professors Mizrahi and Bailey presented the work of the U.S.-based Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work, which they lead together. Their contributions in Israel add to this year’s outstanding stories of the Silberman community at work around the world.
I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Mary Cavanaugh as the Dean of the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. Dr. Cavanaugh’s excellence was recognized through a national search representing a stellar candidate pool. Many of you had the opportunity to meet with finalists; your feedback was critical to the decision. I especially thank the search committee members Professors Alexis Kuerbis, Paul Kurzman, Vicki Lens, and Willie Tolliver, students Ana Aparicio Calderon and Andy Torres, and its chair Dr. Gail McCain, the Joan Grabe School of Nursing Dean.
Dr. Cavanaugh, a member of the Hunter Community since 2010, served as the Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs prior to being appointed as the Interim Dean. During her time as Associate and Interim Dean, the Silberman School experienced a significant increase in enrollment, while also launching a major initiative to increase first-time pass rates for MSW licensure. Drawing on impressive increases in the Silberman School’s external funding, Dr. Cavanaugh also strengthened faculty research support and funding. To enhance student success, Dr. Cavanaugh instituted full time academic advising, strengthened writing and technology support, and oversaw the implementation of our newly accredited undergraduate BSW program.
Dr. Cavanaugh holds a joint Ph.D. in Social Welfare and Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her primary research interests are focused on offender interventions decreasing the risk for violence in intimate partner relationships. She has authored numerous journal articles, books, and book chapters, worked nationally and internationally as a visiting scientist and teaching fellow in Germany, Turkey, England and Norway, and is a consultant to federal, state and local domestic violence agencies.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Cavanaugh to her new role as Dean of the Hunter College School of Social Work.
Jennifer J. Raab
President, Hunter College
Hunter College mourns the loss of Professor Eleanor Bromberg, who died on January 28, at age 84. A prolific scholar who taught clinical social work, Professor Bromberg joined the faculty in 1978. During her distinguished 31-year tenure, she inspired generations of students to devote their lives to serving those most in need.
Professor Bromberg made significant contributions to the fields of family social work, health, and mental health. She was particularly respected for influencing her profession’s approach to clinical supports for people with chronic mental health conditions.
Exemplifying Hunter’s unique mission and pedagogy, her research was closely tied to practice in service of vulnerable populations. At the School of Social Work itself, she helped make the Clinical Practice and Human Behavior in the Social Environment curricula the hallmarks of the program that they are today.
We were privileged to have known her during her extraordinary career.
With warm regards,
Jennifer J. Raab
President, Hunter College
Mary M. Cavanaugh
Acting Dean, Silberman School of Social Work
It is with much sadness we announce that our colleague George S. Getzel passed away on January 7, 2018, after a long illness. George was a long-time faculty member at the Hunter College School of Social Work, now the Silberman School of Social Work. He began his academic career in 1970, became a professor emeritus in 2002, and retired from teaching in 2009. George touched the lives of thousands of students, social workers and their clients through his teaching and writing, leaving an extraordinary professional legacy.
George was a passionate advocate of the group work method of social work. He was an inspiration to those of us privileged to have known him as a colleague and friend. His dedication to his students and his family was only surpassed by their devotion to him. The work of his social work students and the love of his family and friends will be his lasting legacy.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the fund George established to support Classics majors in need of financial assistance. Please click here and select “George Getzel Family Scholarship” to donate.
The family has not yet made plans for a memorial service, you may offer condolences by writing to:
The Getzel Family
3967 Sedgwick Avenue
Bronx, New York 10463
With warm regards,
Jennifer J. Raab
President, Hunter College
Mary M. Cavanaugh
Acting Dean, Silberman School of Social Work
Associate Dean Gerald P. Mallon Receives National Adoption Excellence Award in Washington, D.C. Ceremony
On Thursday, November 16 in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) presented its 2017 Adoption Excellence Award to Dr. Gerald P. Mallon – the Julia Lathrop Professor of Child Welfare and Associate Dean for Scholarship and Research at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
Dr. Mallon (pictured) received this distinguished award alongside fellow honorees at HHS’s National Adoption Month Celebration, held in the nation’s capital. The ceremony is available on the HHS YouTube channel: Part I and Part II (Dr. Mallon’s recognition is in Part II, from minute 18:10).
The Adoption Excellence Award has been given every year since 1997, by the HHS Administration for Children & Families (ACF) Children’s Bureau (CB). It recognizes individuals who “share and support HHS’s priority for permanency for children in public foster care” through their leadership, innovation, and dedication to the successful adoption of children from foster care.
Dr. Mallon is an internationally recognized expert on LGBTQ youth and family issues, particularly as they relate to child welfare, adoption, and permanency planning. Since joining the Hunter College (now Silberman) School of Social Work faculty in 1993, he has championed a commitment to permanency and opportunity for the most vulnerable children and families. In 1997, he established the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections, based at the School of Social Work, which remains under his leadership as the National Center for Child Welfare Excellence (NCCWE). His teaching and research have significantly shaped the School’s acclaimed child welfare practice specialization, and its overall strength in educating for work with children and families.
Dr. Mallon’s scholarship, teaching, advocacy, and training have also influenced major policy developments across the United States and globally, concerning LGBTQ children, youth, and families within the child welfare system.
The entire Silberman School of Social Work community commends Dr. Mallon for this much-deserved recognition of his extraordinary career serving children, youth, and families.
Hunter College is pleased to partner with the Manhattan DA’s Office adding to our already extensive engagement with the East Harlem community. With funding from them Hunter will play a key role in this important community based initiative by planning and developing the Community Navigator Program at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. This program connects individuals in the East Harlem community to resources and services and expertly navigates individuals who have unmet service needs in the community, linking them to vital, quality services that they want or need but may not currently accessing. The focus of our work is with those who have been affected by domestic violence and with young people (ages 14 to 21) who are at risk of becoming involved in the justice system.
Contact Juan Santiago (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information about the Community Navigators Program.
Last Thursday, the Silberman School of Social Work proudly welcomed Hunter College sophomores and juniors in the Macaulay Honors College and Hunter Honors Scholars cohorts to its East Harlem campus, as part of an exciting inter-disciplinary event.
Hosted by Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab, these outstanding undergraduate students came to learn more about the array of Hunter programs, departments, and initiatives based in East Harlem, while enjoying fine barbecue fare and sunny Summer weather to match.
Together with colleagues from the Community Health, Food & Nutrition, and All in East Harlem programs, an exemplary team represented Silberman’s nationally recognized Master’s and Bachelor’s programs in Social Work: (pictured, from left to right) Michelle Desir, Director of Enrollment Management; Warren K. Graham, Director of Field Education for the BSW Program; and Professor Patricia L. Dempsey, Director of the BSW Program.
Thanks to them, and to all who were present, the event was a true success, showcasing the many meaningful ways and opportunities for undergraduates to become part of Hunter’s thriving East Harlem community.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College stands firmly with Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab in support of our extraordinary DACA students. Every day, across our school community, we demonstrate a deep and abiding commitment to these talented, motivated, and resilient individuals. We are determined to support our DACA students in every way we can, and to ensure that they become the professional social workers they dream to be in the society they call home – students who, in the words of President Raab, “flourish in their studies and launch themselves into careers that benefit our city, our state and our nation.”
Mary M. Cavanaugh, PhD
Statement from Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab on Dreamer Legislation
We want to assure our DACA students that we are determined to be a source of comfort and support to the nearly 650 Dreamers who are now enrolled at Hunter College. We regularly witness the great challenges these students face and the extraordinary courage and determination with which they meet them. And we see first-hand how, when they are given the opportunity, they flourish in their studies and launch themselves into careers that benefit our city, our state and our nation.
We will continue to provide support, guidance, and financial assistance where possible to our Dreamers. Due to the generous support of the Grove Fund, Hunter College is one of a limited number of academic institutions providing some financial assistance to Dreamers. We are also among the largest colleges partnering with TheDream.US to provide Dreamers with the opportunity to get a college education. DACA students benefiting from these programs have already been informed that their financial assistance will not be impacted.
It is imperative now for Congress to develop a sensible, compassionate policy to give legal status to the nation’s 800,000 DACA young people. All New Yorkers are counting on our elected representatives – led by Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand as well as our district’s own Representative Carolyn Maloney- to be in the forefront of this urgent legislative issue. We join with Governor Andrew Cuomo in urging them to pass legislation quickly to protect our Dreamers.
There are thousands of determined Dreamers with moving stories who have come out of our college and schools all across America. At our most recent graduation in May, we celebrated four Dreamers who excelled academically and who are determined to give back to the only homeland they have ever really known.
One came from South Korea at age 9 knowing no English, and went on to become an honors student and set records in track and field. Her undocumented status prevented her from joining the U.S. Junior Olympic team, but far from being discouraged she excelled as a chemistry major at Hunter with a 3.8 GPA. Her plans call for doing clinical research at Stanford Medical School. She wishes to apply to medical school; however, her undocumented status will limit the number of schools this accomplished graduate can apply to and her ability to secure financial assistance.
Another was brought to America from Peru at 11. She dreamt of a career in medicine, but found it impossible to even volunteer at a hospital without a Social Security number. Finally, thanks to DACA, she was able to intern at Elmhurst Hospital. She graduated with a 3.4 GPA and will work as a medical scribe.
Yet another remembers holding his mom’s hand at age 3 as they crossed the border from Mexico. He struggled in school, but one morning in the guidance counselor’s office when he was being threatened with expulsion, he looked at the tears in his mother’s eyes and determined to make all her sacrifices worth it. He stayed in school, worked to save money, and made it to Hunter, where he graduated with a 3.6 GPA in psychology. He intends to get his masters in counseling to help others the same way his guidance counselor helped him.
The fourth Dreamer was just 8 when she was brought to America from the Dominican Republic. She became not only the first in her family to graduate from college, but joined her sister in the family’s first generation to graduate from high school. She earned a 3.8 GPA at Hunter while serving as an advocate for other Dreamers and helping high school students get into college. She was awarded a prestigious post-graduate fellowship at Hunter College and will go on to get a Ph.D. in education policy to continue advocating for the underserved.
These four stories speak volumes about the sacrifices Dreamers are making so they can contribute to America. Congress should recognize and honor their achievements by legalizing their status. Let us always remember that no civilized nation criminalizes the conduct of innocent children.
Click here to read the statement from Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab on Dreamer Legislation on Hunter College’s website.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, in partnership with The Children’s Village, proudly recognizes its 2017-2018 Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Scholarship Recipients (pictured, left to right):
Jonaly Alejandro (First-Year; Organizational Management and Leadership)
Katrina Lopez (First-Year; Clinical Practice)
Hector Hernandez (Second-Year; Community Organizing, Planning and Development)
Kristina Coleman (Second-Year; Organizational Management and Leadership)
Established in 1985, the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Scholarship Program is a unique partnership between the Silberman School of Social Work; a leading private foundation; and The Children’s Village, one of metropolitan New York’s oldest and most impactful social service agencies. Generous funding from the Frueauff Foundation enables Children’s Village employees to earn their Master of Social Work (MSW) degrees at Silberman while remaining employed, as students in the School’s renowned One-Year Residency (OYR) Program.
This year’s two continuing and two new Scholarship Recipients demonstrate academic and professional excellence, and an extraordinary commitment to child welfare. Silberman congratulates them!
From June 15 through June 18, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College hosted the 16th Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress, led by Associate Professor Michael Lewis in collaboration with the U.S. Basic Income Network, Basic Income Canada, Basic Income NYC and the Economic Security Project. The four-day conference featured a special kickoff panel and reception on Thursday evening, June 15, at Hunter’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, followed by three dynamic days of presentations, panels and plenary sessions at the Silberman East Harlem campus.
Nearly 150 participants came together, representing several countries and a wide array of disciplines, to discuss developments and opportunities in the universal basic income (UBI) movement. Social workers were brought into dialogue with Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs; philosophers with community organizers and economists; activist-artists and musicians with historians of social change; and more. They exchanged insights and ideas that reflected their diverse backgrounds while intersecting in their common commitment to social and economic policy.
As the first American school of social work to host a NABIG Congress, the Silberman School of Social Work is grateful to Professor Lewis, whose vision and efforts made this year’s congress such a success, as well as to Associate Dean Gary Mallon for his careful oversight; Patricia Gray, Jacob Gutter and Matthew Goldman for their contributions; and all members of the Silberman community who provided support during the conference. Silberman warmly congratulates Professor Lewis and our co-organizers for this outstanding achievement.
We have just concluded an outstanding academic year at the Silberman School of Social Work! I am very grateful for – and inspired by – all of your dedicated work, talent, and commitment to our School community throughout the year. The past month has been particularly exciting, with many notable events and achievements to celebrate. I am so very pleased to share some recent highlights with you all:
On May 30, Silberman proudly held its Recognition Ceremony for the Class of Spring 2017 at Hunter’s Assembly Hall. A record-setting 443 graduates took part in the ceremony. This year’s extraordinary graduating class represented all MSW degree pathways, Practice Methods, and Field of Practice Specializations. Fifteen students received awards for excellence in academics, writing, and field work. We were especially honored to welcome distinguished keynote speaker Dr. Jeremy Kohomban, President and CEO of The Children’s Village and President of Harlem Dowling; and Alumni Trailblazer Award recipient Carrie Davis, an inspiring advocate for LGBTQ health and mental health. The Social Work graduates were also recognized during the 215th Hunter College Commencement later that day at Radio City Music Hall.
My very special thanks go to Rob Lorey, our Director of Student Services, as well as to Leslie Casanova and Lina Briscese and all those who tirelessly contributed to make our Recognition Ceremony such a joyful success. I would also like to thank the Silberman faculty and staff, for so jubilantly attending the Recognition Ceremony and the Hunter Commencement as well. It is truly a privilege to work with such wonderfully committed and dedicated colleagues.
On May 18, Silberman hosted the Fifth Annual Maria Rosenbloom Memorial Lecture, BESA: A Code of Honor – Albanian Muslims who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust. The stirring evening brought together diverse representatives from Jewish and Albanian Muslim communities, to discuss an extraordinary story of interfaith collaboration and resistance during the Holocaust. Accompanying photographs by Norman Gershmann were exhibited in the Silberman lobby. This year’s Rosenbloom Memorial Lecture was an inspiring success, thanks to the commitment and leadership of Professor Harriet Goodman and the Advisory Committee – Professor Emerita Rose Starr; Professors Gary Mallon, Ana Paulino, and Paul Kurzman; Gloria Rich; and Dr. Alex Gitterman, for whose generosity we are extremely grateful.
On May 19, our Belle and George Strell Executive Leadership Fellows Program celebrated its 2016-2017 Fellows – the third graduating cohort – with a recognition ceremony at the School. Each Fellow was honored, along with the Coaches who worked one-on-one with them and the Speakers who shared valuable leadership expertise. The year-long Strell Fellows Program gives experienced social service managers the added skills they need to obtain senior, executive-level positions in human social service organizations. Our special thanks go to Robin Avram, the Executive Director of the Strell Fellows Program, and Professor Jim Mandiberg for his consistent support and service to the program.
On May 5, the School hosted the Third Annual Silberman Aging Conference, Aging in Uncertain Times: The Struggles and Strengths of Aging in NYC. More than 150 people attended this full-day conference, which featured over twenty presentations on the current landscape and innovative future of aging services and policies in New York City, representing a diverse range of local, community-based organizations. The conference was a great success thanks to the dedicated efforts of Dr. Nancy Giunta, Rebekah Glushefski, MSW intern Stephanie Ruiz, and the Conference Planning Committee, as well as all Silberman Aging faculty and staff.
On May 17, the Policy Track, within our Community Organizing, Planning and Development (COP&D) Method, held a certificate celebration to recognize its outstanding 2017 graduates. This wonderful program is led by Professor Mimi Abramowitz. We are so very proud of these graduates.
Wonderful news to share: Assistant Professor Colleen Cary Katz and her husband, Joshua, welcomed their beautiful baby girl, Anna Cary Katz, on April 26!
Finally, a very special congratulations to Rob Lorey – our newly appointed Director of Student Services. During this past academic year, Rob has been an extraordinary Acting Director of Student Services. We look forward to working with Rob in his new role!
I wish you all a wonderful summer!
Mary M. Cavanaugh
On Tuesday, May 30, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College proudly graduated its Class of Spring 2017 in a stirring Recognition Ceremony at Hunter’s historic Assembly Hall.
A record-setting 443 graduates took part in the ceremony. They represented Silberman’s Two-Year Full-Time, One Year Residency (work-study), Accelerated and Advanced Standing programs; two dual-degree programs; three Practice Methods; and five Field of Practice Specializations.
The graduates heard opening remarks by Acting Dean Mary M. Cavanaugh, who called on them to carry forward Social Work’s core tradition of using evidence to fight injustice. They then heard from distinguished keynote speaker Dr. Jeremy Kohomban, President and CEO of The Children’s Village and Harlem Dowling; Alumni Trailblazer Award honoree Carrie Davis; and two of their fellow graduates, Jordan Molina and Lucille Sandoval, who gave inspiring addresses to the class. 15 students received awards for excellence in academics, writing and field work. At the height of the ceremony, graduates crossed the stage to cheers from family, friends, faculty and staff.
The graduating class was also recognized during Hunter’s 215th Commencement later that day at Radio City Music Hall, led by Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab.
These former “social workers of tomorrow” are now the social workers of today. The entire Silberman School of Social Work community warmly congratulates the intelligent, passionate, committed, social justice-focused, diverse and fierce Class of Spring 2017!
A slideshow of the Silberman Spring 2017 Recognition Ceremony is available here.
More photos, videos and news from the 215th Hunter College Commencement can be found here.
The Silberman School of Social Work warmly congratulates our colleague Leora Shudofsky, who has received a Hunter College Presidential Award for Excellence – The Cecile B. Insdorf Award for Excellence in Teaching for Part-Time Faculty.
Leora has been a valued member of the Hunter College social work community for nearly a decade, as the Co-Director of PROVE: Project for Return and Opportunity in Veteran’s Education and a part-time faculty member. The Presidential Award recognizes Leora’s extraordinary teaching and dedicated service to her students, colleagues, and the entire Silberman and Hunter College community. Her excellence inspires all of us; and we are very proud that she has been recognized with this much-deserved honor.
Leora was celebrated along with five other Presidential Award recipients at a special reception on May 16.
Our most heartfelt congratulations to Leora!
Carrying on the Silberman School of Social Work’s tradition of cross-cultural engagement, second-year Clinical Practice MSW student Heather Armijo has received the Fulbright English Teaching Award to teach college-level English in Colombia. A hallmark of the Fulbright Foundation’s travel scholarship portfolio, this prestigious award places Americans in school settings around the world, where they help teach English and facilitate cultural exchange.
For Heather, the award presents a unique chance to strengthen her capacity as a globally engaged social worker. “This would be an extraordinary opportunity,” she says, “to work with students in a Colombian university and see from the other side – why do students want to learn English, and how does the U.S. shape that? – as well as to share U.S. Chicano culture abroad, showing that in the present climate there are people who want to foster this connection.”
Receiving the Fulbright reflects the commitment and rigor Heather has brought to her social work education, especially in her Field of Practice Specialization, Global Social Work and Practice with Immigrants and Refugees (GSWPIR).
Heather sees global social work as an endeavor grounded in local communities. She traces her interest in the global, itself, to the locality of her own roots in New Mexico, where her family has lived since the pre-colonial period. Her “strong Chicano pride,” she explains, is what first motivated her to learn more about Latin American cultures and their diasporas within the United States. Before coming to Silberman, Heather studied Latin American and Gender Studies at Fordham University; studied abroad in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala; and helped recent immigrants and refugees heal from trauma as an AmeriCorps service member in Los Angeles.
The GSWPIR specialization chaired by Professor Martha Bragin, together with Clinical Practice, has helped make Silberman “a great fit” for Heather – and an environment which thoroughly prepared her to pursue the Fulbright. Writing policy briefs for her immigration policy course with Dagan Bayliss encouraged her to bridge micro-level and macro-level perspectives. The GSWPIR Platform Course she took with Sam Guzzardi gave her new tools for developing her role and impact in communities whose members come from many different places. Both Bayliss and Guzzardi are adjunct faculty members with extraordinary professional experience in immigrant services.
“In classes, the focus is on culturally informed, culturally engaged work,” Heather says. “Asking questions about your own position when building relationships with others… taught me how to learn from others, both about themselves and about my own role. That framework is such an excellent starting point for engaging with [Colombian] students, families, and even other social workers.”
Silberman and Hunter College also gave Heather a vital support network as she made her way through the highly selective application process. She worked closely with Assistant Professor Katharine Bloeser, Associate Dean Caroline R. Gelman, Writing Program Director Christopher Hartley, and Hunter’s college-wide coordinator of scholarships and grants Myrna Fader, on six drafts of her application – which included a purpose statement, a personal statement, language proficiency, and three recommendations.
In addition to the ongoing mentorship she received from Silberman faculty, Heather emphasizes, “Christopher Hartley at the Writing Center was a huge help. I couldn’t have done it without him. And Myrna at 68th Street was immensely helpful.” All together, she articulates, she was buoyed by “the coordination and collaboration between all these resources.”
With her graduation around the corner and the Fulbright award in hand, Heather underlines the value of what she has learned at Silberman, more important now than ever.
“You can’t be a social worker without engaging global populations,” she affirms. “It is our responsibility to be aware of, and to be able to work with, issues facing global communities.”
The entire Silberman School of Social Work community proudly congratulates Heather, and wishes her the best of luck as she furthers this responsibility in her next chapter.
On Monday, May 8, second-year Clinical Practice MSW student Bess Abrahams was given the distinction of representing Silberman at the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) Ninth Annual Social Work Student Night. She delivered a poster and oral presentation on original research she conducted with a team of colleagues, which was recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pain, titled “A Randomized Trial of Yoga for Children Hospitalized with Sickle Cell Vaso-Occlusive Crisis.” This project addresses a significant gap in research on non-pharmacological pain management for children with Sickle Cell Disease, and elucidates serious racial disparities in health care. On the experience of sharing her work, and her Silberman training, in such an esteemed scientific academy, Bess says,
“I was honored to represent Silberman at the New York Academy of Medicine’s social work student night and share the findings from a study I worked on during my time here. Our study [in Journal of Pain] found that a yoga protocol that focused on mindfulness, breathing, movement and meditation had a clinically significant effect in reducing pain in children hospitalized for a Vaso-Occlusive pain crisis.
“When I looked out at the people in attendance I was bolstered by the number of professors who came out to hear about the study and to learn about all the other social work students who were doing interesting and important work both nationally and internationally.”
The study Bess presented can be found here.
The entire Silberman community warmly congratulates Bess on this wonderful achievement.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (SSSW) is pleased to announce that it will host the 16th Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress, June 15 – June 18, 2017. There is no fee to attend the Congress; however, attendees are kindly asked to register in advance. Please click here to find out more and register.
The Silberman School of Social Work proudly recognizes Rachel Chernick, LCSW, a doctoral candidate in the Silberman-CUNY Graduate Center PhD Program in Social Welfare, for receiving this year’s Anne Rosen Noran Dissertation Award. This prestigious award will support her toward completion of her dissertation.
Rachel is a highly accomplished scholar and researcher, and an Adjunct Professor at Silberman. Her work focuses on substance abuse, particularly transitions from non-prescription opioid use to heroin use among young adult populations. Her rigorous, evidence-based scholarship is informed by many years of clinical practice, including her service as the Program Director of the Opioid Treatment Program at the Addiction Institute of New York, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital (now Mount Sinai St. Luke’s). Rachel’s intellectual seriousness and commitment to serving vulnerable groups exemplify the best of Silberman.
The award, established by Social Welfare doctoral program graduate Anne Rosen Noran (’98), is awarded to one Level III PhD student annually. The entire Silberman community congratulates Rachel on this honor.
On Saturday, March 4, the Silberman School of Social Work (SSSW) hosted the Disabilities Initiatives Roundtable at its East Harlem campus, bringing together more than two dozen disability experts and advocates from the United States and Russia. Professor Ilze Earner helped to coordinate the event with the Eurasia Foundation, a longtime partner in cross-cultural social welfare research. Participants exchanged insights from disability initiatives in their distinct cultural contexts; and strategized to build sustainable partnerships around shared goals of inclusion, equity and empowerment for disabled people. SSSW is proud to foster this ongoing conversation, which benefits communities close to home and across the world.
On March 31, Associate Professor Samuel R. Aymer joined colleagues Mark Christian (African & African-American Studies, Lehman College) and Stanley Thangaraj (Anthropology, City College) for a Conversation with Male Faculty of Color at the CUNY Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2017. He discussed the unique challenges and opportunities that male faculty of color experience as they educate today’s CUNY students, and received a wonderful reception. Professor Aymer, whose research focuses on race and masculinity, chairs the Clinical Practice method area at Silberman. The CUNY Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Conference, now in its third year, was themed “CUNY at the Crossroads: Diversity and Intersectionality in Action.”
The Faculty-Student Senate at the Silberman School of Social Work is a vital component of community and civic life within the School, and its impact is felt well beyond. The Senate is a governing body that brings faculty and student representatives together for collaborative debate and decision-making. The School is excited to feature profiles of five students serving on the Senate this year – Jordan Molina, Thomas Szlezak, Julia Sick, Joniel Thomas, and Andrew Belcher.
As the Senate expands, it is looking for new members to continue building its momentum. We hope that current students will take this outstanding opportunity to get involved – inspired by the extraordinary work these five Senate members do to shape the Silberman community.
You can read the profiles here.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College-CUNY has established the National Child Trauma Workforce Institute (NCTWI), whose mission focuses on preparing new and experienced clinicians for trauma-informed work with children and families. The institute expands the Silberman School of Social Work’s capacity to address a pervasive major public health problem- the often-unrecognized impact of violence and trauma exposure in childhood. It will accomplish this by providing enhanced trauma-informed consultation, program development, staff development and an accredited post-master’s trauma training curriculum.
The Institute’s Founding Director Dr. Robert Abramovitz is a nationally recognized leader in the study of trauma’s impact on children, families and communities.
The new Institute draws on an extensive successful seven-year track record of training social work students and community agencies for evidence-based child trauma assessment and treatment. Support for the NCTWI comes from a new five-year, $3 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It will enable the Center to build upon its experience preparing “the next generation of trauma-informed practitioners”. As a continuing member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), the Institute will work to expand child trauma workforce development for clinicians and trainees in four key mental health disciplines. NCTSN membership also gives the institute access to other leading child trauma experts and to sophisticated resources for policy makers, parents, teachers and pediatricians.
Locally, the institute will continue educating Silberman School of Social Work students and graduates to become part of New York City’s trauma-informed workforce. In addition to its master’s-level child trauma sub-specialization work, it intends to expand postgraduate trauma-training opportunities for New York City’s mental health agencies and for professionals at local social services agencies.
Last weekend, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (SSSW) hosted the 11th annual Liberation-Based Healing Conference, led by Professor Willie Tolliver in partnership with the Dean’s Office and the Institute for Family Services (IFS). The conference brought together more than 200 outstanding professionals, scholars and students of anti-oppressive social work from across the country for a collaborative dialogue on justice-based practices. The Silberman School of Social Work is extremely grateful to Professor Tolliver, whose vision and efforts made this important conference such a success, and to the many students, faculty, staff, and alumni who participated. Professor Tolliver’s career-long commitment to anti-oppressive practice exemplifies the mission of the School and its community members. The discussions he brought to life at the Liberation-Based Healing Conference will benefit all at Silberman and have an enduring impact on the Social Work profession. The Silberman School of Social Work congratulates Professor Tolliver and IFS on a job so well-done.
Dear Members of the Silberman School of Social Work Community,
This past week’s national election evoked a broad range of feelings and reactions regardless of how one identifies politically. Many are searching for meaning and explanations as to how and why the Presidential election unfolded as it did, while others are confounded by the response of fellow citizens to the election results.
It’s important at these times to remember the principles that forge the foundation of Social Work – respect for all individuals; tolerance; empathy and understanding of difference in all its forms; and freedom of expression, to name a few. It’s easier in less conflictual times to exercise such core principles of our profession. Our challenge, however, is to hold true to our values when they feel severely tested.
In the spirit of openness, hearing, and understanding, I would like to set aside a time to provide a safe space for discussion as we move forward in community as a nation. I welcome all Silberman students, faculty, and staff to a Community Conversation this Wednesday, November 16th from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. in room 115. I have great faith in the Silberman community. I know that together we will rely on each other to share our views constructively in an atmosphere of respect and tolerance.
Mary M. Cavanaugh
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (SSSW) warmly congratulates Stephanie Ruiz and Lucille Sandoval, who have both received the prestigious and impactful Latino Social Work Coalition Scholarship for 2016-17. Administered by the National Association of Social Workers-NYC Chapter and the Puerto Rican Families Institute, Inc., LSWC Scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding Latinx MSW students with financial need based in metro New York.
Stephanie Ruiz is a first-year Community Organizing, Planning & Development (COP&D) student in the two-year full-time MSW program. She plans to work with Latinx families in the areas of education and mental health, particularly helping Latinx parents to participate in their children’s education.
Lucille Sandoval is a second-year Clinical Practice student in the two-year full-time MSW program, who also won the LSWC Scholarship in 2015-16. Lucille intends to help decrease the number of Latinas in abusive households by increasing awareness and educating Latinas about services that can help them leave abusive homes.
Silberman congratulates Stephanie and Lucille on their achievement.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (SSSW) congratulates our colleague Dr. William Cabin, who has been awarded Best Reviewer 2016 by the Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE). The award recognizes his outstanding contributions as a peer reviewer for this major scholarly journal. Dr. Cabin is an Adjunct Professor with many years of service to Silberman, where he also received his Ph.D. and MSW degrees. He currently teaches Research I. We are all very proud of his achievement!
Dr. Robyn Brown-Manning became a full-time Visiting Lecturer on the Silberman School of Social Work faculty in Fall 2016. She entered this role with a remarkable record of service to Silberman, having been an adjunct lecturer at the school for over fifteen years as well as earning both her MSW and Ph.D. degrees here.
Dr. Brown-Manning is an accomplished social work educator, practitioner, and facilitator who has spent her career in several settings working to empower people and communities.
Dr. Brown-Manning’s academic work is concentrated around African American families, particularly women and mothers. Her dissertation explores the experiences of African American mothers raising sons, through extensive ethnographic and qualitative research. It highlights the ways they navigate parenthood and care within the yoke of systemic discrimination against young black men. “I believe in a strength-based approach,” Dr. Brown-Manning says about her research. She elaborates, “People of the African diaspora often receive a slanted end in social work – they become recipients of others’ help. I want to change the discourse and make it really about their strength.”
As a seasoned practitioner of child welfare and family/group social work, Dr. Brown-Manning has enjoyed teaching these subjects to social work students and others. In numerous capacities, she has made an extraordinary impact – not only on individual lives and communities, but also on the structural approach to diversity taken by some of the country’s most influential organizations.
Her career began at The New York Foundling, one of the oldest family services providers in the United States, where she established a community-based youth pregnancy assistance program that was among the very first of its kind. Her work across 17 years there took shape while the American business world was moving to address changing worker demographics and historical exclusivity; so she began working with major companies nationwide to strengthen their missions of inclusion and diversity. More recently, realizing that she felt most rewarded by close partnerships that would “help [organizations] to develop cross-cultural dialogue truly and meaningfully,” she set up her own successful consultancy.
Dr. Brown-Manning lives and works by the understanding that she is “not a trainer, but a facilitator. Expertise is not in me – it is in the room.”
Dr. Brown-Manning is thrilled to hold a full-time academic role at Silberman. She teaches mainly in the school’s newly inaugurated BSW program, including Introduction to Social Work and BSW Practice Lab, as well as MSW Practice Lab.
“I’m an alumna, so this is a give-back,” she says, but there is even more that excites her. “It is the commitment to social justice and anti-oppression social work. This school is really about community. I always tell students, if they want to really understand people in urban settings who tend to be disadvantaged or marginalized, Silberman prepares them better for that than anybody.”
The Silberman School of Social Work is very excited to have Dr. Brown-Manning on the full-time faculty.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College has launched its practice–based BSW program. The BSW program is open to full time, matriculated Hunter College undergraduates, who currently have between 55 and 80 credits.
The BSW program offers Hunter students a two-year professional social work degree with a practice focus in Child Welfare or Care Coordination. The curriculum is robust, linking theory, concepts and evidence–informed practice, through formal instruction and skills–based structured field work. Students will learn the core skills of assessment, engagement, intervention, advocacy and documentation through a generalist practice lens. The BSW program will prepare students to become knowledgeable, caring, entry level social workers in the areas of Child Welfare and Care Coordination.
Click here to learn more about the BSW program.
Dr. Adam Brown joined the Silberman School of Social Work faculty in Fall 2016 as an Assistant Professor. Prior to arriving at Silberman, Dr. Brown earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) in Spring 2016.
Dr. Brown is a scholar and practitioner of clinical social work who has spent his career in many diverse clinical settings working to prevent sexual violence. His research focuses on young men, primarily adolescents from vulnerable communities, who commit sexually violent acts. In particular, he studies the factors that contribute to sexually violent behavior among these young men; the links between this behavior and other violent or nonviolent criminal behaviors; and the role that clinical social work can play in preventing it.
“Understanding is key,” Dr. Brown says. In his research and clinical work, he has consistently sought “to develop profiles and typologies…a nuanced understanding of the types of men who commit these offenses, and therefore get ahead of the behavior.”
Dr. Brown’s dissertation project demonstrated that, while almost all perpetrators share being victims of some form of neglect, young male abusers and their cases differ widely from individual to individual. This heterogeneity contrasts the homogeneity of their treatment, both legal and social, as a singular deviant group.
Before entering academia, Dr. Brown spent many years as a social worker counseling troubled youth and families, which remains his clinical practice area today. In this capacity, particularly working with young sexually violent men, he met children who had been neglected and mistreated profoundly before committing their own abuses. He found that no adequate services were provided to address those backgrounds or intervene in a manner that would change behavior.
“Someone who committed an abuse at 14 or 12 years old,” Dr. Brown explains “was being treated the same way we treat [grown men] with very different profiles.”
For Dr. Brown, teaching students in the classroom and working as a clinician in the field are not just complementary activities; they create one another. He gets “very excited about getting students excited about how research must come from practice and how practice can produce great research.” At Silberman, he will continue to develop his core research agenda, while deepening his and his students’ collaborative engagements in the fields of clinical practice, youth welfare, and anti-violence social justice.
Dr. Brown is very excited to be part of the Silberman community, where he teaches clinical practice. “What excites me most,” he says, “is that it’s a public school that is top ranked for training. It is great to be joining a community so diverse and rich, not just in terms of race but also age, experience, and more. The education is much stronger when the room doesn’t all look the same.”
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College is so pleased to welcome Dr. Adam Brown to the faculty.
Dr. Jama Shelton joined the Silberman School of Social Work faculty in Fall 2016 as an Assistant Professor. Prior to arriving at Silberman, Dr. Shelton was a postdoctoral research fellow at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, NYU Silver School of Social Work. They were also Deputy Executive Director of the True Colors Fund, a leading non-profit organization that works to end LGBT youth homelessness.
Dr. Shelton earned their Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center and the Silberman School of Social Work, and their MSW from NYU.
Dr. Shelton is a highly accomplished scholar and practitioner who has worked in many different settings to address homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. In particular, their research focuses on the experiences of transgender and gender-expansive young people who are homeless or unstably housed. Silberman faculty members S. J. Dodd, Deborah Tolman, and Gerald Mallon advised Dr. Shelton’s dissertation, which used phenomenological inquiry to explore the meaning of trans-affirming housing in young people’s own voices, along with policy analysis to understand LGBT youth inclusion efforts in federal housing policy.
“I want to broaden the conversation about circumstances causing LGBT youth homelessness,” Dr. Shelton says. Their research shows that many unstably housed LGBT youth have run away from intolerant family homes – but their individual backgrounds are not all that determine their outcomes. “The barriers LGBT youth face are structural,” Dr. Shelton emphasizes with regard to housing stability, “and rooted in cisgender frameworks and expectations that many people haven’t even thought about.”
While situating those barriers in a context of systemic inequality, Dr. Shelton remains undaunted in their commitment to pushing them. “Now is really a moment for LGBT youth,” they affirm; “Policymakers are placing a new focus on youth and families,” which creates a unique opportunity for “[implementing] housing models that truly work for these young people.”
This engagement with policy and praxis guides all of Dr. Shelton’s work. Reflecting the research tradition at Silberman, and in the social work profession, Dr. Shelton concertedly develops their findings into a platform for social change. They have done so throughout their career in several practice capacities; as the director of a partnership between the True Colors Fund and Covenant House; and as the leader of the collaborative LGBT Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative based at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which brought together a total of six government agencies.
Dr. Shelton’s zeal for action and inclusion carries over to the classroom, which they strive to make “integrated and entwined” with their work in the field. “I try to bring the voices I encounter in the field, into the classroom conversation,” says Dr. Shelton, elaborating that “I bring in practice leaders and others who know more than I do; and I try to bring not only contemporary events but also contemporary methods and media, which all strengthen the links between the class and the communities we’re talking about.”
In addition to bringing the world of social work to students, Dr. Shelton also helps students bring students’ best work to the world of social work. They express, “I love to help [a] student realize they are a creative person, to facilitate their identifying a passion and their saying ‘Wow, I can go create something’ driven by what they want to learn.” At Silberman, Dr. Shelton teaches many classes including the child welfare platform course.
For Dr. Shelton, being part of the Silberman faculty is “like coming home”, although in a new way. “I really believe in public education, and I really believe in community-based practice,” Dr. Shelton articulates. “Silberman is rooted in social justice. It will enable me to practice what I preach.”
The Silberman School of Social Work is very excited to have Dr. Jama Shelton on the faculty.
Dr. Maria Y. Rodriguez joined the Silberman School of Social Work faculty in Fall 2016 as an Assistant Professor. Prior to joining Silberman, Professor Rodriguez earned her doctorate at the University of Washington School of Social Work (Seattle, WA) in June 2016.
Dr. Rodriguez’s research focuses on the relationships between housing (in)security and inequality in America. Her dissertation project investigated housing security outcomes among Latino families in the Pacific Northwest participating in a federally-sponsored foreclosure mitigation program, National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC). In order to develop the most comprehensive insights, she used three distinct methods of analysis: spatial analysis of Washington State’s 2008-2013 foreclosure data; cutting-edge computer-aided discourse analysis of Congressional and Senate hearing records pertaining to NFMC; and statistical analysis of large datasets covering NFMC’s implementation in one predominantly Latino Washington State community.
The approach Dr. Rodriguez took with her dissertation reflects her ongoing enthusiasm for tracing social policy across its multiple levels and spheres of impact – what she calls “the 10,000-foot view all the way down to the individual view.” In all her work, she aims to illustrate the links between policymakers’ assumptions and expectations and the effects their policies have on vulnerable households. Dr. Rodriguez is a highly accomplished young scholar, whose multi-dimensional research has broken ground at the intersection of data science, social policy, and social welfare practice.
This intersectional perspective guides Dr. Rodriguez in the classroom and the field as well. “Social work,” she says, “is founded on the idea that capitalist economies fail certain communities, so communities must be engaged actively by social work practice.” When engaging closely with communities, she elaborates, “all aspects of practice affect one another.” She ensures that her students can “appreciate the continuum: how the individual clinical level affects community organizing; community organizing affects structural policy; back again; etc.”
In her teaching and her ongoing research agenda, Dr. Rodriguez also eagerly seeks to “partner with technology” as a way to “scale up the level of analysis social work is capable of and bridge the gap between present expertise and the ‘grand challenges’ [we aim to tackle].”
Dr. Rodriguez traces her commitment to vulnerable populations, especially low-income Latinos navigating the housing system, to her early social service experiences as a field organizer in Philadelphia. There, she learned the importance of working with communities in all their complexity to achieve their articulated goals. She also traces it even further back, to her childhood not far from Silberman in Upper Manhattan, witnessing her own loved ones struggle to obtain and secure good housing.
Dr. Rodriguez is thrilled to be part of the Silberman community, where she teaches social policy and community organizing to MSW students. “I was born at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital,” she says, “and I was raised on 136th Street, so coming to Silberman is like coming home. I have admired the integrity Silberman has exhibited over the years around community, advocacy, and democracy. I am so pleased to be coming to a social work program that has been the social justice standard-bearer.”
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College is so pleased to have Dr. Maria Rodriguez on the faculty.
Dr. Vicki Lens joined the Silberman School of Social Work faculty in Fall 2016 as a Professor. Dr. Lens came to Silberman from the Columbia University School of Social Work, where she taught for many years. She received her Ph.D. in social welfare from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work and her MSW from Stony Brook University (SUNY). Professor Lens has also trained and worked as a lawyer, with her JD from New York Law School.
Dr. Lens is an esteemed scholar who has helped to create and shape the intersectional field of socio-legal studies. Her research examines social justice and equity in legal settings. It focuses on situations in which the most disadvantaged persons encounter and must contend with legal judgement. Her most recent work has used the ethnographic method – based on immersive participant-observation – to study how judges and attorneys interact with claimants in two legal settings: New York State’s administrative Fair Hearings where people on public assistance may claim grievances; and Family Court.
“Are people treated fairly?” she asks. “Substantively and procedurally, are people [in these courts] getting the benefits, the justice, they are entitled to?”
Dr. Lens has found that in both court environments, such justice is not the norm. The courts are more likely than not to act in “anti-therapeutic” ways. This term comes out of a sophisticated framework she has advanced, which distinguishes “therapeutic” from “anti-therapeutic” justice. Anti-therapeutic justice includes paternalism and shaming by legal agents (judges, attorneys) in Family Court, and what Dr. Lens calls “super-bureaucrat” judges at Fair Hearings who replicate decisions made at lower levels rather than forming critical judgements.
These, and many other imperative insights about how courts administer justice – or do not – to those who are already vulnerable, are detailed in Dr. Lens’ acclaimed new book, Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in the Courts (Oxford University Press: 2016). Poor Justice adds to Dr. Lens’ prolific cadre of published work, which includes nine books or book chapters and several dozen peer-reviewed articles.
Before becoming a scholar of social welfare, Professor Lens lived the courtroom dynamics she now studies, as a practicing attorney representing New Yorkers on public assistance. She witnessed her clients being engaged in ways she felt were unjust, so she set out to study what was going on and advocate for a different approach.
Two key skills gained while she was an agent of the legal system still guide Dr. Lens. One is qualitative research, which informs her scholarly methodology. She recalls, “I was immediately drawn to qualitative methods like ethnography…going in to settings I had been a part of and understanding them more deeply…with words and language.” The other is critical and multi-angled thinking, which has informed her teaching pedagogy. “Critical analytical thinking [both in law and in the social work classroom],” she emphasizes, “teaches people how to understand both sides of any issue.”
Although she no longer practices law, Dr. Lens works closely with legal professionals and leaders to translate her research findings into actionable social change. She trains and supports judges, in particular, in the practices of therapeutic justice that represent a more socially-just ethic.
For Dr. Lens, teaching is a tremendous joy. She is very happy to bring that commitment to the Silberman School of Social Work, where she taches courses including social policy and community organizing.
“Since getting my PhD, I have been drawn to the Silberman School of Social Work,” she says. “I have admired its commitment to communities as partners. Communities are important to it, not outside of it.”
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College is thrilled to have Dr. Vicki Lens on the faculty.
Dr. Alexis Jemal joined the Silberman School of Social Work faculty in Fall 2016 as an Assistant Professor. Prior to joining Silberman, Dr. Jemal earned her PhD from the Rutgers University School of Social Work (New Brunswick, NJ) in June 2016. Dr. Jemal also holds a J.D. from the Rutgers University Law School-Newark.
Dr. Jemal studies the impacts of systemic inequality on the health of African Americans and other vulnerable individuals and communities, along with multi-level strategies for intervention. Together with her practice, her academic work expresses her deep commitment to engaging and developing anti-oppressive theories for action.
Dr. Jemal’s dissertation assessed a theoretical concept known as conscientization, developed by the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. Surprised to find little scholarly consensus on it, she set out to define and measure it herself in a way that would be useful for social work and social health research. Ultimately, Dr. Jemal developed an original, viable theory of her own based on Freire’s work, which she has termed “transformative potential for critical consciousness.” This concept frames her ongoing analysis of how African Americans experience racial oppression and white American racial privilege.
Transformative potential is measured using an innovative scale Dr. Jemal created, which combines qualitative metrics like vignette response with quantitative staples like correlation analysis. That approach underlines her enthusiasm for mixed-methods research in social work. “Quantitative and qualitative methods each bring insights that the other can’t,” Dr. Jemal says. “I need both of those sides in my work.”
Dr. Jemal’s research also seeks to elevate another connection she feels is sometimes overlooked: that between theory and practice. In all her work, she vigorously pairs the insights of social theory with the impacts of everyday action and advocacy. Anti-oppression theories like Freire’s cultivate Dr. Jemal’s core belief that “everyone has value and everyone has knowledge.” That foundation then shapes and sharpens her work as a clinical counselor and interventionist in complex, living communities, where she aims to “engage with – not for, or on behalf of – communities and people affected [by inequity].”
Helping people to contextualize and contest the health disparities affecting them “is a clinical intervention in itself,” Dr. Jemal explains, “based in relationships, communities, and social ecologies.” She elaborates, “When we get people together to fight oppression, we make big strides toward better health outcomes for those most oppressed.”
Dr. Jemal’s teaching in the social work classroom amplifies her mission in fieldwork and research, to listen to, learn from, and mobilize the lived experiences of others. “I love when students challenge my own ideas,” she says, “so I like to get myself out of the way and make room for their thoughts, their brilliance.”
She takes seriously a mandate to “educate people in a way that raises awareness,” which for her entails two main goals: “…helping students to help themselves, to become critical thinkers who question their beliefs and assumptions; and then helping them to help others, to act without oppression as social workers”
Dr. Jemal is very happy to be at Silberman, where she teaches the health and mental health platform course, clinical practice, and other courses. She says, “Between the students and the faculty, I am excited to be part of a group of people that I think are progressive and anti-oppressive, to be part of a culture that takes that so seriously.” She adds that “I have heard so much about the caliber and diversity of the students.”
The Silberman School of Social Work is proud to have Dr. Alexis Jemal on the faculty.
The ceremony, held on Thursday, June 2 in the historic Assembly Hall at Hunter College, recognized 616 Silberman graduates. It featured two distinguished speakers and two graduating student speakers. The keynote speaker was Anne Williams-Isom, CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Dr. Martha Adams Sullivan, Executive Director of Gouverneur Health, was the alumni speaker and Trailblazer Award Recipient. The two student speakers were Hattie Elmore and Ray Ortiz, both graduating this year from Silberman’s renowned One-Year Residency work-study MSW program.
All four speeches, along with a message from Acting Dean Mary M. Cavanaugh, can be found in one booklet available by clicking here. Please feel free to download, save and print. Enjoy!
SSSW Associate Professor Manny J. González awarded Hunter College Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Mary M. Cavanaugh, Acting Dean of the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, is pleased to announce that Dr. Manny J. González is the recipient of the 2016 Hunter College Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award recognizes Dr. González’s distinguished service as a Hunter College and Silberman School of Social Work classroom educator across twenty years. Dr. Manny J. González, Associate Professor and Director of the MSW program at Silberman, teaches graduate courses in clinical practice, relational therapy, psychopathology, evidence-based mental health practice, comparative analysis of psychodynamic theories and education in social work. He has practiced as a clinician for 30 years specializing in community mental health, and has published extensively on clinical practice with Hispanic patients, mental health care for immigrants and refugees, evidence-based practice, urban children and families, poverty and mental health and the psychosocial care of families within the child welfare system. Dr. González has also co-written several books, including Multicultural Perspectives in Social Work Practice with Families, and contributed to a wide array of publications. He maintains a private practice in psychodynamic psychotherapy and clinical supervision in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College mourns the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Robert Salmon
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College mourns the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Robert Salmon, who passed away on Thursday, May 12, 2016.
Since the start of his career more than fifty years ago, Dr. Salmon has significantly shaped the practice of social work in his roles as teacher, scholar, practitioner, and mentor. His contributions to the fields of group social work and gerontology, in particular, have set standards nationally and around the world. Dr. Salmon received his MSW from the NYU School of Social Work and his doctorate from Columbia University.
Robert Salmon retired in September 2010 after spending over 40 years at the Hunter College School of Social Work, where his dedication to the school’s academic and professional community was extraordinary. Over his prolific tenure, he served with distinction as Professor, Associate Dean, and Acting Dean. He was an especially beloved teacher, who won multiple teaching awards spanning decades and was particularly focused on scholarships for students. Salmon was a true role model for Hunter social work students who knew him, and who often trace their own success to the excellence they witnessed in him.
Dr. Salmon was a deeply respected and admired colleague; because of the deep respect he accorded others. Dr. Salmon consistently sought to build relationships across, and upheld by, human difference. Most crucially to all who knew him, he cared about people – this was his most simple and most impactful way of caring about the world.
In addition to being an unparalleled social work educator, Dr. Salmon was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Dr. Salmon’s passing leaves us at Silberman with great sadness, but we were all privileged to know him and to have worked with him. He made Hunter, social work, and the world a better place.
Policy Track students are part of the Community Organizing, Planning & Development (COP & D) method who elect to deepen their policy skills and knowledge by taking additional policy courses and work on a specific policy project in their second year field placement. Interested students please contact Dr. Mimi Abramovitz.
Professor Earner will be presenting at the, “The Dream of America Separation & Sacrifice in the Lives of North Country Latino Immigrants,” event at the Folklife Center in the Crandall Public Library on Saturday April 9, 2016. This event takes us from the milking parlors of surrounding counties to the cinder-block homes of Coyula, Guadalajara, Mexico, and back again. This straightforward perspective asks that we consider without bias or stereotype, the work being done, and the lives and sacrifices of the workers. Hard work and separation are underlying themes of these immigrants’ lives. Click here for more information.
STRIVE New York is proud to be among 14 New York City nonprofits selected to participate in Connections to Care, a $30 million public-private partnership that aims to expand access to mental health services by integrating evidence-based mental health support into social services programs serving low-income New Yorkers.
Connections to Care is a program of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the federal Social Innovation Fund of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Participating organizations will partner with local mental health providers to train their staff in offering mental health support to clients. STRIVE New York is partnering withUnion Settlement and the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
NYC First Lady and Mayor’s Fund Board Chair Chirlane McCray announced the grantees at an event on March 11. “Mental health challenges touch every family, in every neighborhood, in every borough,” she said. “The good news is that mental health problems are treatable. But far too many people are unable to access the services that would help them get well. That’s why, in New York City, we are taking an innovative approach to expand access to mental health care. By partnering with community leaders and community organizations, we will be able to provide services where people already are – where they live, work, worship and study, and get those services from people they already trust.”
The Mayor’s Fund also announced that the Ford Foundation has awarded a $2 million, three-year grant to the Connections to Care initiative to support an evaluation of the program by the RAND Corporation with the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Ford Foundation President Darren Walker spoke at the event, as did Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and Matthew Klein, Executive Director of the Center for Economic Opportunity.
Learn more about Connections to Care in the city’s press release.
To learn more about STRIVE, visit http://striveinternational.org/
On March 2, 2016, Professors Terry Mizrahi and Mimi Abramovitz and 60 Silberman School of Social Work Students, half specializing in Clinical Practice and half specializing in Community Organizing Planning and Development (COPD participated in NYS Social Work Student Legislative Action Day (“Lobby Day”) in Albany New York.
Legislative Advocacy Day is an annual event sponsored by NYS NASW, NYS Association of Deans of Schools of Social Work and NYS Social Work Education Association. This year nearly 600 social work students from around the state gathered to advocate for legislation that is relevant to the social work profession. Throughout the day attendees had the opportunity to visit their legislators and tell them why two specific issue were important: Social Work Loan Forgiveness and Raising the Age for prosecuting and incarcerating youth as adults from 16 to 18 years.
Legislative Advocacy Day is grounded in a strong social work tradition of advocacy for change. We are proud of Silberman students and faculty who participated in this day.
The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, mourns the loss of our friend and colleague, Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks who passed away on Sunday, February 21, 2016.
Since 1974, Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks made significant contributions to the practice of social work in the roles of educator, administrator, and multi-cultural scholar. Dr. Ortiz Hendricks received her MSW from Adelphi University School of Social Work and her doctorate in Social Welfare from Wurzweiler.
Carmen Ortiz Hendricks spent 25 years at the Hunter College School of Social Work, where she served with distinction as the Director of Field Instruction and a beloved Professor for thousands of our students who came to know her as a great role model.
In 2005, Dr. Ortiz Hendricks went to Wurzweiler School of Social Work as a professor of social work and associate dean. She then served as interim dean of Wurzweiler working to advance the school in critical directions: increasing enrollment, fundraising for scholarships and special projects, working with the Jewish Community, partnering with the Washington Heights community, and collaborating with other departments throughout the University. In 2007, Yeshiva University announced the appointment of Professor Carmen Ortiz Hendricks as the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Dr. Ortiz Hendricks was a leader in our profession; she served as commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation for the Council on Social Work Education, having also served on the Board of CSWE. She was president of the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (1996-98) and is a founding member of the Latino Social Work Task Force. In 2008, Hendricks was awarded a three-week Fulbright Specialist Scholarship to Israel where she taught classes at Hebrew University, Ben Gurion University and Yeshiva University in Jerusalem. The following year, she was inducted as a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and as a Social Work Pioneer by NASW. In 2010, Hendricks was appointed by the Governor to New York City’s Citizens Review Panel that reviews child welfare policies and services
Dr. Ortiz Hendricks was also great contributor to the knowledge base in the profession. She was the lead author with Jeanne Bertrand Finch and Cheryl L. Franks of Learning to Teach—Teaching to Learn: A Guide to Social Work Field Education by the CSWE Press (2005, 2013). In addition to this work, Dr. Ortiz Hendricks authored and co-authored articles, monographs, books, and manuals that address culturally competent practice.
Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks has been a role model for future generations of social workers; she was a wonderful colleague to us here at Hunter and a great colleague and leader for her faculty, staff and students at Wurzweiler. Her untimely passing leaves us with a sense of great sadness, but we were all privileged to know her. We will miss Carmen very much, and think of her often with great fondness.
Daniel Gardner, Ph.D., Director of Research for Silberman Aging and Associate Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work, was selected to receive an Award of Excellence in Professional Education and Research at the upcoming Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network (SWHPN) General Assembly in Chicago. The Silberman School of Social Work wishes to congratulate our colleague on this recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the area of Hospice and Palliative Care.
Congratulations to the following students for being awarded the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation/The Children’s Village scholarship.
Tatyana Krychkina (upper left)
Madelyn Villar (not pictured)
Kristen Jester (upper middle)
Julieta Ramirez (not pictured)
Stephanie Ferreira (upper right)
Katharine Gange (lower left)
Ebony Brown, and (lower middle)
Arislady Gomez (lower right)
These student scholars were chosen based on their commitment to children, youth, and families in the child welfare system, their overall academic performance, and their financial need.
The mission of the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation is to improve the lives of those in need by awarding grants to non-profit organizations in the areas of education, human services, and health and hospitals. For the past 30+ years they have awarded over $1 million to The Children’s Village staff to receive advanced graduate education at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
Since 1851, the mission of The Children’s Village has been to work in partnership with families to help society’s most vulnerable children so that they become educationally proficient, economically productive, and socially responsible members of their communities.
The Children’s Village is honored to be funded by the Charles A. Freuauff Foundation and to work in partnership with the Silberman School of Social Work.
On January 25-26 (overnight), the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) will send thousands of volunteers across the city to count NYC’s unsheltered homeless people. On that same night, Shadow Count decoys will be deployed to designated locations throughout the five boroughs to report how many of them are counted. This project helps assess the accuracy of the DHS street survey and helps our city’s homeless count. Read more…
Mimi Abramovitz, Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy at Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, City University of New York has been elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. The AASWSW is, an honorific society of distinguished scholars and practitioners dedicated to achieving excellence in the field of social work and social welfare. She will be inducted into the Academy on January 15, 2016 in Washington D.C. The ceremony will be held at the annual meeting of Society for Social Work Research ( SSWR)
SAMSHA is pleased to announce that President Obama has appointed Tom Hill, (Hunter, MSW, 1999) as SAMHSA’s Senior Advisor for Addiction and Recovery and will serve as the Acting Director of CSAT.
Mr. Hill has worked for many years toward the goal of long-term recovery for individuals, families, and communities through peer services anchored in the organized recovery community. Over the years, he has been involved with many SAMHSA programs and is frequently sought out as a national thought leader in the recovery field. His experience as a person in long-term recovery spans over two decades. We are confident that Tom will be a great asset to SAMHSA.
Professors Diane DePanfilis and Daniel Herman co-edited a special issue of the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research on intervention research in social work. The issue feature papers illustrating the broad range of phases of such research from problem formulation to intervention design and testing to dissemination. Substantive areas addressed include homelessness, child welfare, youth development, asset building and others.
The Silberman School of Social Work wishes to congratulate members of our family who will be recognized as honorees at the 9th Annual NASW-NYC Leadership Awards on December 3, 2015.
These awards recognize social workers “who demonstrate exemplary leadership qualities and a unique commitment to the improvement of social and human conditions.”
Top Leaders in the Profession
Miriam Abramovitz (Professor) Silberman School of Social Work
at Hunter College
Mid-Career Exemplary Leaders
Michelle Ballan (Associate Professor) Silberman School of Social Work
at Hunter College
Kajori Chaudhuri (alumnus) Sapna NYC Inc.
Rodney Fuller (alumnus) Public Allies New York
Jama Shelton (PhD alumnus) True Colors Fund
Alison Snow (PhD alumnus) Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Comprehensive Cancer Center
Silberman School of Social Work mourns the loss of the beloved Dr. Rose Dobrof, who passed away on October 17, 2015.
Dr. Dobrof, over her professional career, was responsible for the development of the field of gerontological social work. From the time she entered social work practice, she was been committed to services for the elderly. She created Hunter College (CUNY) Brookdale Center on Aging –a multiple purpose organization serving seniors. She secured the originating grant and served as its Executive Director until her retirement in 1994. She was for many years after her retirement the Brookdale Professor of Gerontology at Hunter College.
Dr. Dobrof was a nationally recognized expert in the field of aging. She was the Editor of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work. She was the author of over fifty publications and innumerable presentations in both professional and lay forums. She had been an active researcher responsible for more than ten solo and multi-professional grant-funded projects dealing with specialized services for the elderly. Dr. Dobrof influenced hundreds of health and mental practitioners to a consciousness in services for the elderly. She was involved in the field as co-director in the Hartford Hunter Gerontology program, co-director in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Hunter Long Term Care Gerontology Center and lectured at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Columbia University School of Social Work (her doctorate alma mater) and Hunter College, along with world-wide visiting lectureships.
Dr. Dobrof was a presidential appointee to the White House Conference on Aging, the Federal Council of Aging and served on the Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Aging. In 1999, she was chosen to co-chair the U.S.-Committee for the Celebration of the United Nations Year of Older Persons. The Mayor of New York, the Governor of New York, and the President’s Secretary of HHS have each drawn on her knowledge in their planning for the elderly.
During her lifetime, Dr. Dobrof received many recognitions from the public, foundations and community and clearly she made a very remarkable contribution to enhance services to the elderly. With all of these commitments, she has always been available to help students, faculty and colleagues in our profession.
Rose was an extraordinary social worker, a wonderful mother, and a great woman –she will be missed by her Silberman colleagues. We are all privileged to have known Dr. Rose Dobrof – she made the world a better place.
Michael A. Lewis recently found out that he was named most promising young researcher in the quantitative methods area by the Journal of Applied Quantitative Methods (JAQM). JAQM is an international journal which aims to publish articles dealing with the application of quantitative methods to address problems in the social, economic, and health sciences. The most promising young researcher distinction is one of three awards the journal grants on an annual basis.
The NASW Foundation has selected Mimi Abramovitz, Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy, to become a member of NASW Social Work Pioneers. She is being honored for her “exceptional contribution to the social work profession and its ability to meet the needs of all people.” NASW’s Newly elected Pioneers will be recognized during NASW’s 60th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening October 23, 2015 in Washington D.C.
Assistant Professor Marina Lalayants and Professor Diane DePanfilis of Silberman’s National Center for Child Welfare Excellence have been awarded a three-year grant from the Children’s Bureau of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families to evaluate an intervention designed to support family connections and improve outcomes for children who are in foster care or at risk of entering foster care. The Enhanced Family Conferencing Initiative supports a model of practice in which critical decisions and service planning are made by a group including family members, their community supports and service providers rather than individually. The model will be enhanced in this study by the addition of parent advocates as well as follow-up child safety conferences. The grant, which involves a partnership with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, the Kempe Center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the Center for Human Development and Family Services, will support a robust experimental design to assess the impact of the model in a culturally diverse urban child welfare setting.
Earlier this month, Associate Professor Michael Lewis moderated a panel discussion at Hunter’s Roosevelt House entitled “Can Cops and Community Get Together?” The session explored enduring issues of race and law enforcement that continue to weigh on the city and nation with gathering force, ranging across the spectrum of criminal justice, from stop and frisk encounters to harsh solitary confinement, and from Ferguson to Baltimore. Other speakers included Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele of Community for Police Reform and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Susan Herman, Deputy Commissioner, Collaborative Policing, New York Police Department. Video of the discussion is available here.
Roosevelt House, an integral part of Hunter College since 1943, reopened in 2010 as a public policy institute honoring the distinguished legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Its mission is three-fold: to educate students in public policy and human rights, to support faculty research, and to foster creative dialogue.
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has named Silberman Professors Caroline Gelman and Nancy Giunta as two of its newest class of fellows.
The status of fellow — the highest class of membership within the Society — is an acknowledgment of outstanding and continuing work in gerontology. This recognition can come at varying points in an individual’s career and can acknowledge a broad scope of activity. This includes research, teaching, administration, public service, practice, and notable participation within the organization. Fellows are chosen from each of GSA’s four membership sections.
The new fellows will be formally recognized during GSA’s 68th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 18 to 22 in Orlando, Florida.
Professor Terry Mizrahi was honored by the Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP) at their 20th anniversary celebration held in May at the Museum of the City of New York. Professor Mizrahi, was recognized for her continued contribution in transforming the New York City Child Welfare System. CWOP is a grass roots community organization that advocates for children and families involved with the child welfare system.
Silberman Professor Martha Bragin Addresses UNICEF Symposium on the Impact on Children’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Well-Being
UNICEF and the Government of the Netherlands, the World Health Organization, USAID, along with Silberman School of Social Work and other governmental and non-governmental organizations held a symposium on children’s mental health and well-being in protracted armed conflicts from May 26-28, in The Hague. The symposium featured panels and expert discussions as well as a daylong workshop intended to plan for future work in this area. Professor Bragin, who chairs Silberman’s Global Social Work and Practice with Immigrants and Refugees sequence, convened a panel discussing research findings and methodological issues related to delivering mental health and psychosocial support services to children in areas effected by conflict and humanitarian emergencies. Watch video of many of the sessions here.
Mimi Abramovitz. Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy at Silberman School of Social Work presented her research on the Settlement House Advantage to an audience of more than 150 members of the non-profit community who gathered at Baruch College on May 27, 2015. Authored by Dr. Abramovitz the informative new report, The Settlement House Advantage: Overcoming the the Odds contains the voices of 3,000 New Yorkers who give the place.-based settlement house service model high marks. The launch was keynoted by Lilliam Barios-Paoli, NYC Deputy Mayor or Health and Human Services. The full report is available here.
The Belle and George Strell Executive Leadership Fellows program was launched with a breakfast reception at the Silberman School of Social Work on Friday, April 17th. The fellows program, made possible by an endowment from Hunter alumna Joan Depontet and a grant from The New York Community Trust, will identify and prepare promising MSW high level managers with the potential to take on key leadership roles in human service organizations in New York City.The nine-month program will consist of monthly seminars, coaching and relationship building with key human service leaders. Seminars and coaching will focus on topics including: governance and board recruitment; hiring, development and retention of staff; financial planning and annual budgeting; creating and sustaining positive organizational culture; and preparation to enter a CEO search. For more information and how to apply click here.
(Photo: Dr. Donna Corrado, Commissioner New York City Department for the Aging (left) and Dr. Martha Sullivan, Executive Director, Gouverneur Health (right). Both are Silberman graduates.)
Michael Serrano, and Julia Pichardo, Advanced Standing clinical practice students in the MSW Program, have received Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Now is the Time: Minority Fellowship Program (MFP)– Youth Fellowship awards. Through this highly competitive funding and training fellowship, these students will develop expertise in mental health services to at-risk children and youth (adolescents and young adults aged 16-25) in underserved minority communities. The purpose of the MFP-Youth Fellowship program is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals serving children, adolescents, and transition-aged youth. The MFP-Y program provides stipends to graduate students to increase the number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals who provide direct mental health and/or co-occurring substance abuse services to underserved minority populations. Mr. Serrano and Ms. Pichardo will be mentored by Dr. Manny J. González, Associate Professor at Silberman, who will provide them with clinical mentorship as they embark on promising behavioral health careers. In addition to this award, Mr. Serrano also received the Promising Futures in Clinical Social Work MSW scholarship by The Therapist Development Center. These scholarships are awarded to only ten 2nd year MSW students across the country who demonstrate strong clinical skills and a commitment to clinical social work.
These are indeed are trying times.
The murder on Monday night of Ana Charle, Director of the Project Renewal Homeless Shelter in the Bronx, is deeply disturbing and sad for all of us, but particularly upsetting to social workers. The alarming tragedy reminds us that there is real risk in the important work we do.
We must remember that these situations are extremely rare. Still, it is important that Silberman and our students continue to take the subject of safety very seriously. We include information for you in our orientations and in the Student Handbook. Procedures for ensuring student safety are included in all our agency agreements. And, of course, we discuss these issues in classes and in advising. Please seek out the Student Services staff (Donna Contreras and Rob Lorey) or members of the Field Education Department (Kanako Okuda, Abby Miller, Joanne Rizzi, Pat Grey, Warren Graham, Michelle Desir) or any of your teachers or advisers if you have concerns. I know all of them will make themselves available to help.
In the fall our Field Education Department will organize a special session on safety that will expand what we’ve historically covered in orientation. We will invite guest experts who can address all your concerns.
We also know that you, like us, are following the unfolding events in Baltimore with anguish and deep concern. These recent events remind us of the importance of the continuing work students and faculty do to address the frustration of people of color who are marginalized in our society.
The events of the last few days raise serious challenges and, unfortunately, there are no easy solutions to the problems of persons with chronic mental health issues or communities of color and other marginalized communities that have traditionally faced discrimination. Though infuriating, enduring, and painful, confronting these issues are at the core of our profession, and we will continue to work to rectify them.
Jacqueline B. Mondros, DSW
Dean and Professor
Hunter College Community Honors Public Safety Officer Killed Last Year in East Harlem Building Explosion
The Hunter College community celebrated the life of Sgt. Griselde Camacho, a seven-year veteran of the college’s public safety force who was killed in a building explosion in East Harlem on March 12, 2014.
Sgt. Camacho’s mother, Carmen Quinones, and son, Jaser, among others, attended a plaque unveiling ceremony at Hunter College’s East Harlem campus…Read more.
Jagadisa-devasri Dacus, a student in the Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare, has received a dissertation research grant (R36) from the National Institute of Mental Health. His study is entitled Identifying the Mental Health Strengths and Resiliencies of Black MSM in New York City who Maintain HIV-Seronegativity. This highly competitive funding mechanism is intended to increase the diversity of the mental health research workforce by providing support to individuals from diverse backgrounds who are underrepresented in mental health research. Mr. Dacus, who received his MSSW from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1999, plans to defend his dissertation in 2016. His faculty sponsor is Professor Deborah Tolman.
Ayanna Ferguson has recently joined school to coordinate our School’s contribution to the All In East Harlem initiative. In this newly created position, Ms. Ferguson will facilitate professional collaborations, partnerships and relationships between Silberman faculty and students and community organizations and coalitions throughout East Harlem. Ms. Ferguson, a licensed social worker, received her master’s degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she was a graduate assistant in the E. Franklin Frazier Center for Social Work Research, conducting research on international social issues affecting the African Diaspora. Before joining Silberman, she managed policy research on behalf of the Children’s Defense Fund while working to engage federal officials to support and strengthen federal child welfare and education policy.
Associate Professor Samuel Aymer delivered the keynote lecture, entitled Beyond Power and Control: Understanding Partner Abuse Through Multiple Lenses, at the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work Alumni Conference in Baltimore on March 6. Professor Aymer’s scholarship focuses on intimate partner abuse and the intersection of race and culture relative to psychotherapeutic work with African-American men living in the urban environment. At Silberman, Professor Aymer teaches Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families, Human Behavior in the Social Environment and Social Work Practice Learning Lab.
Dr. Amy Baker, a 2014 graduate of the Silberman/CUNY social welfare doctoral program, received the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Society for Social Work Research at its annual meeting held in New Orleans in mid-January. The title of her dissertation is Women in Foreclosure: Social Reproduction And Mortgage Strain in the Subprime Era. Dr. Baker also received the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education Student Award for Social Work Research, in recognition of an article published in Social Service Review based on her dissertation research.
All of us have been saddened but not surprised by the recent grand jury decisions, first in Ferguson Missouri, and today in New York City. The issues of social injustice and racism are persistent, pervasive, and permeate our major societal institutions, including education, health care, economic development, and of course, the criminal justice system. Read more …
Second-year policy student Maryam Zoma published , Respecting Faiths, Avoiding Harm: Psychosocial Assistance in Jordan and the United States in Forced Migration Review Online, a publication of Oxford University. In this article, Maryam shares her experience of working with detainees, asylum seekers and displaced refugees at faith-based organizations in New York City and Amman, Jordan, describing a variety of benefits and challenges related to the delivery of psychosocial assistance to clients in these settings. Maryam is part of the growing Global Social Work and Practice with Immigrants and Refugees field of practice specialization at Silberman.
On January 26th – 27th (overnight), the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) will send thousands of volunteers across the city to count NYC’s unsheltered homeless people. On that same night, Shadow Count Decoys will be deployed to designated locations throughout the five boroughs to report how many of them are counted. This project helps assess the accuracy of the DHS count, and helps our city’s homeless count.
When: Monday, January 26th at 10 PM – Tuesday, January 27th at 4 AM
How: Become a decoy for the Shadow Count. Register, attend a training session and be deployed as a decoy on the night of the Count.
Where: All trainings are held at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College located at 2180 Third Avenue @ 119th Street, New York, NY 10035
Compensation: Decoys will be paid $75.
What is required?
1. Completed application (online or paper)
2. Submission of copy of Social Security card and valid photo ID
3. Attending a Decoy Training
Choose a decoy training date on the online registration form.
Click here for more information.
The New York Times profiled second year student Naftuli Moster’s efforts to improve the teaching of secular curriculum material in New York City’s Hasidic day schools.
On November 13, well over two hundred students, faculty and community practitioners attended the first annual Inequality Lecture at Silberman. The series, curated by Professor Michael Fabricant, addresses the alarming growth of inequality over the past generation and its implications for the delivery of social services, education, health care and criminal justice in the city and the nation. Speakers at the inaugural event included Jennifer Jones Austin, MA, CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies; Larry Davis, MSW, PhD, Dean, School of Social Work, Donald M. Henderson Professor, and Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems, University of Pittsburgh; Bruce Jansson, PhD, Margaret W. Driscoll/Louise M. Clevenger Professor of Social Policy and Social Administration, School of Social Work, University of Southern California.
MSW student Antonia Maeck was awarded the prestigious Diana List Cullen Memorial Scholarship by the Metropolitan Chapter of the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work. Ms. Maeck’s paper entitled, Listening to Just Jacob: Challenges in School-Based Treatment, describes the work she carried out during her first-year field placement with a young boy struggling with disruptive behavior problems at a charter school in Brooklyn. She will receive a $500 award and a one-year student membership in the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work.
Professor Gary Mallon and Visiting Lecturer Diane DePanfilis (who will join our faculty fulltime next year) were among twelve notable social workers inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare on October 25 at the annual program meeting of the Council on Social Work Education in Tampa.
The Academy is an honorific society of distinguished scholars and practitioners dedicated to achieving excellence in the field of social work and social welfare through high-impact work that advances social good. They join Daniel Herman, Professor and Associate Dean for Scholarship and Research at Silberman, who was inducted by the Academy in 2012.
The first annual inequality lecture will take place at the Silberman School of Social Work on November 13, 2014. The planned series, curated by Professor Michael Fabricant, will address the alarming growth of inequality in the city and the nation.
Speakers at the inaugural event include Jennifer Jones Austin, MA, CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies; Larry Davis, MSW, PhD, Dean, School of Social Work, Donald M. Henderson Professor, and Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems, University of Pittsburgh; Bruce Jansson, PhD, Margaret W. Driscoll/Louise M. Clevenger Professor of Social Policy and Social Administration, School of Social Work, University of Southern California. Reception begins at 5PM, followed by the lecture at 6PM. The event is open to all. RSVP here
Professor Irene Chung will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work at its annual alumni day celebration on November 8th. Professor Chung will be recognized for her many contributions to improving mental health services in the Asian community as well as for her research and publications on suicide among Asian immigrants.
Assistant Professor Rufina Lee is leading model development and training for New York City’s new public health initiative to enhance early detection, treatment and referral to specialized early intervention services for persons who are experiencing first episodes of psychosis. Early intervention for psychotic illness, including schizophrenia, is associated with improved clinical and functional outcomes but a significant proportion of young adults with psychosis do not receive treatment and support in a timely manner. Using an adaptation of the evidence-based Critical Time Intervention model, the New York City Supportive Transition and Recovery Team (NYC START), will offer outreach, care coordination, psycho-education and support services to persons, age 18 to 30, who have been psychiatrically hospitalized for the first time due to psychosis. Services will be delivered by professional social workers and specially trained peer workers.
Assistant Professor Alexis Kuerbis is collaborating with investigators from Zucker Hillside Hospital in Queens on a randomized controlled trial examining the mechanisms of change for individuals with alcohol use disorder. This study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, looks at the active ingredients of Motivational Interviewing (MI), arguably the best validated and most widely disseminated psychosocial intervention in the formal treatment system for problem drinking and other adverse health behaviors. While MI is thought to work by increasing an individual’s motivation for change, little research supports this hypothesis. This study aims to identify which specific elements of MI and its impact on clients prompts and sustains change.
The Hartford Silberman Center of Excellence in Aging and Diversity has awarded two new grants to support community-partnered pilot research that advances the Center’s mission to support healthy aging among older adults. The first award went to Manoj Pardasani, PhD of Fordham University to evaluate an innovative home-based case management program provided serving older adults in Brooklyn. A second award went to Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Mari Umpierre, PhD to study a collaboratively designed media-based intervention to address address memory and aging knowledge gaps among Latino older adults in East Harlem. The Hartford Silberman Center of Excellence in Aging and Diversity, funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation, is one of five Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Social Work across the country.