Message from the Alumni Association President, Martinique Teperman ’06

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season. Personally, and professionally so much has happened with all of us in the last six months, and the same is true at CSSW. As we begin the new year, I thought I would highlight the fall semester.

After a successful and challenging twelve months, Dean Begg began her second year at the helm of the School in September. Under her direction, all classes and practicum instruction went virtual; CSSW opened its first Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion under the leadership of Karma Lowe, Associate Dean, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Community Engagement; we now have a CSSW Action Lab for Social Justice that has a video library filled with training videos; Dean Begg started an hour-long conversation series with faculty which will continue into the spring semester; the notable Dr. Ibram X. Kendi joined Associate Professor Courtney Cogburn for a conversation about his book How to be an Antiracist; the annual Lucille N. Austin Lecture featured Dahlia Lithwick, JD, of Slate, who spoke on the assault of women’s reproductive rights in the Supreme Court; the Willma and Albert Musher Lecture featuring Timothy Hunt who spoke on Adapting Strategies to Address Opioid Overdose During COVID-19 and the very popular Social Impact Live, hosted by Richard Hara ‘99, aired on Tuesdays at 12:00 PM (ET). If you missed any of our lectures, many of them can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

This semester, with the Offices of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Career Services and Leadership Management, we held our third annual Communities of Color Networking Event. Many thanks to Nadine Rose Carol ‘13, Chris Eagar-Finney ’13, Brandon Hadi ’20, Kazuko Kato ’13, Gwenelle O’Neal ‘81DSW, Lorenzo Shaw-Graham ’20, Whitney Stewart ’14, and Suzanne Towns ’01 for joining me in speaking with students of color in a brave and supportive space to discuss career and professional development questions, including pursuing different career paths, entering the workforce, and strategically positioning themselves on paths to success as professionals of color.

This fall in partnership with the Office of Career Services and Leadership Management, we continued our Alumni/Student Mentoring Program. More than 145 alumni mentors had conversations with students to date. This successful program, which started last spring, has grown to 300+ alumni volunteers who registered to be mentors and we are on track to make over 200 alumni and student connections by the end of December. More about the program can be found in this newsletter, and if you are interested in being a mentor please complete the Alumni Mentoring Form or reach out to Jennifer in the Alumni Office at

As we look to the spring semester we hope you will join us for an upcoming Signature Event (Tony Tripodi Lecture in International Social Work, Alice P. Lin Lecture in Social Policy, Mary Funnyé Goldson Lecture, or the Linda And Peter Hoffman Writing Lecture), An Hour with Dean Begg, and other programs and events. Check your email for invitations.

On a final note, please keep us posted on your achievements (personal and professional) so we can include them in Class Notes in the spring edition of the Newsletter.

All the best to you, your family, and friends for a wonderful 2021!

Martinique Teperman ’06

President, CSSW Alumni Association

NASW-NYC Recognizes CSSW Alumni, Faculty, and Affiliates with Awards at Gala

On October 8, 2020, CSSW alumni, adjunct faculty, and practicum instructors were honored with Gem Awards from NASW-NYC. Associate Dean of Advising and Dean of Students Moira Curtain ’89, alumni Lorna Lee Riley ’90, Amelia Ortega ’07, and Sonia Bhansali ’10 received the Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, and Aquamarine Awards respectively; Field instructor Roy Kearse received the top honor of the Diamond Award; Jaime Estades, adjunct professor and practicum instructor, was alongside Moira Curtain with the Ruby Award; and practicum instructors Keneca Boyce, Daniel Farrell, and Anthonia Wosu received Emerald Awards.

We are proud of all of our alumni and colleagues for their achievements and wish them heartfelt congratulations on receiving these awards.

Paying it Forward: Your Impact on CSSW Students

For Sylvia Stuart ’95, the decision to give to CSSW’s Student Emergency Relief Fund was an easy one. “In today’s world, we need more social workers,” she says. “It’s the simple act of paying it forward.”

Social work students need support like Sylvia’s more than ever as they face today’s challenges. Through the generosity of friends and alumni, the Student Emergency Relief Fund has provided dozens of grants to help students overcome unexpected hardships— keeping them on track to graduate and go where they are most needed.

“By giving to the Student Emergency Relief Fund, I hope to have some small impact on a student’s life,” says Sylvia. “They are the ones who are shaping our future society, and I want to do my part to help.”

Columbia social workers are building a better future. You’ve helped pay it forward by giving to Annual Funds at the Columbia School of Social Work. Thank you!

Alumni/Student Mentoring Program in Full Swing

After a successful pilot of Alumni/Student Mentoring for the Class of 2020, CSSW’s Offices of Development & Alumni Relations and Career Services & Leadership Management continued the program for the fall with over 350 alumni volunteering to mentor students. Alumni mentors are from all fields and methods of practice and volunteer to meet with at least one student for one hour during the semester. Conversations with students range from job search advice, to organizational culture, to resume review.

If you are interested in being a mentor for our students, please complete our Alumni Mentoring Form or contact Jennifer March at

Class Notes


  • The USA TODAY Network named Ada Deer ’61 as one of ten American Women of the Century for making significant contributions to their respective states and the country.


  • Margaret Pope ‘73 was honored with a reception at City Hall upon her retirement from the Board of Education for Hickory Public Schools in Hickory, NC.
  • Eleanor Brilliant ‘74DSW participated in a panel at an invitational conference at the Rockefeller Conference Center, which focused on the 1969 Tax Reform Act and its long-term impact on theory and practice for the nonprofit sector.
  • James McCreath ‘76 is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Hospital-Based Services from the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc. This award recognizes his contributions throughout his 44-year career, most recently as Vice President of Behavioral Health at Trinitas Regional Medical Center.
  • Nan Marks ‘79 was interviewed by Digital Journal about her career in psychotherapy.
  • Hillary Rutter ‘79 recently retired from her position as Director of the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program after 23 years of service.



  • Sonny Pyon ‘97 accepted a new position as a Donor Relations Officer at San Diego Rescue Mission.


  • Kanako Okuda ‘01 is an Assistant Professor and Director of practicum Placement at George Mason University.
  • Karisma Ajodah ‘02 is the first social worker to serve on staff at the Columbia Student Health Center.
  • Katy Gaul-Stigge ’02 is President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and New Jersey, in which role she oversees 57 programs and 37 retail locations. She recently spearheaded a new strategic plan to allow Goodwill to better achieve its mission to help people with disabilities and other barriers to employment enter the workforce. She was named one of City and State NY’s 2019 Nonprofit Power 100, recognizing the top 100 figures making a difference for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.
  • Nathan Smith Sr. ‘02 was recognized at the fifth annual I Am King seminar with a Senate Proclamation for extensive work in service of youth in New York City. He serves as Director of Student & Family Affairs at Harlem Village Academies.
  • Stacey Campo ‘03 accepted a new position as Director of Community Outreach at New College of Florida
  • Rachel Gwynne ‘03 accepted a new position as Senior Vice President of Human Resources – Global Asset Management at Jefferies.
  • Meta Bodewes ‘04 accepted a new position as a school-based mental health clinician at Oakes Children’s Center.
  • Jessica Elder ‘04 is the author of My Milk Will Go, Our Love Will Grow: A Book for Weaning (Heart Words Press, 2020), which provides mothers with an age-appropriate way to communicate with their toddlers about weaning from breastfeeding.
  • Matthea Marquart ‘05 is now Assistant Dean for Online Education at CSSW. With Nicole Wong, she co-authored the article “7 Insider Tips for Online Social Work Students” in The New Social Worker, which featured several alums. Matthea also participated in a discussion with Nicole Wong and Katherine Seibel ’19 on how COVID-19 has changed their approach to their course on fundraising and development on the “Teaching and Learning in Social Work” blog. She also noted that for the third time the Online Campus has been recognized by the International E-Learning Awards (IELA), this year for two projects:

      1. The Institute on Technical Skills for Online Event Production, which was originally created by Kristin Garay ’16 and is now co-led by Kristin and Krystal Folk ‘15, received the Silver International E-Learning Award. The institute launched in 2017, and 111 participants have passed so far.

      2. The webinar series to support faculty transitioning to teaching online due to the COVID-19 pandemic received the Gold IELA award. Matthea states that it was a huge team effort that involved many alumni including Johanna Creswell Baez ‘06, Kristin Garay ‘16, Rebecca Chung ‘08, Agata Dera ’17, Taylor Eutsey ‘18, Mary Downs ’19, Eri Noguchi ’93, and additional CSSW faculty and staff. The series continues to assist educators beyond the 776 from 265 institutions who originally signed up as the recordings of the webinars have been viewed 4,284 times as of Sept 10, and the slides and handouts have been viewed on Academic Commons 1,952 times so far.

  • Johanna Creswell Báez ‘06 co-authored the article “When the Right Measures Don’t Exist: A Novel Motivational Interviewing Tool for Community Programs” in the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. She is also the co-author of 30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher, Second Edition (Sage Publications, 2020).
  • Barbara Feldman ‘06 has opened a private psychotherapy practice serving New York and New Jersey.
  • Agata Dera ‘07 is an Associate and Live Support Specialist at the CSSW Online Campus, in which role she works with students and faculty in online courses to optimize the digital learning environment. She recently shared some tips for lighting in a virtual classroom on Teaching and Learning in Social Work.
  • Amelia Ortega ‘07 was recognized as one of Negocios Now’s 40 under 40 in New York for her work at Amanecer Feminist Psychotherapy. She is an adjunct faculty member of the CSSW Online Campus.
  • Sumathy Applewhite ’08 accepted a new position as a Care Manager at SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders
  • Matt Ignacio (Tohono O’odham) ‘08 is a doctoral student in social work at the University of Washington. His work includes substance abuse prevention among Native American youth populations, co-occurring mental health issues, and harm reduction prevention interventions. He was named one of CSWE’s 2019-2020 Minority Fellowship Program Doctoral Fellows.


  • Mariama Diallo ‘11 is a doctoral student in social work at Rutgers. She delivers mental health services to individuals who have experienced domestic violence/intimate partner violence and family violence, and to survivors of other gender-based violence. She was named one of CSWE’s 2019-2020 Minority Fellowship Program Doctoral Fellows.
  • Elizabeth Estabrooks ‘13 accepted a new position as Deputy Director of the Center for Women Veterans.
  • Luis Ramirez ‘13 is a doctoral student in social work at the University of Pennsylvania. They work as a clinical coordinator at the Attic Youth Center and provide clinical services for LGBTQ youth in Philadelphia. Their research focuses on developing a clinical approach for LGBTQ people of color across their lifespans that is attuned to the impact of multiple systems of oppression. They were named one of CSWE’s 2019-2020 Minority Fellowship Program Doctoral Fellows.
  • Gilbert Nick ‘14 is a doctoral student in social work at CUNY Graduate Center and Hunter College. His research focuses on protective factors among high-end behavioral health service users. He is currently involved in research projects related to stigma, cultural humility, and community resiliency. He was named one of CSWE’s 2019-2020 Minority Fellowship Program Doctoral Fellows.
  • Mathylde Frontus ‘15PhD won reelection to the New York State Assembly in November 2020.
  • Klubosumo Johnson Borh ‘15 co-authored the article “The Chronic Absenteeism Assessment Project: Using biometrics and home visitation to evaluate the magnitude of and reasons for student chronic absenteeism in rural India” in ScienceDirect.
  • Destiny Moore ‘15 accepted a new position as the Assistant Director of Student Support at the Columbia School of Nursing.
  • Marianna DaCosta Stayer ‘15 was recognized as one of Negocios Now’s 40 under 40 in New York for her work as HIV Program Coordinator at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She serves as a Live Support Specialist with the CSSW Online Campus.
  • Asaf Eyal ’17 has accepted a new position as Director of Social Services at a large single women’s shelter for Samaritan Daytop Village.
  • Miriam Edelman ‘18 is the author of the article “DC: The Nation’s Plurality African American Capital and Disenfranchisement in the United States” in the Harvard Journal of African American Policy, and the essay “Avoid Potential Constitutional Crisis and Vote” in Social Work Today.
  • Megumi Uchino ’18 recently transitioned from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She now lives in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Mawusi Adutwum ’19 accepted a new position as an Investigative Social Worker at DC Child and Family Services Agency.
  • Teressa “Tessa” Baldwin ‘19 was one of three applicants selected to be part of the inaugural cohort of the Inuit Circumpolar Council’s Emerging Alaska Inuit Leaders Initiative. She currently serves the Inupiaq people as an Itinerant Therapist for Maniilaq Association.
  • Sixuan Bao ’19 accepted a new position as Clinical Case Manager at The New York City Criminal Justice Agency.
  • Patricia M. Desert ‘19 serves as President of Savesouls, Inc. She was recently featured in the article “7 Insider Tips for Online Social Work Students” in The New Social Worker.
  • Mary B. Downs ‘19 serves as a Case Manager at Binghamton Rescue Mission. She was recently featured in the article “7 Insider Tips for Online Social Work Students” in The New Social Worker.
  • Indira Martinez ’19 accepted a new position as a Senior Associate at Arbor Brothers.
  • Kameron Mims-Jones ‘19 serves as Policy Advocate for California Food Policy Advocates. She was recently featured in the article “7 Insider Tips for Online Social Work Students” in The New Social Worker.
  • Kristina Moore-Jager ‘19 serves as Health Program Manager II for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. She was recently featured in the article “7 Insider Tips for Online Social Work Students” in The New Social Worker.
  • Régina Nguyen ‘19 serves as Staff and Lead Language Resource Specialist/Instructional Support Assistant at SUNY Binghamton. She was recently featured in the article “7 Insider Tips for Online Social Work Students” in The New Social Worker.
  • Andi Snyder ‘19 serves as Director of Social Service Ministries for Greater Philadelphia at The Salvation Army. She was recently featured in the article “7 Insider Tips for Online Social Work Students” in The New Social Worker.
  • Nicole Wong ‘19 serves as Director of the Support, Advocacy, & Violence Prevention Office at Vassar College. With Matthea Marquart, she co-authored the article “7 Insider Tips for Online Social Work Students” in The New Social Worker.


  • Brian Anderson ‘20 testified in front of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity about Coordinating Transition Resources this fall. It can be viewed here (minute 39:21 for his opening statement, and then he’s part of the Q&A.)

In Memoriam

Susan S. Adler ‘87
Stephen Antler ‘63
Olive M. Archer ‘46
Edmund T. Austin ‘67
Marcia H. Ballon ‘43
Meredith Janeyl Barnhart ‘06
Gail O. Bates ‘42
Ruth Elizabeth Beck ‘41
Marilyn Carroll Biggins ‘95
Eleanor H. Bishop ‘41
Margaret M. Blumle ‘65
Diana Margaret Bohane ‘86
Margaret Caswell Ellis Brian ‘51
Alvin Cason ‘66
Natacha Castelly ‘14
Barbara L. Cohen ‘59
Cornelia D. Collins ‘45
Edward A. Cummings ‘66
Sarah Ames Ellis ‘64
Barbara A. Erwin-Mcguire ‘93
Joyce R. Feldstein ‘61
Dorothy Filene ‘43
Anita O. Fine ‘55
Larry Dean Friesen ’89DSW
Rachel Furer 93
Roslyn P. Ganger ‘62
Garrath A. Germain ‘61
Bernice F. Goldman ‘58
Kathryn G. Graham ‘73
Braulio Antonio Guzman ‘90
Charlotte L. Hanson ‘41
Susan E. Harwig ‘53
Julia K. Hoffman ‘41
Beatrice S. Horvitz ‘57
Ruth Johnston ‘44
Rita J. Kaplan ‘51
Arthur Katz ’52
Helen Lee Keyes ‘66
Judith Knox ‘65
Ellen S. Landau ‘75
Sarah R. Lang ‘43
Annette K. Langsam ‘42
Ruth V. Lehon ‘41
Sheila C. Lehrburger ‘50
Rascha C. Levinson ‘62
Wilma E. Lura ‘39
Henry S. Maas ‘42
Jean Mackenzie ‘71
Margery A. Matlack ‘49
Isabel S. Mavity ‘42
Evangeline C. Peterson‘76
Susan Pines ‘70
Elizabeth J. Ridgely ‘67
Evelyn Roll ‘53
Toska T. Rose ‘41
Oscar H. Rosenfeld ‘54
Cynthia P. Russell ‘59
Elaine R. Schiffer ‘43
Gerda L. Schulman ‘42
Sylvia H. Skinner ‘50
Mabel D. Smith ‘41
David Soyer, MSW ‘52
Nancy B. True ‘80
Barbara C. von Bulow ‘68
Mary S. Weaver ‘41
Daphne A. Williams ‘74
Katherine R. Williams ‘39


Jessica Elder ’04, My Milk Will Go, Our Love Will Grow: A Book for Weaning (Heartwords Press, 2020)

Johanna Creswell Báez ’19, 30 Essential Skills for Qualitative Researchers, 2nd Edition (Sage Publishers, 2020)