Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

To learn more about our faculty and their work, read their individual profile pages or enter their names in the Academic Commons database.

  • Zaneta is a grief professional and social worker with education and experience in psychotherapy, program management, and non-profit services, with an emphasis in military families and traumatic bereavement. A Columbia University School of Social Work graduate, her talents and expertise in curriculum and staff development include workshops and research for military families, grief and bereavement, trauma and peer support services. 

    Her private practice, Hope Rising Psychotherapy & Wellness, in Utah, offers individual grief and trauma work, and hosts adventures and retreats allowing those she works with to connect to their peers and focus on their healing in more focused and intentional ways.  She enjoys connecting with those facing lives they didn't plan for and helping them learn to redefine their new normal in meaningful ways. 

    She currently serves as Senior Mental Health Advisor and Board Member for Repatriate Our Patriots which works to ensure the service and sacrifice of Veterans who have been deported can be recognized. Including having them returned home to the US to access the rights they fought honorably for, and the services and benefits they rightfully earned.
    Her career highlights include serving as a subject matter expert for initiatives created by then President Barack Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama. 

    In her personal enrichment time she enjoys all things self-compassion practice, yoga, paddle boarding, hiking and backpacking, snowshoeing, traveling, and spending time with those she loves including her two French Bulldogs, Winston Churchill and Lumiere.

  • Yesika S. Montoya, LCSW-R, is Director of Advising at Columbia University School of Social Work (CSSW).

    Ms. Montoya is also an adjunct faculty teaching the Professional Immersion Seminar for international students at CSSW. The class supports students to adapt to academic study and field education in the USA, recognizing cultural differences and similarities.

    In her previous work experience, Ms. Montoya provided individual, family and group psychotherapy. In her practice she addressed the interaction of mental illness, cultural beliefs, socio-economic conditions and immigration status (where applicable) and using an anti-oppression practice. She has experience working with different populations (children, adolescent, adults, homeless SPMI, MICA, HIV).

    Ms. Montoya has worked at the Mount Sinai Medical Center’s World Trade Center Program, with people who participated in the rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. This experience allowed her to develop an additional expertise on trauma.

    Ms. Montoya is a psychologist in her native country of Colombia, with a degree from the Universidad Santo Tomas. She earned a Masters in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in clinical practice from Fordham University.

  • Wenjuan Huang, LCSW, is a registered play therapist at University Settlement Society of New York, where she oversees the Home Based Crisis Intervention Program. She has experience in direct clinical practice, clinical and administrative supervision, and program management. Her clinical practice and supervision have focused on children and families experiencing active crisis and at risk of out-of-home placement. She restructured the Home Based Crisis Intervention program and developed evidence-based practice trainings. She previously served as a clinical social worker and direct service provider in University Settlement. Ms. Huang earned her bachelor’s degree from Jiangnan University in China, and her MSW from New York University.

  • Vivianne Guevara has been a restorative justice practitioner and facilitator for 10 years and a social worker in public defense for over 16 years. She is the Director of Integral Justice, an organization that provides private mitigation in state and federal criminal cases nationwide, as well as restorative justice training and facilitation globally.
    Vivianne began facilitating restorative circles in 2014, when she facilitated the first-known restorative circle for a Federal District Court case. Since then, Vivianne planned and facilitated hundreds of circles within/for the criminal legal system, schools, universities, coalitions, community members, and private and non-profit organizations. She co-created the first restorative justice course at Columbia University’s School of Social Work and facilitated restorative circles at NYU School of Social Work, Hunter’s Silberman School of Social Work, Columbia Law School, NYU Law School, Texas A&M Law School, Yale Law School, New York Law School, as well as myriad public defender conferences, workshops, and offices.

    Vivianne was the founding Director of Social Work and Mitigation at the Federal Defenders of New York in the Eastern District, where she developed one of the first Federal Defender social work practices in the nation and led the social work practice from 2012-2023. Vivianne was previously an Investigator and Social Worker at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia, where she supported litigation that challenged conditions in juvenile and adult jails and prisons in Georgia and Alabama, the provision of indigent defense in Georgia, and the proliferation of debtor’s prisons in Georgia. She began working in public defense as a Social Worker at the Bronx Defenders in 2007, where she worked with clients charged in domestic violence and mental health courts. Vivianne has planned and provided training in defense social work practice and mitigation since 2011 – at national Federal Defender workshops and conferences, law schools, and federal & state public defender offices/districts nationwide.

    Vivianne comes from a family of farmworkers, faith workers, and social justice workers. She strives to honor their legacy and that of her ancestors through a life of service. Vivianne continues to learn through teaching others and by providing opportunities that promote community and healing.

  • Verena Salvi, LCSW, has worked with psychological trauma for ten years and specializes in interpersonal and gender-based violence. She is a clinical social worker at the Domestic and Other Violence Emergencies (DOVE) Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, where she provides crisis intervention and trauma-focused psychotherapy to survivors of sexual violence and intimate partner violence.

    Ms. Salvi incorporates different trauma treatment modalities in her work, with an emphasis on body-oriented and memory reconsolidation techniques; she is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.

    Ms. Salvi holds a faculty position at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and The Training Institute for Mental Health, where she teaches neurobiological principles that underlie psychological trauma, trauma-symptoms reductions, and trauma-processing techniques. She also served as an international consultant to Women’s Crisis Care International, the first and only Rape Crisis Center of its kind in the Middle East region, and currently serves as a freelance consultant and trainer for various organizations working with victims of crimes.

  • Typhani Carter is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has more than a decade of experience working in the field of mental health. Her work experience has focused on direct clinical work, training and supervision of staff, administration, and research. She specializes in working with populations that have experienced complex trauma.

    Presently, Typhani works as Vice President of Programs at Joe Torre Safe At Home. In this role, she provides clinical, administrative and programmatic oversight for multiple trauma-informed, school-based programs across the nation. More specifically, she supervises the program management and supervisory staff, develops/institutes policy and procedures for staff, supports ongoing service provision and replication efforts, and ensures that all program services are in compliance with local and national law, ethical standards and best practices.

    Prior to this, Typhani worked as Director of Clinical Services at HELP Haven, a subsidiary of HELP USA. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Clinical Department. She was also tasked with developing and facilitating training for all HELP sites, which focused on trauma-informed and trauma-responsive care for the client population. Additionally, she was responsible for modifying existing protocols and procedures to meet best practice standards for managing clients who had experienced complex trauma and were without homes.

    During her time at HELP USA, Typhani also consulted with Bonding Links Mental Health Clinic, an Article 31 clinic associated with Coalition for Hispanic Family Services. In this role, she diagnosed and treated children who struggled with psychiatric illnesses, as well as their families, collaborated with an interdisciplinary team in order to assess a family’s level of functioning and to determine the best practice for treatment, and provided clinical supervision for current clinicians.

    Before joining HELP USA, Typhani was the Administrative Supervisor for the Specialized Programs at Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA). For three years, she supervised and evaluated a team of Social Workers and Socio-Therapists. Among other responsibilities, she interfaced with upper management regarding program development, policy, procedure and census, and developed and facilitated training for foster parents, parents and staff regarding the impact of trauma on different populations.

    Preceding her work at JCCA, Typhani worked as a Trauma Recovery Clinician at The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, where she used various treatment modalities to counsel children, adolescents and young adults who had experienced trauma. Additionally, she developed protocol for, and conducted, research studies to assess the effectiveness of Safe Touches Workshops on young children, oversaw the administration of the Child Empowerment and Trauma Recovery Programs, and conducted training for staff, parents and donors regarding trauma-related issues.

    Dedicated to her field, Typhani, among other things, has supervised social work interns since 2009, is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers, was a former Co-Chair for subcommittee of Lower East Side Community Partnership Initiative, and was awarded the Robert Maslow Excellence in Practice Award during her employ at JCCA. She received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University and her Master’s Degree from Columbia University School of Social Work.

  • Since graduating from CSSW in 2000 with her MS and in 2009 with her PhD, Traci Schwinn has been developing and testing technology-based interventions to prevent substance abuse and other risky behaviors among adolescents. In particular, she has developed tailored interventions for girls and urban youth. Though her past work has focused on New York City area youth, she now uses web-based interventions to reach national samples of youth. Currently, she is conducting a study for youth ages 15 & 16 years who identify as LGBQ. Traci also serves on the Columbia University Institutional Review Board and is an adjunct professor at CSSW.

  • Dr. Tiffany Rice works as a mental health therapist for college students in Maryland, DC, and Florida. She began teaching at the collegiate level in 2012 and began at CSSW in 2021.  Her graduate courses focus on social work research and practice with people with disabilities. She teaches exclusively online at CSSW. Dr. Rice received her bachelor and doctorate in social work from Morgan State University. She received her Master of Social Work from CSSW. Prior to doing clinical work full-time, Dr. Rice served as a researcher in various settings such as the University of Maryland School of Medicine-Psychiatry. She conducted research that was funded by institutions like NIDA and NIMH.  Her research has focused on topics such as women’s use of mental health services, stigma in mental health treatment, youth substance abuse, and young women aging out of foster care. Outside of being a social work practitioner and educator, Dr. Rice also enjoys designing clothes and traveling.

  • Tiffany is a Scientist, Activist and Scholar. Currently, she serves as the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap (CWWG) a national organization that prioritizes economic security through policy solutions that center women of color. She was born and raised in the South Bronx. Prior to working at CWWG, she served as the Founder of the Social Change Agents Institute(SCAI), a project that brings social workers, professionals, and educators to offer free mental health services and social change workshops in developing countries of the African Diaspora such as South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Brazil.

    Tiffany worked as a Policy Fellow for United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand where she focused on issues of criminal justice, gender and race equity. She also served as a T32 Clinical Research Science Fellow at the National Institute of Health(NIH) where her research interests focused on heart disease and health disparities among Black women.

    Tiffany obtained her Masters of Science degree in Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She is a Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work and New York University where she teaches Social Welfare Policy and Decolonizing Social Work.Currently, she is obtaining a dual doctoral degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Weill Cornell Medical College and Social Welfare at the Silberman School of Social Work. She resides in Harlem, New York with her three year old daughter.

  • Terri L. Wilder is a social worker and advocate for the rights of of people living with HIV/AIDS, the LGBT community, and people with myalgic encephalomyelitis. She has worked in HIV and LGBT health since 1989 providing HIV social services, coordinating education for clients and medical providers, and advocating for policy change. She has presented at local, national, and international conferences on a variety of topics. Many of her articles on HIV can be found in AIDS Survival Project’s Survival News, The Body’s Web site, POZ Web site, as well as Project Inform’s Web site. She served on the New York Governor’s Task Force to End AIDS (EtE) as well as his Hepatitis C Elimination Task Force, and is currently a member of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Advisory Council EtE Subcommittee. She is an expert in HIV and LGBT health and was recognized in The POZ 100: Celebrating Women edition of POZ magazine (2017). Terri is a 1992 graduate of the University of Georgia (UGA) School of Social Work where she earned her MSW. She graduated from UGA with a Bachelor in Social Work in 1989.

  • Terri L. Wilder is a social worker and advocate for the rights of of people living with HIV/AIDS, the LGBT community, and people with myalgic encephalomyelitis. She has worked in HIV and LGBT health since 1989 providing HIV social services, coordinating education for clients and medical providers, and advocating for policy change. She has presented at local, national, and international conferences on a variety of topics. Many of her articles on HIV can be found in AIDS Survival Project’s Survival News, The Body’s Web site, POZ Web site, as well as Project Inform’s Web site. She served on the New York Governor’s Task Force to End AIDS (EtE) as well as his Hepatitis C Elimination Task Force, and is currently a member of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Advisory Council EtE Subcommittee. She is an expert in HIV and LGBT health and was recognized in The POZ 100: Celebrating Women edition of POZ magazine (2017). Terri is a 1992 graduate of the University of Georgia (UGA) School of Social Work where she earned her MSW. She graduated from UGA with a Bachelor in Social Work in 1989.

  • Steve Salee is founding partner and CEO of the organizational change firm Wildfire Strategies. He has over 20 years of experience as a coach, organizational consultant, and strategist. Steve is particularly passionate about helping high-stakes teams and leaders to work together effectively in service of quality service and results. He recognizes that rapid changes in numerous industries exert additional pressures on leaders and teams, making collaboration both more challenging and more essential than ever. His work helps them meet these challenges by overcoming divisions, building relationships, and strengthening engagement.

    Steve has coached dozens of high-stakes leaders and teams, including those in the fields of health care, law, financial services, the nonprofit sector, the arts, and media. A sample of clients include New York City Health + Hospitals, White & Case, UNICEF, and Sageview Capital.

    Steve’s coaching style is to engage the client or team in an active, practical exploration of their values, strengths, and opportunities for professional and personal growth. Using aspects of emotional intelligence and appreciative inquiry, Steve helps clients both design their desired state and build the awareness, behaviors, and structures necessary to get there, while supporting the organization’s goals. Steve is also conducting ongoing primary research on what makes team cultures healthy or toxic.

  • Stephanie Manes JD, LCSW maintains a private practice in New York, working with adults, teens and couples, and specializes in working with the LGBTQ community. In addition to her clinical practice, she has been engaged in teaching, consulting with other organizations, and supervising therapists. Stephanie was previously affiliated with Ackerman’s Center for Families and Health and has been a guest speaker at the institute. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology supervising students studying couples therapy and at Mercy College, where she taught family and group therapy.

    Stephanie earned her BA at Barnard College, her JD from Brooklyn Law School and her MSW from New York University School of Social Work. Stephanie went on to complete post-graduate training in couples and family therapy at the Ackerman Institute, studied with the Institute of Psychoanalytic Studies of Intersubjectivity, and has a certificate in Spiritually Informed Psychotherapy from New York’s Psychotherapy and Spirituality Institute.

    Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, Stephanie worked as an attorney in New York and Paris.

  • Stephanie Stolzenbach is the Director of Clinical Services for P2L: Pathways to Leadership, a nonprofit organization that provides school-based mental health services. She supervises all school-based mental health services, manages the social work staff, and oversees the social work intern program. She also facilitates professional development workshops to staff within New York City’s Department of Education on topics including vicarious traumatization, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, and trauma.

    Ms. Stolzenbach previously served as an individual, group, and family therapist in the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic at Mt. Sinai’s Elmhurst Hospital Center. She has provided direct services within the Child and Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program, the Adolescent and Adult Psychiatric Emergency Rooms, and the Mobile Crisis Team. At P2L, she provides clinical supervision to MSW candidates from Columbia, NYU, Stony Brook, Adelphi, Fordham, Hunter College, and Yeshiva University. She received the Field Educator of the Year Award from Adelphi University in 2013, and presented at Adelphi’s International Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision.

    Ms. Stolzenbach holds an MSW from New York University, a certification in Advanced Clinical Practice from NYU, and a certification in Clinical Practice with Children from NYU. She is SIFI certified.

  • Silvia B. Espinal, LCSW began her family therapy training while she was a graduate student at NYU Silver School of Social Work and had the opportunity to complete the Social Work and Diversity Program at the Ackerman Institute. She is Director of the Latino Youth and Family Immigration Project and a Faculty member at the Ackerman Institute. Silvia has extensive experience working with Latino immigrant families in community based Mental Health facilities, hospital settings, educational institutions and in her private practice. Her focus has been integrating diversity and issues of social justice with clinical cases. As a native Spanish speaker, a Latina immigrant from Perù and a family therapist, her personal and professional journeys have helped her grow a genuine and unique passion for the Latino community in the US. Therefore, she uses cultural sensitivity as the foundation of her work with Latino Immigrant Families.

    In addition to having a private practice in New York City, seeing couples and families, she teaches Social Work at CUNY.

  • Shanika "Lavi" Wilson received her Bachelor's in Psychology from the University of Connecticut-Storrs, Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) with a concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Doctor of Social Work (DSW) with a concentration in Clinical Practice and Leadership from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She was a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS) and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the States of North Carolina. Her direct practice includes providing mental health and substance abuse therapy to individuals, groups, and families. She has experience working at a university student health center, university counseling center, private practice, and in community mental health agencies.

  • Shamika Vargas, LCSW, is the Director of Mental Health Services at Hour Children Inc. where she oversees social work practice dedicated to the reentry and healing of formerly incarcerated women and their families. In this role, she is able to marry her love of program development and management and clinical practice. She is a passionate advocate in interagency collaborations with The Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice (MOC-J) aimed at reforming the criminal justice system and improving outcomes for women and families. Ms. Vargas has provided individual and group level services to adults and families involved in New York City family and criminal courts for over ten years through her roles at The Bronx Defenders, Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center, and the Jewish Childcare Association (JCCA). Independently, Ms. Vargas facilitates workshops and coaching sessions with seasoned and emerging professionals in topics related to professional development, trauma healing and recovery, and social justice. She is particularly passionate about the experience of women of color as providers and consumers of social services. Ms. Vargas received her B.S.W. from Marist College and her M.S.W from Columbia University, but her greatest work is seen in her 11 year old son, Joseph.

  • Shakira Harrell is a licensed Master social worker hailing from the Bronx, New York. She received her BA in Sociology from CUNY Hunter College and her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia School of Social Work (class of 2012) as well as a Master of Education from Arizona State University.

    For over 15 years Shakira has worked in schools, homeless shelters, youth group homes and churches as social worker, case manager, counselor, and mentor. Though she has worked in various settings with different populations, Shakira is especially passionate about working with youth, children and families. She regularly advocates for social emotional learning and trauma informed practices in schools and sees this advocacy as an opportunity to educate, empower and prepare those coming behind her.

  • Sethu Laxmi Nair is a mediator, facilitator, coach, and trainer in the fields of alternative dispute resolution and restorative practices.

    Through her work, Sethu improves interpersonal and social dynamics by enhancing leadership capacity and conflict competence among leaders and groups. Currently, she serves as senior conflict resolution specialist at the Center for Creative Conflict Resolution within New York City government. A founding member of Hidden Water, Sethu facilitates restorative circles to heal the impact of child sexual abuse in the family system. Through the Center for Justice at Columbia, she also offers a foundational restorative practices training called “Responding Restoratively.” Through her private practice, Sethu consults with organizations, offering a unique blend of leadership coaching and restorative conflict management.

    Sethu has also worked with various human rights organizations in New York and India. Sethu is a graduate of SUNY Purchase and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

  • Sasha Neha Ahuja (she/her) is a community organizer and social worker with almost 15 years of experience in advocacy and politics in New York City. Sasha has built her career driving racial and gender justice and facilitating community-centered policy change in government and in local and national progressive organizations. Sasha most recently managed a New York City mayoral campaign, and previously served as chief of staff at Girls for Gender Equity, a Brooklyn-based organization that centers women and girls of color and gender-expansive youth of color in the movement to end gender-based violence.  She also served as chair of the New York City Equal Employment Practices Commission and is a commissioner at the New York City Commission on Gender Equity. Sasha is an adjunct professor at a number of schools of social work across New York City, where she teaches at the intersections of racial equity and social policy and serves as a trainer for a number of progressive leadership pipeline programs across the country.

    Sasha holds a BA from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College and an MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work. While a student at CSSW, Sasha served as president of the Student Union Executive Board and worked to shift CSSW’s curriculum to center anti-racist practice. She was an intern with the Undoing Racism Internship Project (URIP), housed at the New York City chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, where she later served as a Steering Committee member, supporting student organizing efforts to codify anti-racist education within social work schools across New York City.

  • Sarah Strole, LCSW, received her MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work and her BA from Georgetown University. She developed an expertise in trauma while working as a bilingual trauma therapist and as a Special Victims Social Worker. Currently, she runs a shelter and foster care program for unaccompanied minors: children detained by immigration without guardians, many of whom are fleeing community violence and abuse.

    Sarah has presented on chronic trauma, resilience, and supervision practices at the local, national, and international level. She currently provides clinical supervision and has developed a comprehensive training curriculum for a team of Case Managers, Clinicians, Teachers, and direct care staff providing trauma-informed care to unaccompanied minors. Sarah co-facilitated a support group at NASW-NYC for clinicians working with cases involving trauma from 2014-2017 and she received the NASW-NYC’s Emerging Leader award in December 2015.

  • Sara Bartlett is a licensed clinical social worker in California. Her background is in medical social work and social work with older adults. Previous positions include home health/medical clinic social worker, older adult case manager, Area Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, and medical social worker/volunteer coordinator at Hospice. She also does teletherapy with long term care residents and older adults.

    Sara received her B.A. in Psychology and minor in Gerontology from UC Davis, her MSW with an aging concentration from UC Berkeley, and her DSW from Penn, where her dissertation was focused on intergenerational service-learning, intergenerational relationships and reduction of ageism among emerging adults.

  • Samantha Fried has worked in child welfare for over ten years. She began her career as a therapeutic case planner at New Alternatives For Children, a foster care agency in New York City that serves medically fragile children and those with other special needs. She then spent four years as a Forensic Social Worker at the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, where she worked alongside attorneys to represent children in child protective and juvenile delinquency proceedings in Brooklyn Family Court. Samantha transitioned to project management at the Center for Court Innovation, where she oversaw a federal grant from the Office for Victims of Crime of the United States Department of Justice – Child Victims and Witnesses Support Materials. This national project involved creating a package of interactive materials for children and justice system practitioners to facilitate the provision of effective, developmentally appropriate court support to children involved in state, federal and tribal court settings in criminal and civil cases.

    Samantha is currently the Director of Program Planning at JCCA (formerly Jewish Child Care Association), where she works on agency-wide best practice initiatives to advance, support, and improve the delivery of child welfare and mental health services to children and families. Samantha has presented at conferences around the country about best practice work in preparing children for court, and has taught as an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia School of Social Work, New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, and the Fordham University School of Law and Graduate School of Social Service. She sits on the board of City Living NY, a Brooklyn-based agency that empowers young people who age out of the foster care system to transition successfully into adulthood. Samantha holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and an M.S.S.W. with a Minor in Law from Columbia University. Samantha is passionate about child welfare and Family Court reform, with a specific emphasis on an increased voice for children.

  • Sa’uda Dunlap-Frazier, LCSW, is an experienced leader within New York City’s public health, school, and social service systems. She is an influential manager known for ease within development of relationships, and she contributes to skillful negotiations and strategic planning. Sa’uda had a leadership role in developing strategies to shift policies, programs and practices at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to center racial equity and social justice to address health inequities in public health. She was part of a team that successfully implemented the 100 Schools Project through the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program in New York’s middle and high schools. Her career includes case management, work in a psychiatric hospital providing treatment to children and adolescents and clinical consultation, implementation of school mental health programs in the public health sector, and support to staff at community-based organizations.

    Sa’uda currently serves as the program director for the Prevention and Intervention Program in the school-based mental health department at The Jewish Board. She is responsible for the clinical, operational, and administrative oversight of the program. She ensures quality services in line with city, state, and agency mandates. Sa’uda maintains relationships with school personnel and various city regulatory bodies while cultivating additional resources and relationships with community organizations for purposes of referral and collaboration.

    Sa’uda was born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. She is a proud product of the NYC Department of Education school system. She graduated from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service with a Masters in Social Work and received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Hunter College, City University of New York. Sa’uda uses a racial equity and social justice lens in all aspects of her work. She is also an active member of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

  • Russell A. Baptist, LCSW, is president and founder of The A. and S. Consulting Services, a private practice specializing in psychotherapy, racial justice evaluations, leadership coaching, and technical assistance. He is a former senior director of programs at the Center for Urban Community Services, where he helped to pioneer working with special needs populations in supportive housing. He supervised and developed social workers, psychiatrist, and mental health para-professional staff in the implementation of evidence-based practices. Through the sponsorship of the Robin Hood Foundation, he managed the creation of an anti-poverty program for the Harlem/Washington Heights communities called Single Stop, USA. He was also the founding director of the George Brager Scholarship Program, named after a former dean of the School of Social Work, for college-bound students who live in supportive housing.

    Additionally, Mr. Baptist developed budgets, reported and wrote grants, and trained social service staff throughout New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., with a focus on working with People of Color, LGBTQ diversity, culture and ethnicity, social work supervision, mental health, homelessness, and supportive housing. Mr. Baptist managed contracts with federal entities such as SAMSHA, HUD, and the Veterans Administration as well as the New York City and State departments of mental health (DOHMH & OMH) and homeless services (DHS & HRA). He provided psychotherapy for youth in foster care. He lectured at Stony Brook University in New York City.

    Mr. Baptist has served as a consultant and appeared on several local radio programs and television shows. He served on the board of directors of Gay Men of African Descent  and Retired Citizens (ARC) XII and was board chair of Unity Fellowship Church NYC. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

    Mr. Baptist’s educational background includes earning a BA degree from Texas College in Tyler, Texas, and an MS degree in Social Work Practice from Columbia University. He is a John F. Kennedy Jr. Fellow/Mentor and has furthered his education at Yeshiva University, the University of Washington, DC, and Long Island University. His notable published work is Adam and Steve: The Rules for Men Attracted to Other Men (2015, rev. 2016)

  • Rosa Maria Bramble is a New York licensed clinical social worker who maintains a private practice in direct practice and as a consultant in NYC.  She specializes in the psycho-social impact of traumatic events in individuals and communities.

    She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Hunter College and has completed post graduate training in family therapy and advanced trauma studies. She is trained in trauma focused interventions such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Breath~Body~Mind.  Rosa conducts psycho-social evaluations for immigration cases, provides expert testimony on trauma and  impact of deportation on children and families.  In her consultant capacity she is currently working with community based organizations servicing survivors of gender based violence and unaccompanied minors.

    She also consults in the field of maternal child health. She has extensive experience in the field of HIV as a direct practitioner, as well as in program development and agency cofounder. She a member of the community participatory research board of Project ICI which studies collaboration among HIV service providers.  She facilitates workshops on the trauma of migration and professional development. Rosa is the founder of Borders of Hope/Fronteras de Esperanza, a volunteer community organization addressing the needs of Latino survivors of trauma. Currently the project focuses on Ground Zero Clean-up Workers.

  • Rosa Jaffe-Geffner (she/her/mx.) is an experienced licensed social worker with 10 years of experience in public defender offices throughout New York City. She has worked in Family Court, Criminal Court, and Housing Court. Rosa started her work as a social worker in public defender offices at the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, working on child welfare and juvenile justice cases. She then transitioned into the role of Director of Social Work at Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project, where she oversaw their social services and community education courses. Currently, Rosa holds the position of Bronx Defenders’ first Civil Action Practice Director of Social Work. In this role, she conducts program development and provides training, supervision, and direct service. Rosa is a systems advocate, combating inequity and inequality in the work that she does.

    Rosa was previously a faculty partner at John Jay’s Pinkerton Fellowship for Forensic Psychology and Mental Health, counseling graduate students doing their externship in the criminal legal system. Today, she provides annual training on trauma-informed interviewing with NYU Law School’s Unemployment Action Center. Rosa received her M.S. in Social Work at Columbia University and her B.A. in Sociology at SUNY Purchase College.

  • All of Dr. Ronald B. Mincy’s research rests on the premise that for the United States to reduce poverty and provide equal opportunity for all, policymakers must address the problems faced by young uneducated black men, who continue to have the poorest life chances of anyone in our society.

    Ronald B. Mincy is the Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice, and director of the Center for Research on Fathers, Children, and Family Well-Being. He is a co-principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center.

    Dr. Mincy came to Columbia in 2001 from the Ford Foundation, where he served as a senior program officer and worked on issues including improving U.S. social welfare policies for low-income fathers, especially child support and workforce development. He also served on the Clinton Administration’s Welfare Reform Task Force.

    Dr. Mincy is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, and is the editor of Black Males Left Behind (The Urban Institute Press, 2006). In 2009, he received the Raymond Vernon Memorial Prize for Best Research Article in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Dr. Mincy is an advisory board member for the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, the Technical Work Group for the Office of Policy Research and Evaluation, the Transition to Fatherhood project at Cornell University, the National Fatherhood Leaders Group, the Longitudinal Evaluation of the Harlem Children’s Zone, and The Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

    Dr. Mincy is a former member of the National Institute of Child and Human Development council, the Policy Council, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. He served as co-chair of the Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce and as a board member of the Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families. Dr. Mincy holds an AB from Harvard College and a PhD from MIT.

  • Richard Beck is a clinician in private practice specializing in issues related to group therapy, psychological trauma, sexual abuse and incest. He is President (2018-2021) of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process; a former president of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society. Mr. Beck lectures nationally and internationally on issues of trauma and therapist self care – with recent presentations in Istanbul, Turkey; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Berlin, Germany; Cairo, Egypt and Malmö, Sweden.

  • Ria Rodney is a Registered Nurse and social worker with over 15 years of experience in public health and advocacy. As a formally trained doula with a commitment to maternal health, she provides training in reproductive health for both students and public health workers in various capacities. Ria currently serves as a National Board Member for the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.

    Ria’s career is driven by addressing the access to quality healthcare as a social justice issue. She utilizes frameworks that are specific to the intersectionality of race, gender, and socioeconomic status. In addition to providing direct care to patients in a healthcare setting, Ria focuses on macro-level systemic change through policy to address challenges and limitations in the United States healthcare system. Her areas of academic research include reproductive justice, the health and mental health needs of pregnant women and their families, and patient safety in the hospital setting.

    Ria has worked in public policy, both domestically and internationally. In New York City, her work focuses on advocacy and policy review to address maternal mortality for underserved mothers. Previously, while working for the Ministry of Health in Guyana, she focused on training social workers who work in outpatient public health services. Additionally, she wrote health care policies for the Gender Equity Division within the Ministry of Health.

    Ria holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University. She received her Post- Master’s policy training through The Network for Social Work Management Public Policy Fellowship. Outside of work, Ria enjoys baking, traveling, and studio cycling.

  • Dr. Rebecca Hanus, LCSW, maintains a private practice in New York City, through which she provides supportive counseling and therapy using the cognitive behavioral therapy framework. She previously served as a social worker as well as a task supervisor in a New York City hospital. Dr. Hanus specializes in issues concerning law and social work, as well as gerontology. She has presented at the New York Academy of Medicine and at the annual Aging in America conference. Her work has been published in Aging Today.

    Dr. Hanus earned her BA in philosophy and political science from Brandeis University, her MSW with a law minor from the Columbia School of Social Work, her JD from New York Law School, and her PhD from Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

  • Rachelle D. Veasley is a licensed clinical forensic social worker with almost two decades of experience in advocacy, education, criminal justice, and mental health. She is the Director of Social Work with the Federal Defenders of New York, a federal public defender office that provides legal representation to individuals facing federal criminal involvement. Ms. Veasley is passionate about defense-based social work, with a unique focus on how to utilize clinical skills to advocate and center client voices. In her capacity as director, Ms. Veasley oversees the social work department and provides advocacy, mitigation, and social work support to clients. The social workers collaborate with providers and assist clients to navigate systems as necessary to minimize harm as they contend with their legal case.

    Ms. Veasley has conducted training and workshops across the country, teaching members of the defense team on topics ranging from holistic defense practice to persuasive writing, engagement skills, and mitigation/sentencing advocacy. Ms. Veasley has served as a guest presenter at New York University and Yale Law Schools and has been retained as expert consultant in defense-initiated victim outreach with Yale.

    In addition to her role as a defense-based social worker, Ms. Veasley is a committed educator. She provides field instruction at Federal Defenders for graduate social work students from Columbia University, New York University, Fordham University, and Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College who are interested in working in holistic defense. She teaches the seminar in field instruction (SIFI) with CSSW and has served as an advisor for first- and second-year students. She also teaches the practice lab at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. The yearlong course utilizes mindfulness, practice wisdom, and anti-oppressive liberatory theories to equip students with foundation competencies in social work practice, with an emphasis on applying essential concepts and skills across social work methods. A strong believer in the teachings of bell hooks and Angela Davis, Ms. Veasley believes in co-creating a learning space where students can experience education as the practice of freedom and resistance. She aspires to teach students to understand the context in which social work is practiced, while encouraging them to become critically reflective practitioners.

    Rachelle received her B.A. in psychology and philosophy from Columbia University (CC ’07) and her Master of Social Work from Hunter College (’10). She has worked as a clinician, educator, and advocate in myriad roles within the field of social work. She attributes her commitment to liberatory social justice work to her brothers, relatives, and community members who continue to be harmed by these oppressive systems and institutions. She is a facilitator, mentor, community member, and systems thinker grounded in direct practice in the present for individual and collective liberation in the future.

  • Rachel Goldsmith, LCSW-R, is a therapist, trainer, educator, and non-profit management professional. Throughout her career, she has worked with survivors of interpersonal violence and systemic trauma.  Rachel has held leadership positions at Sanctuary for Families, Safe Horizon, and The Legal Aid Society. She currently is the Director of Social Work for the Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society. In this role, Rachel oversees social work services within the Civil Practice and provides training and technical assistance to all Civil Practice units. She also maintains a private practice.

    Rachel is passionate about helping the next generation of social workers learn meaningful skills to prepare them for the field. Additionally, she regularly trains on trauma, vicarious trauma, self-care, and wellness practices for social workers and non-profit and public interest legal staff. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Trauma Studies and completed training in EMDR and Internal Family Systems therapy. Rachel obtained a BS in Social Welfare from Stony Brook University and an MSW from Columbia University.  

  • Prudence W. Fisher – Personal Statement

    The primary focus of my career has been on assessment and measurement (including nosology) and on methodology more generally as it relates to youth mental health. Indeed, it is because of my expertise in diagnostic assessment, and, in particular, my work and my association with the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC),that I have received the most recognition by the field at large. I am widely acknowledged as being a member of the the small community of ‘experts” in youth diagnostic assessment and measurement: collaborating on studies and consulting on measures and measurement issues, participating on several “expert panels” for government agencies, serving as a reviewer for many journals (especially around measurement/assessment studies), and co-authoring papers and chapters in psychiatry textbooks on youth psychiatric assessments. I’ve coauthored many of the most widely used instruments in the field – the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale, (CSSRS), the Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS),The Columbia Impairment Scale, and, most notably, the DISC, as well as other measures (most recently the Covid-19 Experiences (“COVEX”), included on the PhenX website, which is being updated as the pandemic has continued).  Because of my experience with assessment and encyclopedic knowledge of psychiatric diagnostic criteria, I was invited to participate as an advisor/consultant for five DSM-5 workgroups and committees and to consult with The WHO ICD-11 group  on text for “developmental presentations” that is included in the ICD-11 Diagnostic Guidelines in the chapter on mental disorders.. In the last several years NonVerbal Learning Disorder (defining it) has been a major area of attention. A second, now minor, focus continues to be youth suicide. Finally, a completely new focus has recently emerged: Equine assisted Therapy (EAT).

    Assessment, Measurement, Nosology: My interest in assessment was sparked early on, soon after I joined the Child Psychiatry Division at Columbia/New York State Psychiatric Institute as a research assistant for David Shaffer, M.D., a renowned expert in these areas. An early project aimed at implementing standardized assessment measures into the busy outpatient child psychiatry clinic. I noticed that parents sometimes did not understand the questions/items or instructions as intended, even when read to them and that the clinical staff viewed the assessments as adding to their burden and of little use. Surely there was lots of room for improvement-- in the measures themselves and how best to implement them. I also had the opportunity to work on formulating and testing the CGAS, still widely used throughout the world for which I am still the primary contact (and developed a protocol for undertaking (and verifying) non-English translations, of which there are over 20).

    My work on Dr. Shaffer’s and Dr. Madelyn Gould’s “psychological autopsy” study of adolescent suicide was a formative educational experience. Together, Dr. Shaffer, Dr. Paul Trautman (a child psychiatrist) and I put together the comprehensive symptom/diagnostic interview and selected/wrote other measures. I piloted the whole protocol with parents and youth and then continued as an interviewer. Based on early interviews, we revised some sections and completely changed the order of the measures to improve the “flow;” the importance of piloting and considering protocol flow are things I always stress when I consult on or become involved with a study. Each “case” was thoroughly discussed in team meetings (including how to think about symptoms) which was an invaluable for my learning how to think about clinical probes, consider alternative ways symptoms might present, and appreciate the importance of research clinician training and quality control procedures when using semi-structured clinical interviews. 

    While I’ve maintained my interest in youth suicide – I am a grant reviewer for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a co-author on the CSSRS, on the Editorial Board for Archives of Suicide Research, regularly consult and collaborate with investigators who are examining suicide in their research,  and was recently an invited presenter at an NIMH conference on preteen suicide – my focus shifted to become more squarely placed on measurement and diagnostic assessment as I became fixated on the importance of careful measurement (in research the quality of your data is everything!).  My work on the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC) marks the beginning of this shift.  

    DISC:  Unlike clinician administered diagnostic interviews, the DISC is fully structured, respondent-based (questions are read to the respondent exactly as written) specifically designed for use in large scale epidemiologic studies to assess youth mental health diagnoses. As documented on my CV, my work with the DISC has been extensive – writing questions, participating in psychometric studies, preparing manuals, training material and training, writing scoring algorithms, advising/consulting/ collaborating with users) resulting in numerous publications, including writing the ‘reference” article1 for the interview.  The DISC-P is for parents (or caretakers) to complete about youths’ symptoms and behaviors, while the DISC-Y, is administered directly to the youth, which necessitates that the language be kept simple. I’ve particularly enjoyed writing/editing questions/probes that are efficient but clear and figuring out how to put difficult concepts into simple language (usually by breaking them down into several simple questions). Moreover, I was good at it.  

    Since 1985, the DISC has been housed at Columbia/NYSPI, and from 2010 onwards, under my sole direction. Development of the DISC (DISC-R, DISC-2, DISC-IV and now, DISC-5) has always been an iterative process involving input from expert advisors and psychometric testing. Versions and modules of the DISC-IV, keyed to DSM-IV, found wide use in the research settings (over 300 DHHS funded studies and many funded by other sources), as well as in juvenile justice and community settings and the field has been waiting for the new version, updated to correspond to DSM-5. With partial funding from the CDC, I recently completed preparing the DISC-5 (DSM-5), again with input from experts, and it is anticipated that the DISC-5 will find wide use as well. The DISC-5 assesses over 30 diagnoses, grouped into 26 “stand-alone” modules (with over ~3500 questions, per informant, a branching structure means many fewer are asked); typically a subset of the modules are used. TeleSage, Inc, is computerizing the DISC-5 through an SBIR from CDC, on which I am a consultant and oversee testing at a community clinic. I coauthored a paper on the performance of the DISC-5 Tic and ADHD modules that is undergoing CDC review before submission (a poster was presented at the AACAPmeeting). Currently I am collaborating on two international studies in which modules from the DISC-5 are being used, and over the years have collaborated on many other studies using the DISC. 

    DSM-5:  As an advisor for the DSM-5, I observed and participated in discussions and heated debates about diagnostic criteria, potential changes and methodological issues in the extant and planned research.  Participation in discussions with “thought leaders” on diagnosis, assessment, disability, measures, was fascinating and exhausting. I prepared proposals for inclusion of NonSuicidal Self Injury and Suicide Behavior Disorder, (both approved as Conditions for Further Study), and participated in the discussions about and reviewed the final proposals for Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) and changes to criteria for Intermittent Explosive Disorder (approved for the main book). In addition, I undertook analyses that informed DSM decisions regarding ADHD and youth depression and led one of the child field trials. These experiences gave me a sophisticated understanding of the diagnostic system that so many use, which has been useful for the course I teach at the Columbia School f Social Work and for my supervision of trainees in the CHONY evaluation service.

    NonVerbal Learning Disability (NVLD):  My DSM-5 experience was largely responsible for my involvement with “the NVLD Project” (, which has at a main goal to have NVLD included as a DSM diagnosis. After outlining what I perceived to be necessary steps to have a successful proposal-  a comprehensive research review, a consensus DSM style criterion set (which could obtain buy in from the field), some evidence for reliability, validity and clinical usefulness. I was asked to lead the project; At the time, I was unsure what NVLD even was and whether it was a discrete condition, but I was intrigued by the opportunity to find out. My first step was to see what the research revealed about how to define NVLD and what  support there was for it as a standalone diagnosis; my comprehensive review of the extant literature was the first paper on NVLD ever published in the major child psychiatry journal2. Applying a similar methodology to that used for DSM-5, I formed a “working group” of recognized “NVLD experts” to participate in arriving at a consensus definition for NVLD. and hosted two focused in-person consensus conferences attended by these experts and experts in neurodevelopmental and child psychiatric diagnoses; an editor for DSM; and others. (I also helped the NVLD Project identify and recruit renowned experts in child psychopathology for a scientific council/advisory board) In addition, I held several smaller meetings with the NVLD experts, scientific council members and with local experts in child diagnosis. To obtain data that could be useful for the proposal, including “stakeholder feedback” on a new name for the disorder, I wrote and launched two on-line surveys (one for adults diagnosed with NVLD and one for parents of children with NVLD).  Final consensus on a DSM style criterion set was reached in early 2022 and a proposal for the DSM committee, which summarized extant research support, including data from the surveys,  was submitted in May 2022. Current and future plans on this initiative include completing and writing up analyses from the survey data (including overseeing dissertation using data from survey), launching an on-line clinician reliability “vignette”  study (employ similar methodology to that used in ICD field trials (in progress), and developing a screening instrument for NVLD, using data from the earlier surveys and then testing its sensitivity and specificity.

    Equine Assisted Therapy – the Man O’ War Project  ( The MOW Project came about in response to an inquiry from philanthropist (Earle I Mack) about whether retired racehorses could be used help veterans with mental health problems. Knowing nothing about Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT),but having a fondness for horses and being aware of the need for alternative treatment modalities that offer opportunities for individuals who either do not benefit from traditional modalities or avoid them, I was intrigued. Given EM’s initial concern for veterans, I asked Yuval Neria, Ph.D. the head of the Military Family Wellness Center in our department, to work with me and the MOW Project  was born. Our first step was to learn everything we could about EAT – visiting programs, conducting internet searches, evaluating the research literature (which was abysmal), reading popular press and books, attending the annual Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) conference, all of which revealed that there was no standard method or any existing well specified manual for how to deliver EAT for any mental health condition, although EAT was widely used. Based on what we learned and with EAT providers and faculty experienced with developing treatment manuals, we developed an 8 session, group EAT protocol for veterans with PTSD, piloted it with two groups of veterans,3 revised it based on the pilot, and then tested it in a large open trial 4 (introducing before/after MRI, later in the trial5) – treatment sessions were held at an equestrian center in Leonia, NJ. .We prepared a well-specified treatment manual6 -- the first of its kind in the EAT field for any mental health condition-- and received funding from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, in collaboration with PATH International,  to develop an initial training program (which we continue to work on) and we have trained other groups in the protocol. Recently we received funding that allows us to offer the Man O’ War Protocol as a treatment option offered by Dr. Neria’s military center. The MOW Project has received a great deal of media attention and a documentary on the program is being planned. With few exceptions (i.e., the Woodruff grant, a small contract with an Israeli collaboration) our work in the area of EAT has relied on funding from Foundations and gifts and we anticipate that we continue to be successful at raising funds. I have also received funding to  examine whether the MOW protocol might be adapted for use with anxious adolescents and am  currently recruiting participants for sessions that will take place at a facility in Brewster NY. As for the veterans studies, there  will be two pilot groups to identify where the protocol/manual should be adapted/revised before undertaking a  larger trial (for which I will seek funding).

    Teaching and mentorship:  Since 2009, I have taught a course on child psychopathology (including the DSM diagnoses) at the Columbia School of Social work (typically twice per year) I am a “career mentor” to six junior faculty (social workers) in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry area.  Each year, I invite one or more of them to present at the class I teach on child psychopathology at Columbia. School of Social Work and I am working with two recent graduates on papers they plan to publish that expand on the paper they wrote as their final assignments.  Since 2011, I have been faculty on the Whitaker Scholar Program in Developmental Neuropsychiatry, focusing on measurement and methodology, and for the past two years, have been a senior faculty advisor/consultant, focusing on a assessment and methodology, for Dr.Cristiane Duarte’s and Dr.Yuval Neria’s labs, in each instance attending weekly “paper group” meetings, where work in progress and manuscripts are reviewed.  I also regularly give “in-service” presentation talks on assessment to clinical staff at Columbia/NYSPI.  Until 2021, I was the course director for “research selective/scholarly activity’ for 2nd year child psychiatric residents. Finally, my research assistants and volunteers routinely apply and get accepted to graduate school in psychology and related field. 



    1. Shaffer, D., Fisher, P., Lucas, C.P., Dulcan, M.K., & Schwab-Stone, M.E. (2000). NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, Version IV (NIMH DISC-IV): description, differences from previous versions, and reliability of some common diagnoses. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39(1), 28–38. [DOI: 10.1097/00004583-200001000-00014; PMID: 10638065]
    2. Fisher, P.W., Reyes-Portillo, J.A., Litwin, H.D. & Riddle M.. (2022)  Nonverbal Learning Disability:  A systematic review.  American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 61(2);  159-186  [PMID:  33892110,  DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2021.04.003. Epub 2021 Apr 20]
    3. Arnon, S.*, Fisher, P.W.*, Pickover, A*., Lowell, A., Turner, J.B., Hamilton, J.F., Hamilton, A., Markowitz, J.C., & Neria, Y.  (2020)   Equine assisted therapy for PTSD:  Treatment development and pilot findings among military personnel.  Military Medicine, Feb 8. pii: usz444.  [DOI: 10.1093/milmed/usz444. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32034416] *First authors listed alphabetically
    4. Fisher, P.W.*. Lazarov, A.*, Lowell, A., Arnon, S., Turner, J.B., Bergman, M. Ryba, M,. Such, S., Morahasy, C., Zhu, X., Suarez-Jimenez, B., Markowitz, J.C., & Neria, Y. (2021)  Equine-Assisted Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder:  An open trial.Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 82 (5): PMID:  34464523. *First authors listed alphabetically
    5. Zhu, X., Suarez-Jimenez, B., Silcha-Mano, S., Lazarov, A., Arnon, S., Lowell, A., Bergman, M., Ryba, M., Hamilton, A.J., Hamilton, J.F., Turner, J.B., Markowitz, J.C., Fisher, P.W., & Neria, Y., (2021)   Neural changes following equine-assisted therapy of posttraumatic stress disorder:  A longitudinal multimodal imaging study.   Human Brain Mapping, 42(6) 1930-1939

    [DOI: 10.1002/hbm.25360. Epub 2021 Feb 5. PMID: 33547694]


    Fisher, P.W., Lowell, A., Markowitz, J.C., & Neria, YEquine Assisted Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (ETA-PTSD) Treatment Manual.  New York, New York:  The Man O’War Project:   Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute.,  © 2021 Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc.

  • Priya Seshan, LMSW, is a school social worker with the New York City Department of Education. She works with District 79’s Pathways to Graduation Program, a high school equivalency program for students ages 17-21 in the alternative district. She previously served at New York City’s only public high school for formerly incarcerated and court involved adolescents.

    Ms. Seshan has experience in sexuality education, community-based after school programs, and foster care settings. Working with clients and their families, she has focused on issues of incarceration, gang involvement, substance abuse, trauma, abuse and neglect, homelessness, sex work, pregnancy prevention, school interruption, learning issues, foster and kinship care, immigration issues, and bereavement and loss.

    A native of Cleveland, Ms. Seshan is a member of the CSSW Schools Advisory Committee. She earned her BA in journalism and sociology from Marquette University, where she was a fellow in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program/Educational Opportunity Program. She earned her MPH with a concentration in HIV and infectious diseases from Hunter College, and her MS from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Pradine Content, LCSW, is an experienced professional with a 20-year career, spanning pivotal roles in city and federal governments alongside impactful contributions within the nonprofit sector. With a talent for clinical transformative change, her expertise encompasses the meticulous management of foster care systems, care management systems, innovative program development, and the restructuring of juvenile justice systems in New York City.

    In addition to her active civic engagements, Pradine holds a small private practice, catering to the needs of both adults and teenagers in New York. Her unwavering commitment and guidance have earned her accolades as a beacon of support and empowerment within her community.

    Pradine showcases a relentless pursuit of knowledge and excellence with the intent to teach others. She proudly holds a BA from New York University and a respected MSW from Columbia University, expressing a dedication to academic rigor and intellectual competence. Currently on the path to enrich her expertise, Pradine is pursuing a Juris Doctorate from Touro University Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, solidifying her position as a leader in cross-disciplinary expertise, communication, and legal aptitude.

  • Courses taught include: Program Evaluation, Social Welfare Policy, Social Policy & Advocacy Practice, Non-Profit Leadership & Macro Practice, Clinical Practice with Groups, Generalist Social Work Practice, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and Vulnerable Youth & Young Adults in Transition.

    Peter Maugeri, MSW has 15 years of experience in designing, facilitating, managing, and evaluating community-based programs. As a capacity builder, Peter is an expert in asset and evidence-based community-led innovation. He has worked closely with NYC and Boston public high schools, community organizations, higher education institutions, policy makers, and youth practitioners to provide coordinated, holistic support in ensuring that youth successfully overcome barriers to post-secondary pathways. Peter has facilitated programs internationally with over 5,000 youth from across 75 communities in the U.S., Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, France, Senegal, and Indonesia.

    Peter currently works as a facilitator for Global Citizen Year, a gap-year international youth leadership program. In 2008, Peter co-founded Global Potential, a youth leadership, service-learning, and social entrepreneurship program for vulnerable adolescents, where he serves on its Board. For the past 8 years, Peter has trained hundreds of case managers working for the HIV/AIDS Service Administration on harm reduction strategies; concepts of diversity, intersectionality, oppression; integrating cultural sensitivity approaches in program delivery; COVID-19 risk reduction; and basic HIV/AIDS education. Peter is currently developing geriatric wellness initiatives for socially isolated and sedentary older adults by sharing his enthusiasm for exercise and wellness to support the aging population in accomplishing their health goals and building self-efficacy.

    “If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” -Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s.

  • Pascale Jean-Noel is the Director of Training for ACT Institute at the Evidence-Based Practices Technical Assistance Center. She provides and coordinates training, and provides technical assistance in the core principals of ACT and other evidence-based practices to ACT practitioners throughout New York State. She has experience serving in inpatient psychiatric units, outpatient mental health, foster care and outpatient substance abuse programs. Mrs. Jean-Noel holds a master’s degree and clinical license in social work.

  • Dr. Ovita Williams is the Executive Director of the CSSW Action Lab for Social Justice at Columbia School of Social Work. She also serves as Associate Director of Field Education, and acted as Interim Dean and Director of the department for two years. Dr. Williams has taught the Social Work Practice and Domestic Violence course at CSSW and the Social Work Practice Lab for Liberation and Social Justice at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter CUNY. Dr. Williams is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in intimate partner violence and forensic social work practice with ten years of experience as the Director of Clinical Services in the Counseling Services Unit at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to this position, Dr. Williams was a therapist at the Children’s Aid Society.

    During her time at CSSW, Dr. Williams has facilitated the Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) for new field instructors and expanded the Advanced SIFI around holding critical conversations in the supervisory relationship.

    Dr. Williams has developed and facilitated interactive workshops for social workers, managers, and various practitioners on facilitating challenging dialogues around racism, class, gender, sexual orientation and intersecting identities. At Columbia, Dr. Williams has worked with students, alumni, faculty and administrators on the development of the foundations course, “Decolonizing Social Work”, through a power, race, oppression, and privilege framework. The course centers undoing anti-black racism and dismantling white supremacy culture.

    A graduate of Vassar College (’90) and Columbia University (’93), Dr. Williams received her PhD from the City University of New York Graduate Center, Silberman School of Social Welfare. Her dissertation addresses the impact of stress, vicarious trauma and structural racism on social workers practicing in district attorney offices while supporting intimate partner violence survivors.

    Dr. Williams is co-author on the recent book Learning to teach, teaching to learn: A guide for social work field education, 3rd Edition (2019) published by the Council on Social Work Education.

  • Dr. Noel B. Ramirez is a Graduate School of Columbia lecturer and has taught graduate social work courses CSSW since 2016.  He received his MSW from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, a graduate degree in public health from Drexel University in 2012, and a doctorate in behavioral health from Arizona State University in 2020.  During the past 16 years, Dr. Ramirez has been involved in community health initiatives providing care access (HIV/AIDS, MAT, Recovery/Resilience-oriented care, and integrated health care in federally qualified health centers).  He is the Founder and Director of Mango Tree Counseling & Consulting, an Asian-American Mental Health Social Enterprise that focuses on the unique mental health needs faced by AAPI communities in the diaspora.  Dr. Ramirez was born and raised in Jersey City, NJ, bowls regularly in various leagues, and is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Nathan is Director of Student & Family Affairs at Harlem Village Academies. Prior to that, he was the founding Director of Counseling Services KIPP NYC and the founding School Social Worker at the KIPP STAR College Prep Charter School in Harlem. Nathan is an adjunct faculty member in the Schools of Social Work at Columbia University and New York University. Nathan is a board member of the Columbia School of Social Work’s Alumni Association and has served in leadership roles in a wide range of nonprofits including Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc., S.A.F.E. in Harlem and the New York Road Runners. He earned a BA at Iona College, an MSSW at the Columbia School of Social Work, and is a graduate student (ABD) Doctor of Philosophy, social policy at Fordham University.

  • Natacha Jacques, a New York native, received her BS in Psychology and her MS in Experimental Psychology from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. She then began working at the Veterans Affair Medical Center in 2008 within their Mental Illness Research Education Clinical Center (MIRECC) in a dual position: psychology technician conducting telephone-based triaging interviews with Veterans interested in connecting to mental health services as well as a research coordinator for various studies focusing on the treatment of substance use, depression, PTSD, and pain. In 2014, she earned her MSW and M.Ed. focusing on Human Sexuality from the Center for Human Sexuality Studies (CHSS) at Widener University in Chester, PA. She completed her doctoral work from the same program with a research focus on female veterans’ sexual functioning, mental wellness, and their relationship with their primary care providers, earning her Ph.D. in August of 2020.

    Natacha has worked with adult male sex offenders post-incarceration providing relapse prevention treatment as mandated by their parole and probation stipulations within a group and individual setting. Present day, she is at the VA Medical Center working as a subject matter expert on software implementation for measurement based care projects and as a clinician within Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) caring for veterans with a myriad of mild to moderate mental and behavioral health concerns within a primary care setting. She has worked for Columbia University’s School of Social Work (CSSW) since 2016 and currently holds the position of an Adjunct Lecturer, leading classes focusing on human sexuality and clinical practices with sexual minorities for master’s level students. She provides clinical supervision to LSWs, consultation to other clinical sexologists on training materials and conference presentations, and has made guest appearances on a podcasts discussing sexuality and sexual myths.

    Natacha believes, wholeheartedly, in the intersection of sexual health and mental health, which continues to drive her research interests, clinical practice, and teaching style. Her future goals all center around destigmatizing conversations around sexual functioning, decolonizing the clinical approach to treating sexual concerns, and dismantling the system of power that continues to oppress women’s sexuality.

  • Nancy J. Murakami is a licensed clinical social worker with extensive program development, training, supervisory, and direct practice experience in the fields of trauma and refugee mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.

    Dr. Murakami co-founded a psychosocial support program in the UNHCR-supported Nyakabande Refugee Transit Camp in Uganda, with the community-based organization Friends of Kisoro. She currently provides weekly telephonic supervision to the camp-based psychosocial team and conducts live trainings for all partner programs in the transit camp.

    An adjunct assistant professor at New York University Silver School of Social Work as well as at Columbia, she has recently held a research assistant position at the NYU Center on Violence and Recovery and clinical and leadership positions at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture in NYC and at Burma Border Projects in Thailand. She practiced as a psychotherapist at the Safe Horizon Counseling Center in NYC, working with adult and child survivors of international human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual violence.

    Dr. Murakami conducts live and web-based trainings domestically and internationally on topics including trauma-informed approaches, refugee services, social work approaches with survivors of torture and forced displacement, working with interpreters, group work, and service provider wellbeing. She is co-editor of Trauma and Recovery on War’s Border: A Guide for Global Health Workers (Dartmouth College Press, 2015), a book in the Geisel Series in Global Health and Medicine.

    Dr. Murakami served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, Africa. She earned her MSW from Columbia University and DSW from New York Universit

  • As an authority on engaged learning, Murali Nair combines traditional cross national value systems with evidence based knowledge in the classroom setting.

    Over his 45-year academic career, Murali Nair has served as a BSW, MSW, and DSW professor and administrator at five universities in the United States and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at three overseas universities.

    In his last positions, Nair was the Clinical Professor of Social Change and Innovation at University of Southern California (2012-2020) and a Professor and the Director of the School of Social Work at Cleveland State University (1992-2012).

    His areas of teaching expertise include macro practice, social enterprise, social responsibility, wellbeing innovation, harnessing technology for social good, advancing long and productive lives, and social responses to changing environments.

    Nair has published extensively in the area of social development, including 13 books, nine short documentaries, and over 100 journal articles and peer reviewed paper presentations at national and international conferences. His latest books include Engaged Learning, Leading and Managing Human Service Organizations (4tth edition), and Evidence Based Macro Social Work Practice (2nd edition). He is a CSWE member of the Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice and an Associate Editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.

    Some of Nair’s recent teaching-service awards include:

    • Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Service to the University, the School and the Community, University of Southern California (2019, 2015, 2014)
    • The Frances Feldman Excellence in Education Award, The California Social Welfare Archives (2017)
    • National Policy Fellow Lead Mentor Award: National Network for Social Work Management (2017)
    • Distinguished Mentoring Award: CSWE-APM conference in Denver (2018)
    • President’s (White House) Volunteer Action Award (2012)
    • Columbia University School of Social Work Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee (2011)
    • Distinguished Faculty Award for Service, Multi-culturalism and Teaching, Cleveland State University (2011, 2006, 2002)
    • Senior Fulbright Scholar Award (2010)
    • Certificate of Special United States Congressional Recognition for Outstanding Services to Community (2009)

    He holds an MSW from Loyola College of Social Sciences, an MS in Computer Science from the New York Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from the Columbia University School of Social Work.

  • Morgan Ritacco, LICSW, LCSW is the high school division social worker at The Lab School of Washington for nearly a decade. The Lab School, a private nonprofit school in DC, specializes in educating students who are diagnosed with language-based learning differences. Ms. Ritacco also serves as the Director of The Lower School Summer Program and maintains an outpatient practice providing individual therapy to children, adolescents, and families. Ms. Ritacco supervises MSW students from CSSW and The University of Maryland.

    Prior to The Lab School, Ms. Ritacco worked in a community-based mental health organization providing trauma focused crisis intervention services to children and families in the Washington, DC region. She also worked in schools providing services to students diagnosed with emotional disabilities.

    A native to Florida, Ms. Ritacco earned her BSW and MSW from The Florida State University with a focus in Child Welfare. Ms. Ritacco moved to the Washington, DC region in 2008 and currently lives with her husband and two sons in Virginia. Morgan joined CSSW as an Associate in 2019. She has also been an Adjunct Instructor at Wilmington University since 2016.

  • Dr. Jethwani is a developmental psychologist who specializes in educational reform. She analyzes the factors that will make students of all backgrounds feel welcome in school.

    Monique Jethwani joined the full-time faculty at the Columbia School of Social Work in 2012. She previously served as a postdoctoral research scientist at CSSW’s Center for Research on Fathers, Children, and Family Well-Being and is now the director of faculty development.

    Dr. Jethwani has experience in developmental research, program development and evaluation, and direct services for youth. For several years she was director of the Safe Harbor program at Safe Horizon, where she managed the local operation (five sites) and national replication (ten sites) of a comprehensive school-based violence prevention program. She has also provided consulting services that include training, curriculum development, and program planning and evaluation for organizations such as The Children’s Aid Society, The After-School Corporation, Educators for Social Responsibility, Forestdale Inc., and the Partnership for After-School Education.

    Dr. Jethwani has also worked with schools and youth organizations in India, Bermuda, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she conducted quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation studies, consequently identifying best practices. Her mixed-methods doctoral dissertation from New York University, entitled When Teachers Treat Me Well, I Think I Belong: School Belonging and the Psychological and Academic Well-Being of Adolescent Girls in India, earned her the NYU Steinhardt award for outstanding research contribution. Her work in Bermuda focused on the lives of unemployed young Black Bermudian men and the gender gap in educational attainment. It resulted in educational policy recommendations made directly to the Bermudian premier and was featured on the front page of The Bermuda Royal Gazette.

    Most recently, Dr. Jethwani has partnered with the NYU Tandon School of Engineering to evaluate several projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency. These projects aim to engage middle school, high school, and college students and their teachers in robotics and cybersecurity activities. Findings have identified strategies to better engage female and minority students in STEM-related activities and careers.

    Dr. Jethwani holds a BA from Barnard College, an EdM from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a PhD from the New York University School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

  • Monica Foote is the Director of Workforce Development at Project Renewal. In this role, she manages a team of job developers, trainers, and case managers to help New Yorkers with significant barriers to employment obtain and keep jobs throughout the city. Her work is focused on special populations including formerly incarcerated persons, individuals with mental health diagnosis, clients with substance use histories, and individuals that are currently or formerly homeless. Prior to her work in the nonprofit world, Monica spent seven years as the Director of Human Resources and Marketing at DevonWay, an enterprise software company in California.

    Monica currently sits on the Board of Directors for New Women New Yorkers, which empowers young immigrant women through workforce development and community building. She previously volunteered at Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco for five years and was a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the dependent court system. Monica received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.

  • Monica A. Joseph retired as Vice President of Treatment Services from ARTC/URI, a multisite nonprofit. During here twenty year career there, she managed outpatient and residential behavioral health care programs serving a variety of vulnerable populations, including domestic violence survivors, persons diagnosed with substance use and/or co-occurring disorders, persons with intellectual challenges, incarcerated adolescents, and adults receiving criminal justice supervision. For approximately ten years, Dr. Joseph also provided clinical administration to NYPCC’s Continuing Day Treatment Programs, which serves persons diagnosed with serious mental illness. Dr. Joseph has taught at CUNY since 2003, and has presented and published on chemical dependency, discrimination, and mental illness.  She holds an MSW and PhD in Social Policy and Policy Analysis from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Dr. Michelle Salvaggio, LCSW-R, maintains a private practice in the Hudson Valley, where she provides clinical services to individuals and families coping with trauma and mental illness. Prior to opening her practice, she served in community mental health clinics in Queens and Brooklyn, as well as school, foster care, and preventive services programs in the Bronx. She has also served as a clinical supervisor, field instructor, and trainer in Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting. She has taught as an adjunct professor in the Silberman School of Social Work’s Human Behavior in the Social Environment course, and served on the board of the Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP), a parent advocacy organization in East Harlem. Dr. Salvaggio earned her BA in Psychology and English from Rutgers University (2001) and her MS from the Columbia School of Social Work (2004).

  • Michael Bodtmann, LCSW, is a certified school social worker who serves as a clinician and director of DBT services in two New Jersey group private practices. Prior to his work in private practice, Mr. Bodtmann served as a DBT program coordinator, in which role he designed and facilitated a DBT program for youth requiring intensive psychiatric services in a therapeutic high school. He has provided psychiatric and substance use services to adolescents in school based settings in New Jersey and New York City, and worked in medical settings with children, adolescents, and families. Mr. Bodtmann has participated in research on DBT, suicide and self harm screening, and spirituality in clinical practice.

    Mr. Bodtmann is an alumnus of Columbia University’s DBT Training Program and Lab. He completed additional DBT training with adolescents, families, and individuals with complex behavioral disorders. He has conducted presentations and trainings on DBT, and on adapting the treatment for adolescents in school settings. He provides education on DBT to schools, practitioners, and community members

  • Over the course of his 50-year career, Michael Friedman has served as a direct service provider, an administrator, a government official, and a social advocate. He retired in 2010 from his position as Director of The Center for Policy, Advocacy, and Education of The Mental Health Association of New York City, which he founded in 2003. He also retired as Chair of the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance of New York, which he co-founded in 2004, and as the Facilitator of the Veterans’ Mental Health Coalition in NYC, which he co-founded in 2009. Since his retirement he has continued to teach at the Columbia School of Social Work and to write frequently about mental health, aging, and other topics.

    Mr. Friedman previously served as Regional Director (Deputy Commissioner) of the New York State Office of Mental Health, Director of Network Development for The Department of Psychiatry of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Executive Director of The Mental Health Association of Westchester, Director of Operations of The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, and Program Director of The Bridge, Inc. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, he taught philosophy at several colleges in the NYC area.

    Mr. Friedman has served on advisory and advocacy groups at the local, state, and federal levels. Among others, he served as President of the Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies, Chairman of the Hudson River Planning Advisory Committee of the Office of Mental Health, and Vice-Chairman of the New York City Public Child Fatality Review Committee. He also served on The National Institute of Mental Health Services Research Planning Panel, as a member of the NYS Geriatric Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Planning Council, and on the Health Care Policy Advisory Committee for the NYS Governor’s Transition Team in 2006.

    He currently serves as volunteer Chair of the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance of New York.
    Mr. Friedman has presented at numerous conferences and has published approximately 200 articles, book chapters, and essays. His topics of interest include geriatric mental health, mental health policy and finance, health care reform, child mental health, social advocacy, family violence, stigma, creativity, and political philosophy. He is the co-author of a comic parody of America’s system of psychiatric diagnosis titled The Diagnostic Manual of Mishegas. His writing can be found at

    Mr. Friedman is also a semi-professional photographer who exhibits frequently in Westchester County and NYC ( He is also a semi-professional jazz musician.

    Mr. Friedman earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, a master’s degree in philosophy from Columbia, and an MSW from the Hunter College School of Social Work.

  • Adjunct Lecturer Bomar received his bachelors as a graduate of Winthrop University with a minor focused in Business Administration, and received his masters from the University of South Carolina. Bomar has experience in providing clinical practice and executive management within statutory guidelines, with a focus in regulatory and policy development with program implementation. His professional experience spans 20 + years. During this time accumulating experience in executive management, and as an independent clinical therapist with various populations in areas such as medical practice, and behavioral health.
    Currently, Bomar is a supervisor of a Program Integrity Department of a managed care organization (MCO) in NC, responsible for preventing, detecting, and identifying fraud, waste, and abuse within their respective network. Michael holds clinical licensure in North and South Carolina, also holding the Accredited Healthcare Fraud Investigator (AHFI) designation through the National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA).

    Areas of Specialty: Project Management, Process Mapping/Development, Strategic Planning, Program Compliance, Risk Management, Financial & Data Analysis, Quality Assurance, Program Development.

  • Melissa Meinhart has a PhD in Social Policy from Columbia University’s School of Social Work with a social science concentration in economics. Dr. Meinhart’s research focuses on the development of methodologies to critically measure and examine the underlying constructs that perpetuate gendered inequities and social discordance in low- and middle-income countries, particularly within humanitarian emergencies. Her career in social work began while working with street children in Ghana. She was a caseworker and direct-practice researcher for refugee resettlement in the United States before focusing her attention on global humanitarian policy and research. In addition to her adjunct teaching positions, Dr. Meinhart works as an independent consultant in humanitarian emergencies across Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and the South Pacific.

  • Dr. Mathylde Frontus is a member of the New York State Assembly, representing the 46th Assembly District of southern Brooklyn. She was sworn into office on November 15, 2018, and serves on six committees including Aging; Children and Families; Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; Mental Health; Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development; and Transportation. Dr. Frontus was recently appointed as Chair of the newly created Minority Mental Health Subcommittee in the New York State Assembly.

    Before taking office, Dr. Frontus served in several social work–related roles. From 2004-2016 she served as the founder and executive director of a multi-service nonprofit organization in Brooklyn that offers services in housing, employment, legal assistance, financial
    literacy, mental health, veterans outreach, and youth leadership. She also founded two multi-stakeholder coalitions to reduce the incidence of community violence, as well as two social enterprise consultancies offering capacity-building services and behavioral health consultation.

    Dr. Frontus earned her BSW and MSW from the New York University Silver School of Social Work; her MA from the Clinical Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University; her MTS from Harvard Divinity School; and her PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work, with a specialization in Social Policy and Administration.

    Dr. Frontus is proud to be one of only a few social workers in the New York State legislature. She is proud to hold appointments as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work and the Columbia School of Social Work where she has taught several courses including Advocacy in Social Work Practice, Stigma and Mental Health, and Social Policy.

  • Martin G. Englisher, CEO of the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood (the “Y”), grew up down the block from the organization he has led since 1981. Over the years, Mr. Englisher’s visionary leadership of the Y has been a positive force for the community, especially as he steered programming to serve the needs of a diverse and evolving neighborhood. His approach has always been to be an active visible leader in the community, and he has positioned the Y as a key player at many tables. Under his leadership, the Y has developed outstanding services at multiple locations in Manhattan for neighborhood families, including diverse youth programs, accessible social services in three different languages, and a housing facility for senior citizens, the Wien House.

    He has been actively involved with the New York Police Department both at the precinct level and citywide, and especially with the NYPD Cadet Corps providing training and guidance to police officers. He has mentored hundreds of NYPD officers, starting with their initial employment and throughout their careers—some of whom are Commanding Officers today. In 2012, Mayor Michael Bloomberg awarded Mr. Englisher the NYC Small Business Services Award for Leadership, as a person who has significantly impacted a community over a lifetime. Mr. Englisher has chaired the Management Caucus of the New York region of UJA Community Centers and has negotiated collective bargaining agreements for the multi-employer group for over three decades. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences and meetings both locally and nationally, and a coach to newer CEOs joining the field.

  • Dr. Badillo-Diaz is an experienced school administrator and counseling director with a demonstrated history of working in community mental health and in education as a social worker. Currently, Dr. Badillo-Diaz is a consultant focusing on the training of educators, supervision of social workers, and program evaluation with MABD Consulting. She is also an adjunct professor and board member of the National School Social Work Association of America. Her area of interest includes child & adolescent mental health, school social work practice, community partnership development, social-emotional learning programming, 21st-century skills, leadership, clinical supervision for social workers, data management, program evaluation, grant writing, and career development.

  • Margarita Carson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State, specializing in individual and couples therapy. Margarita was inspired to enter the field of social work by witnessing the mental health disparities in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Her purpose is to ensure everyone is provided with quality mental health services and lives a healthy life. As a solution-focused therapist, Margarita has been honored to make a difference in the lives of people through improving self-confidence and assisting them through challenging times.

    Margarita graduated from Phoenix University in 2008 with a master’s degree in Public Administration and Management and the University of New England in 2014 with an MSW. She is currently attending Walden University as a PhD candidate in Public Policy and Administration.

    Through her academic studies, experience, and passion she continues to engage people through a strength-based lens and compassionate counseling. Margarita strives to examine and correct practice through the lens of racial equity, dismantling systemic and institutional barriers to the well-being, stability, and success of clients, families, and community.

  • Madelyn Bart, LCSW, received her Master of Science in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University, where she was a member of Columbia University’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training Program and Lab. In addition to standard DBT, Madelyn has received advanced training through Behavioral Tech LLC in DBT for adolescents, eating disorders, and trauma. She also has extensive training in other evidence-based interventions including Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Eating Disorders, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Clinical Perfectionism.

    Madelyn is currently a clinician at MindWell NYC, a group private practice in New York City. In this position, she provides DBT and CBT to adolescents and adults throughout the lifespan and co-facilitates the Eating Disorder Consultation Team. Prior to her work at MindWell NYC, Madelyn was a therapist and clinical supervisor at Columbus Park Eating Disorder Experts, where she delivered CBT-E and DBT therapy to college students and adults struggling with eating disorders, body image issues, and trauma. She has also provided trauma-focused therapy and coordinated services for adolescents, young adults, and their families in residential and medical settings. Madelyn is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the New York City Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Association.

  • Lyndsi is a licensed psychologist, receiving her doctoral degree in School Psychology from Rutgers University. Lyndsi was intensively trained in DBT by Behavioral Tech and has completed advanced training in DBT with special populations including families, couples, individuals with PTSD, and individuals with eating disorders. Her clinical experience has focused on treating emotional dysregulation throughout the life course. She has a particular expertise in behavioral observation, consultation, and interventions, and she is a devoted advocate and educator for families and other professionals. In addition to her clinical experience, Lyndsi also also has an expertise in school-based services to support students within their educational setting.

  • Lucky Larrosa, LCSW (she/her/ella) began her career in social service in 2015 where she was a research assistant, for Dr. Christina W. Hoven in The Child Psychiatric Epidemiology Group (CPEG), at The New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), on The Adolescent Imaging Study. She has provided treatment and evaluation to children, adults, families, immigrants and justice involved individuals in correctional, medical and school settings. Currently, Lucky works as a School Social Worker in the New York City Department of Education.

    Lucky holds a Bachelor of Art from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Forensic Psychology and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work (CSSW). During her time at Columbia University, she was a member of  The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training Program and Lab, directed by Dr. Andre Ivanoff, and completed practicum placements with Wediko Children’s Services providing school based counseling services and Riker’s Island providing adapted Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

  • Lucia McBee, LCSW, received her Master’s in both Social and Public Health from Columbia University. She worked for over 30 years with elders, high risk populations and persons with chronic conditions as well as their caregivers in a wide range of community, research, and institutional settings. During this time, she developed a pioneering practice using mindfulness as well as other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities to improve the quality of life in community, hospital, clinic and nursing home settings. She trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in 1997. She also completed training in in Mind/Body/Spirit Medicine at the Center for Mind/Body Medicine in 2000, and in 2008, Lucia became a certified Kripalu yoga teacher.

    Since 1994, Lucia has taught MBSR to a wide variety of populations including frail elders and caregivers, college students, persons with HIV, those recently released from incarceration, and health care professionals, as well as courses for the general population. Lucia is currently a freelance author, teacher and consultant who regularly publishes and teaches nationally and internationally on mindfulness. She is also an Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work. Mindfulness-Based Elder Care: A CAM Model for Frail Elders and Their Caregivers, her book describing her work with elders and caregivers, was published in 2008. For more information on Lucia see:

  • Lindsay Chester, LCSW, is the Founder and Clinical Director of City Behavioral Health. She
    earned her BA from the George Washington University and her Masters in Social Work from
    Fordham University with an emphasis on addiction and co-occurring psychiatric disorders.

    Lindsay has extensive experience working in addiction treatment, in both a clinical and
    research capacity, and has worked in inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. Lindsay has
    held several positions at the world-renowned Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation where her
    clinical work focused on the treatment of addiction with emerging adults [18-35] and their
    families. She has extensive training and clinical experience in the implementation of
    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in its fully adherent form. In addition to her background in
    DBT, Lindsay has advanced post graduate training in couples and family therapy from the
    nationally recognized Ackerman Institute for the Family as well as the Gottman Institute.

    Lindsay’s private group practice, City Behavioral Health, focuses on the treatment of
    individuals with complex psychiatric needs, addictive disorders and personality disorders.
    Treatment emphasis is placed on integrating behavioral interventions [DBT, CBT and ERP]
    with more traditional methods of addiction treatment. Lindsay has emerged as a leader in the
    field with her innovative perspective on the integration of addiction treatment and DBT. She
    teaches and trains the clinicians and staff of multiple treatment centers on DBT and how to
    integrate its principles into general practice.

  • Dr. Lena L. Green, DSW, LCSW, currently serves as the executive director of the HOPE Center, a community-based mental health clinic connected to Harlem’s historic First Corinthian Baptist Church. Prior to her role at the HOPE Center, Dr. Green held several positions in New York City government including deputy director of the Office of Substance Use, Policy, Planning and Monitoring at the city’s Human Resources Administration. In her more than 20 years of direct practice and management experience as a clinical social worker, psychotherapist, fatherhood practitioner, professor, and administrator, Dr. Green has had a tremendous impact on countless New Yorkers. She is skilled in various areas of mental health, program planning, development, clinical supervision and building strategic partnerships.

    A licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Green’s research interests include mental health, trauma-informed clinical practices, fatherhood, maternal health, pregnant and parenting families, child-parent attachment, and perinatal mood disorders. Dr. Green has a deep commitment to community, working with underserved and marginalized populations. Her work explores the experiences of young fathers and the impact on paternal involvement on family dynamics. She is devoted to promoting open dialogue around the destigmitazation of father absence, men’s mental health, and ensuring that all children have access to both parents in a safe co-parenting environment.

    Dr. Green has received several awards and has been recognized as a leader by national organization as well as her peers. She received the National Association of Social Workers New York City Chapter’s Social Work I.M.P.A.C.T. Award in 2019. The award, which is the chapter’s highest honor, is presented to a social worker who “exemplifies the commitment to social justice, equity, empowerment, and civil rights, through their work, research, advocacy, practice, embodiment of the social work profession, and their dedication to the communities and individuals they serve.” In 2015, she also received the chapter’s Mid-Career Leadership Award. Most recently, in 2019, she was inducted into the Pi Pi Chapter of the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society. In the same year, she was selected as an honoree for the Living the Dream Award by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. In 2016 Dr. Green was granted the Cause Marketing Summit Awesome Possum Award for Distinguished Leadership and she was named Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated’s Human Services Award recipient for outstanding service in 2015.

    Dr. Green, a native of Harlem, holds both a doctorate and master’s degree in social work from New York University  and received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Green completed post-master’s certificates in Advance Clinical Practice from Hunter College, and the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Addicted Clients from NYU. Dr. Green serves on several boards throughout the northeast and is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

  • Laurie C. Maldonado is a social worker, educator, and an international scholar on single-parent families. She is Assistant Professor of Social Work at Molloy University and Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work (CSSW). She holds a MSW and PhD in social welfare at UCLA.

    Dr. Maldonado teaches capstone, research, and practice with families, communities and organizations at Molloy University. She is delighted to teach the policy seminar series at CSSW! She has taught several courses at CSSW since 2016, and is interested in sharing her expertise in comparative social policy. With Molloy’s International Office of Education, Dr. Maldonado designed a week-long international trip to Belgium for students to learn more about the European Union and the role of the social welfare state. Molloy students collaborate with University of Antwerp students on a project that explores the differences between the social policy and social work practice in Belgium and the US.

    Maldonado’s research aims to inform policies and programs to improve the lives of single parents and their children in the US and across countries. She received a four-year PhD grant awarded by Luxembourg National Research Fund, which fully supported her dissertation titled Doing Better for Single-Parent Families: Policy and Poverty in 45 Countries. A study that found the effectiveness of child support, child benefit, paid leave, and working time policies that reduce poverty for families. Previously, she was a pre-doctoral scholar and researcher at The Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality at the Graduate Center CUNY and The LIS Cross-National Data Center.

    Maldonado co-authored, with Rense Nieuwenhuis from Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), publications featured in Community, Work, and Family, Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology, Belgian Social Security Review, Handbook of Research on In-Work Poverty, and Handbook of Family Policy. Their joint work was nominated in 2016 for the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research and their findings have been featured in reports by UN Women, the European Union and as part of the UN Millennium Development Goals to eradicate poverty.

    Maldonado co-edited a book with Bristol University Press, titled The Triple Bind of Single-Parent Families. Single parents face a triple bind of inadequate resources, employment, and policy – which combined, make it really difficult for single parents to provide for themselves and their children. The book shows evidence from over 40 countries, suggesting that these challenges are less about individual factors and more about structural factors that warrant policy solutions. Leading international scholars provide rigorous research to examine effective policy to support single-parent families.

    Maldonado co-authored with Tim Casey from Legal Momentum, a paper titled Worst Off: Single-Parent Families in the United States. The study made an important contribution towards understanding the difficult plight of single parents in the U.S. as mostly due to the lack of social policies and protections that are otherwise offered in other high-income countries. The study received media attention in The Nation, by Bill Moyers, in the New York Times, by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, in Forbes, on the radio station WBAI, and on the television, Al Jazeera International English.

    Currently, Maldonado is co-editing, with Janet Gornick at the Graduate Center CUNY and Amanda Sheely at London School of Economics, a forthcoming volume on Single-Parent Families and Public Policy in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. This volume aims to have an impact on the US; to extend our understanding of single-parent families and of the most effective policy approaches from several high-income countries.

    Dr. Maldonado loves the social work profession. She served as a social worker in community-based organizations that served women and children in Los Angeles and New York.

  • Lauren Taylor, LCSW, is a psychiatric social worker and oral historian. Since 1994, she has served on staff at the Service Program for Older People (SPOP), a not-for-profit mental health clinic for older adults. She has served as a field advisor and field instructor for Columbia social work students in a range of agencies.

    Ms. Taylor gives seminars and workshops on a variety of mental health issues related to the aging process, with a focus on the therapeutic use of narrative. With CSSW, she made an educational film about sexuality and aging, funded by the Hartford Foundation and distributed by the New York Academy of Medicine. Ms. Taylor created a second teaching film, in which she brought together young social work students and older women for a dialogue about the challenges facing women across the life span.

    As an oral historian, Ms. Taylor has conducted dozens of life history interviews with older adults, both in the United States and abroad. She studies the subjective experience of aging through the medium of narrative. She is the oral historian for the Emeriti Professors in Columbia institute (EPIC), and recently completed a series of interviews for EPIC on the subject of retirement. Ms. Taylor has lectured and published on the therapeutic use of oral history and life review.

  • Laura D. Miller, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Brooklyn. She has a special interest in issues related to immigration, and focuses on bilingual/bicultural work with Latinx immigrants. She works with Physicians in Human Rights providing pro bono psychological evaluations for asylum seekers. She previously served as a psychotherapist and supervisor at Interborough Developmental and Consultation Centers, and has treated a range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.

    Ms. Miller has published and presented on issues including problems of transition with adolescent immigrants, and the impact of parental infidelity on adult clients. Her work has been published in the Clinical Social Work Journal. She is an Associate Editor of the academic journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis. She is a contributor to the Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Action blog for Psychology Today. At CSSW, she has taught Direct Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups and Adult Psychopathology and Pathways to Wellness. She also teaches in the social work graduate schools at Fordham University and CUNY Hunter College.

    Ms. Miller is the Director of the License Qualifying Program in Psychoanalysis at the William Alanson White Institute, where she earned a certificate in psychoanalysis. She earned her BA in sociology from New York University, and her MSW from CUNY Hunter College, with a Certificate of Specialization in Children, Youth, and Families.

  • Rev. Kyndra Frazier, was recognized by the Root 100 as one of the Most Influential African-Americans in 2020 for breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations in the field of mental health. She is a licensed master social worker and a Baptist clergywoman. Kyndra served as the Associate Pastor of Congregational Care and Wellness at First Corinthian Baptist Church, as well as the Founding Executive Director of the HOPE Center, both located in Central Harlem of New York City from 2016-2020. During her tenure there she was awarded the American Psychiatric Association’s Achievement Award for Innovation in the Mental Health Field.  Kyndra is currently the Founder and CEO of KYND Consulting Inc., a mental health and wellness boutique that supports individuals, couples, and organizations in thriving through therapeutic services, spiritual coaching, and trauma-informed trainings. Kyndra has been featured in multiple print and digital publications including Vice Magazine, New York Times, Sojourners Magazine, and VoyageATL Magazine. Kyndra holds a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, a Master of Social Work from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from North Carolina A&T State University.

  • Krystal Miller is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker by trade and Healing Practitioner by path. With over 10 years in the field, Krystal has worked in crisis counseling, child welfare and within the school social work sphere in both public and charter institutions in NYC. Krystal has a deep passion for full person care with a particular interest in ancestral practices which can be seen in her specializations in Integrative and Holistic Mental Wellness. As a Spiritual Herbalist and a yoga instructor trained in trauma conscious care, Krystal focuses on mind-body-spirit-cultural work when with clients individually or within the community collective. 

    Krystal currently works full time in her healing practice, Melanated Masks–where she provides herbal consultations, professional development and intimate community sessions focusing on holistic mental wellness care for communities of color–as well as seeing clients for individual therapy. Krystal is also active as a Field Instructor for MSW students within the CUNY system and supervising rising clinicians through the group practice, Amira for Her. Her background in Black Studies continues to fuel her push for decolonized clinical/community care in a way that truly speaks to the core of every individual and she continues to deepen her knowledge through continued research through ancestral healing practices.

    Krystal is a first generation New Yorker with roots in Jamaica by way of the Western coast of Afrika. She got her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Black Studies from the State University of New York, College at New Paltz. She later received her Master’s in Social Work from Adelphi University. This background equips Krystal with the knowledge needed to support the growth of social work students with CSSW as she challenges them through critical thinking, self-exploration and social justice.

  • Kimberly Spencer Suarez is a doctoral candidate at Columbia School of Social Work. Her research interests include aging in the criminal justice system, and issues related to incarceration and reentry for older adults.

    Prior to joining Columbia, Ms. Suarez served in hospice and nonprofit settings. She has engaged in clinical research and program development for the Misdemeanor Assessment Project at the Center for Court Innovation, and she serves as an organizer of the Justice Working Group, co-sponsored by the Center for Justice and the Columbia Population Research Center. Ms. Suarez holds a BA in History and an MSW with emphases in clinical practice and aging, both from UCLA.

  • Dr. Kimberly Grocher earned a BS in Psychology from Towson University in Baltimore, MD, MSW from Howard University in Washington DC, MA in Media Studies & Media Management from The New School in New York City and PhD in Social Work from Fordham University in New York City. She completed post-graduate training in Psychodynamic Couple Therapy at the Training Institute for Mental Health in NYC and received coach training through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC). She completed yoga teacher training at Yoga Haven in Scarsdale, NY, is a qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, and is currently in the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program facilitated by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. Her research focuses on using media & technology to enhance practice, organizational, and policy development around mental and physical health as well as mind-body therapies to improve health outcomes for Black women. She was a fellow in the inaugural Media & Medicine program at Harvard Medical School where she focused on creating content addressing health disparities in Black women using yoga.

    Dr. Grocher has provided psychotherapy, executive coaching, and consultation services in numerous settings in the Baltimore/Washington DC Metro area, South Florida, and New York City including inpatient and outpatient mental health/substance abuse facilities, sub-acute/long-term care, corporations (such as New York Times, The Times, Viacom, etc.), and private practice. She maintains a virtual private practice serving clients in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida. She provides psychotherapy to couples and professional women who are navigating mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, and reproductive mental health concerns. Her executive coaching services focus on professional women and creative entrepreneurs who want to achieve their career and leadership goals while aligning their lifestyle goals to achieve optimal wellness and satisfaction in all areas of their life. In addition to integrating yoga and mindfulness practices into her work with clients, Dr. Grocher offers individual and small group yoga sessions with new yogis in mind.

    Dr. Grocher also has extensive experience as a trainer and educator. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University School of Social Work, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service and Lecturer of Social Work in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Grocher has presented on topics related to health, wellness, media, anti-racism and cultural humility in health care, academia, and clinical practice. She is also an expert speaker on performance, leadership and non-profit management in organizations and has shared her expertise at national and international conferences.

  • Kimberly Westcott is a Senior Program Officer in Criminal Justice Grantmaking with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, where her work focuses on promoting thriving Black and brown communities through community-led health and lived-experience-centered restorative initiatives that transform punitive systems.

    Formerly Associate Counsel at the Community Service Society (CSS), a 175-year-old anti-poverty organization, and a labor and employment attorney with the New York City Transit Authority, Dr. Westcott has worked to remove barriers to employment impacting the formerly incarcerated and to create living wage career pathways that resource communities of color.  At CSS, Dr. Westcott’s cultural organizing led to her founding and producing the Full Participation Is a Human Right Conference and Arts Festival (2018-2020) and the intersectional conversation series The Color Line in the 21st Century.

    Dr. Westcott’s academic interests include social welfare and disrupting the process of racialization, criminalization, and exclusion. She aims to build power with groups and communities of color by advancing health and full political, economic, and social participation in accord with human rights norms.  She explored these topics in her doctoral thesis, Fictive Citizenship: A Genealogy of the Social Construction of the Black Male and the Penal Process in the U.S., 1790-1930.

    Dr. Westcott holds a BA in history from Yale, an MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work, and a PhD in Social Welfare Policy from Columbia. She is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law– Newark.  Dr. Westcott developed and teaches CSSW’s course “Race, Representation, Criminalization and Exclusion: Black Americans in the United States Criminal Punishment System”; writes opinion pieces on race and social justice;, and has published several articles that advance a life-course-development/human rights approach to changing the punishment paradigm, including “Race, Criminalization and Historical Trauma in the United States: Making the Case for a New Justice Framework,” Traumatology 21(4), 273-284 (2015).

  • Keren Ludwig, LCSW, is a New York-based psychotherapist, trainer and consultant. In her private practice she sees couples, families, and individuals, and specializes in issues of inter-personal trauma, family life cycle transition and adolescent development.

    Keren has experience working in schools and community-based agencies serving children and families involved in the foster care system, managing life-threatening illnesses, and navigating various forms of trauma. She provides clinical consultation and training to professionals and organizations ranging from supervision, to agency-wide professional development.

    She is on the faculty of the Columbia University School of Social Work and the Ackerman Institute for the Family, where she has been a member of the Children and Relational Trauma Project, the Multi-Racial Family Project and currently, the Couples and Intimacy Project. Keren is an editorial board member of the journal Social Work with Groups. She has written articles and created films to convey the practice of therapy to other professionals, and is a psychotherapy consultant to Showtime’s docu-series Couples Therapy.

  • Kelly Smith is the founder and director of the Institute for Social Work and Environmental Justice. In partnership with Adelphi University, she launched the first continuing education certificate program in Environmental Justice for social workers.

    Kelly currently serves as an inaugural member of the Grand Challenge Advisory Council for Creating Social Responses to a Changing Environment. She was also a member of the Council for Social Work Education’s Environmental Justice Curricular Guide Task Force, assisting with competency development for the EPAS Curricular Guide Resource Series.

    Kelly earned her Doctor of Social Work degree at the University of Southern California in 2020, where she was honored with The Order of Arête and Phi Alpha Honor Society memberships. Kelly holds a master’s degree in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and another master’s degree in secondary education. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton with a double-major in English Literature and Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies.

  • Katrina Balovlenkov, LCSW is the Administrative Director of Montefiore Health System’s AIDS Center and an advocate for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, sex workers, and people who use drugs.

    Katrina has a wealth of expertise implementing best practices for the prevention, care and treatment for People Living with HIV/AIDS, and applying public health policies designed to lessen the negative consequences associated with various high-risk behaviors (i.e., harm reduction).

    Katrina’s expertise in healthcare and harm reduction strategies derives from her experience as the Program Director for Whitney M. Young Junior HIV Program (2013-2015), the only federally qualified health center in Albany County, New York, as the Interim Executive Director at New York Harm Reduction Educators (2015-2016), a syringe exchange program providing services in Harlem and the South Bronx, and subsequently as the Director of The Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center (2016-2017). Prior to these executive leadership positions, Katrina’s biography includes eight years of direct clinical experience as a therapist and case manager.

    Katrina’s community advocacy is exemplified by her membership in the New York City EMA Ryan White Planning Council’s Integration of Care Committee, her role as the community co-chair for NYSDOH AIDS Institute’s Ending the Epidemic Drug User Health Workgroup, and her membership in the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute Consumer Quality Advisory Council and Sentinel Events Work Group.

    Katrina regularly travels throughout New York State to speak on variety of public health topics, such as harm reduction in drug use and sex work, and the Undetectable=Untransmittable ( U=U) movement and it’s implications for clinical practice. Most recently, Katrina delivered a presentation entitled “Bringing the Patient Voice to the Improvement Table: Strategies to Meaningfully Engage Consumers in your Clinical Quality Management Program” at HRSA’s 2018 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment.

    Katrina was recognized for her work in HIV prevention, education, and advocacy by the New York State Department of Health at each of the 2016 and 2017 World AIDS Day Celebrations.

    Katrina is a 2007 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work where she earned her MSW. In 2017, the University bestowed upon her the “Alumni of the Year Award”. Katrina received her LCSW-C in 2011. Katrina also received a certificate in Financial Social Work from the Center for Financial Social Work in 2009. Katrina is currently a licensed clinical social work (LCSW) in New York State. Katrina is a certified Naloxone Trainer of Trainers for Overdose Prevention.

  • Katherine Tineo-Komatsu, LCSW, RYT (she/they) is a licensed clinical social worker and registered yoga teacher. Katherine started in the field of social work over 10 years ago. They’ve worked with adults, older adults, young people, young children, families, and groups. Katherine developed their skill set while working in non-profits, health care agencies, and educational settings. Katherine attended Brown University and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Africana Studies. They attended Columbia University and graduated with a master of science degree in Social Work. They then went on to complete a certificate program at The New School in Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy. Katherine also completed a 200-hr certificate program with Breathe for Change in teaching yoga and social emotional learning to educators and students. Katherine is a Black-Indigenous-Dominican born on the island of Ayiti and raised in Lenapehoking. Katherine is interested in exploring ways of dismantling systems of oppression through decolonial work; remembering and rekindling relationships with plants and herbs; reconnecting to practices of stillness and embodiment; and working with the ancestors, spirits, guides, and Source to continue the traditions of knowing and being in communion with the universe. Currently, Katherine is a social work supervisor at a primary care program for people who use drugs; an instructor at Columbia School of Social Work; a yoga therapist at a trauma center for young children and their families; and a sole proprietor of a training and consulting business. Katherine resides in Mannahata with her partner and two daughters.

  • Karina Rodriguez is Clinical Social Worker at Pediatric Partners helping address the mental and behavioral health needs of children and adolescents. She provides a wide range of psychotherapy therapeutic services that include mindfulness, self-help, depression, anxiety, parenting, and trauma resolution/healing issues.
    Karina is a Latina Social Worker with over 17 years of experience, served New York City Department of Education from 2006 and through 2021, as the Director of School Counseling for multiple districts. In this capacity, Karina strived to advance 151 schools serving 121,800+ students by leading professional development initiatives for the school counselors, social workers, and student support personnel who work to positively impact students' social-emotional development and academic success. Karina specifically focused her efforts on creating and implementing action plans to increase student support while specializing in pupil personnel support, DOE policies, legal mandates, school development, and community services.

    Examples of her successful initiatives include Social Emotional Conferences, Attendance Improvement Programs, creating School Crisis Teams, delivery of leadership skills-building opportunities, and facilitating programs for Black and Latino males to help close the achievement gap. Karina is a lecturer at Columbia School of Social Work.

    Karina is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Social Work Field Instructor, and School Building Leader. She also holds a Life Space Crisis Intervention and Restorative Trainer certification and is an active member of the National Association of School Social Workers, and Executive Committee member of Columbia University School Social Work Conference.  
    Karina holds a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Baruch College, as well as Master’s Degrees in Public Administration and Social Work, both from Columbia University in addition to her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from Long Island University and completing the Diplomacy Program at the Foreign Affairs College of China.

  • Julman Tolentino is an educator and program developer whose work is grounded in liberation sociology. He is an academic advisor at the School of Labor and Urban Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY) and has a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College. Julman has created and facilitated anti-oppression trainings and retreats for students, educators, and social service providers. Through the American Conference on Diversity, he has run yearly summer social justice camps for youth from high schools throughout NY and NJ. Julman develops and facilitates workshops on undoing patriarchy, including running a monthly men’s group in New York City, working with high school students at the Young Men of Color Symposium, and co-facilitating the Uprooting Patriarchy retreat at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. In support and solidarity with the Black community, he has created a workshop for Asians/Asian Americans to address anti-Black racism which has been conducted at numerous conferences and for various community-based organizations. Julman began his social justice work as an organizer in the Filipino community and as a founder of a leadership organization for Filipino high school youth in Jersey City, N

  • Julia Colangelo, LCSW is a solution-focused therapist in New York City. She specializes in working with children, teens, adults, and families by teaching behavioral strategies and mindfulness skills to support their social, emotional, and relational growth.

    Ms. Colangelo’s clinical experience includes large non-profits and school based settings in New York City. Julia has been a guest lecturer at NYU School of Social Work and teaches the benefits of mindfulness and its clinical application. Julia believes that clinicians can utilize mindfulness based interventions to best support clients in their efforts to recover, connect, and flourish.

  • Josie Torielli, LCSW has worked as a therapist, counselor, crisis counselor, advocate, program director, educator, presenter, and supervisor. Of particular interest is trauma work with communities, activism, supervision, professional development, and vicarious trauma. Her professional experience includes The NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, Training Institute for Mental Health, Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, Aldea Counseling Services, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Safe Horizon, and Long Island College Hospital. To relieve stress, she occasionally asks her colleagues to ‘dance it out’ with her. She is a comically bad dancer.

    Ms. Torielli has completed post-graduate training in Advanced Trauma Treatment and EMDR. She holds a BA from Syracuse University and an MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Jordana Rutigliano currently serves as Director, Value Based Payment Project at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In this role, Jordana is responsible for a program to support Community Based Organizations in their move to Value Based Payment (VBP) in line with the goals of DSRIP and the larger Medicaid reform landscape in New York. Prior to her current role, Jordana spent almost 10 years developing and managing behavioral health services within a federally qualified health center network, developing an expertise in behavioral health compliance, financial sustainability, and operational efficiency while focusing on meeting the needs of highly underserved populations – a career-long passion of hers. Jordana has also worked in provider quality and strategy at a behavioral health managed care organization, assisting providers with developing services to best meet established quality measures and helping design payment reform initiatives. Jordana received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.

  • Dr. Jonathan P. Edwards is a Program Consultant for New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care, and Treatment and brings more than 25 years of experience facilitating individual and organizational change through programming and planning, clinical practice, supervision, training, and research. A licensed clinical social worker specializing in recovery-oriented care for adults experiencing mental health and substance use issues, Dr. Edwards is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) and an adjunct instructor at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College where he has taught organizational theory, research, and professional seminar. He also consults nationally on peer support services implementation and supervision, as well as plays an integral role in advancing peer workforce development in mental health and substance use treatment settings. He is former director of peer support services at Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY where he supervised a large team working in five different service settings, as well as developed and facilitated support groups for family members of individuals accessing inpatient psychiatric services.

    Dr. Edwards combines academic, professional, and personal experience with several decades of involvement with organizations and initiatives serving black, same-gender-loving (SGL) identified men. He has received training on anti-Black racism from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and has organized conferences and initiatives promoting racial, health, and gender equity in his professional and community organizing roles and is integrally involved with Surviving Race: The Intersection of Injustice, Disability, and Human Rights, a grassroots organization focused on eradicating police violence against black people and individuals with disabilities. Dr. Edwards was a recipient of the SAMHSA funded Minority Fellowship through Council on Social Work Education, and has received several awards, including a behavioral health innovation award from the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, New York University Silver School of Social Work, a peer leadership award from Mental Health Empowerment Project, and the Cookie Gant and Bill Compton LGBTQIA+ Leadership Award, from The National Empowerment Center, for excellence in advocating for intersectionality and inclusion of diverse identities within the mental health peer and survivor community. Dr. Edwards also serves on the National Association of Peer Supporters (N.A.P.S.) Board, New York Peer Specialist Certification Board, and Mental Health News Education Board.

    A graduate of City College (BA, industrial psychology;’03) and Hunter College School of Social Work (MSW, group work, organizational management and leadership;’08), Dr. Edwards received his M. Phil. and Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center, Social Welfare Program. His dissertation explores factors associated with job satisfaction among peer support workers in mental health treatment and recovery-oriented service settings. Dr. Edwards is co-author on three recent journal articles, The Impact of COVID-19 on Peer Support Specialists in the United States: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Online Survey, Perceptions of Supervisors of Peer Support Workers in Behavioral Health: Results from a National Survey, and National Practice Guidelines for Peer Support Specialists and Supervisors.

  • Dr. John P. Salerno (he/him) is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Research Scientist and Lecturer at the Columbia University School of Social Work. Dr. Salerno obtained his PhD in Behavioral & Community Health and Graduate Certificate in Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation at the University of Maryland, and Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Miami. Dr. Salerno’s work focuses on addressing mental health inequities among marginalized Latinx youth communities, including undocumented immigrants, immigrants from the Northern Triangle (i.e., El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras), and LGBTQ+ youth. Dr. Salerno utilizes critically oriented and community-engaged research methods to counter structural inequities, such as racism, xenophobia, heterosexism, and cisgenderism, which drive mental health among these marginalized groups. Employing Intersectionality, Life-Course, and Minority Stress theories, Dr. Salerno’s recent research, funded by a $120,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, explores identity-related and psychosocial risk and protective factors for mental health among Latinx immigrant adolescents from the Northern Triangle. Building on this work, Dr. Salerno was recently awarded a $16,000 seed grant from the Columbia Population Research Center to investigate the lived experiences of stress and mental health among Latinx LGBTQ+ immigrant youth from the Northern Triangle. Adjacent to his research, Dr. Salerno engages in leadership and advocacy efforts, including as founder of the LGBTQ+ Students and Allies in Public Health organization, co-establishing the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center Anti-Racism Committee, and serving as a representative for the University of Maryland – University Senate Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee. Dr. Salerno strongly believes in health equity and social justice approaches that beg for stakeholders to not only consider but elevate the needs of disadvantaged, vulnerable, and oppressed populations.

    A listing of Dr. Salerno’s publications can be accessed here.

  • A former Franciscan monk who founded a friary in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where he still lives, Dr. Robertson is an expert in social policy, advocacy, and community organizing. John Robertson teaches Social Welfare Policy, the Policy Practice course for policy majors, and Advocacy in Social Work Practice. His interests include community development and organization, employment and family issues, and treatment for people struggling with substance abuse. He is involved in community social work practice in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood and has worked on several national policy research initiatives related to poor families, their employment, family formation, and receipt of public assistance. His publications include “Social Work with Families after PRWORA: Family Systems and Rational Choice Models,” “Relational Discord and Depressive Symptomatology among Non-Marital Co-Parents,” “Using Geographical Information Systems to Enhance Community-Based Child Welfare Services,” “Young Nonresidential Fathers Have Lower Earnings: Implications for Increasing Child Support Payments,” and “Using the Criminal Justice System to Prevent Adolescent Drug Abuse.”

    Dr. Robertson has taught research methodology and human behavior courses. He previously taught at the Hunter School of Social Work, where he developed the school’s community organization field placement program, and at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also worked with newly released federal inmates as they return to family, employment, and their communities. Dr. Robertson holds a BA in Economics from St. John’s College, University of Manitoba; an MSW from Rutgers University; and a PhD in Labor Economics and Social Policy from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • John Fredrickson, LCSW, serves as the Team Leader for the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Team at the New York University Student Health Center. He previously served as a clinical social worker at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, an outpatient medical and mental health clinic focused on LGBTQ+ healthcare, where he initiated the DBT Skills Training program. Mr. Fredrickson specializes in work with gender and sexuality, mindfulness, emotion regulation, HIV/AIDS, relationships and intimacy, and life adjustments.

    Mr. Fredrickson is an alumnus the DBT Training Program and Lab at the Columbia School of Social Work, and has received advanced training in DBT through Behavioral Tech LLC. He participated in a weeklong Advanced Intensive with Dr. Marsha Linehan in 2013, and has been directly supervised by Dr. Andre Ivanoff, President of Behavioral Tech LLC and President of the Linehan Institute, while implementing DBT skills training groups at a federal prison. He serves as a field instructor for CSSW’s DBT Training Program and Lab, the only DBT training program for social workers in the nation.

  • Joanne McLaughlin Toran is a public administrator. Prior to her retirement, she served as Associate Director of the Mt. Sinai Pediatric School Based Health Center, and as a faculty member in the Division of General Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital.  She oversaw four school-based health centers, which provided comprehensive medical services to approximately 4,000 children.

    From 1994–2000, Ms. Toran served as the Administrative Manager and the Coordinator for Community Affairs and Capital Development for Harlem Health Promotion Center at Columbia University. She previously served as the Projects Administrator for the Biosocial Treatment Research Division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University, in which role she oversaw all research projects within the division. Her responsibilities included budget planning and implementation, management of one hundred central and field staff, and the coordination and writing of project administrative reports to internal and external funding agencies.

    Ms. Toran received a National African American Women’s Leadership Institute Fellowship in 2003, and has been an advocate in NYC’s education and healthcare systems. She serves on the board of directors of CLOTH (Community League of the Heights), a community development organization working to strengthen and empower southern Washington Heights. She also serves on the board of Community Health Network, a not-for-profit healthcare organization providing comprehensive quality and culturally competent care to underserved communities throughout New York City. She is the President of Sankofa Circle, a cultural organization that develops, promotes, and cultivates positive self-image among African Americans through cultural, recreational, and educational activities.

    A New York City native, Ms. Toran holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from SUNY Empire State College, and an MPA from the Wagner School of New York University.

  • Joan L. Bell serves as the Clinical Coordinator of Outpatient Child Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Her clinical practice has focused on children and families in inpatient and outpatient child psychiatry, pediatric HIV, and treating survivors of trauma. From 1995-2000 she served as the clinical director of the Westbank office of Family Service of Greater New Orleans, in which role she secured funding to develop programs for adult survivors of childhood trauma, conducted suicide risk assessment in juvenile detention facilities, and began a crisis treatment program for sexually abused children. Since 2000, she has focused on administration and supervision in outpatient child psychiatry. She developed programs in conjunction with the New York State Office of Mental Health to train and supervise cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD in community mental health settings, as well as evidence-based child CBT and parent management training for treatment of childhood disruptive behavior disorders.

    Ms. Bell has served as a supervisor of social work students since 1993 and has supervised child psychology and child psychiatry trainees in the areas of evaluation, group treatment, play therapy and family therapy. She earned her undergraduate degree from New York University, and her MS from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Jenny Crawford maintains a private mitigation practice working on state and federal cases. She joined CSSW in 2011 after serving as the Director of Social Work with Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project. At CSSW, she supports students in field practicums, with a focus on interdisciplinary practice within social work and the law.  She teaches Contemporary Social Issues and developed the first forensic social work class offered at CSSW, which she teaches.  Ms. Crawford also teaches supervision and field instruction, and co-created a curriculum for practitioners and organizations on recognizing and managing vicarious trauma.

    Before joining the Mental Health Project, Ms. Crawford served at The Bronx Defenders, a public defender office in the South Bronx that provides criminal, family, and civil defense to indigent clients arrested and charged with crimes in the Bronx. In 2005, she became The Bronx Defenders’ first Director of Social Work. Ms. Crawford was part of an interdisciplinary planning team that developed the family defense practice, which represents parents charged with abuse and neglect in Bronx County.  In 2009, Ms. Crawford received the New York City Chapter of NASW’s Social Work Image Award. She has served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, where she co-taught Interdisciplinary Responses to Child Abuse and Neglect to law and social work graduate students.

  • Mr. Jarron Magallanes, LCSW-R, BCD is a Senior Lecturer at CSSW and teaches research and clinical practice courses. He has served as a clinical social worker and social work manager in community-based and hospital healthcare settings, homeless services, HIV/AIDS prevention, and domestic violence. He also maintains a private practice in New York City and practices EMDR and Somatic Experiencing for the treatment of trauma. His interests include social work and public health research methods, LGBTQ issues, medical care coordination and chronic disease management, HIV prevention interventions, and program evaluation. He received his BA from the University of Washington, his MSW from Columbia University and post-graduate training with the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute

  • Janelle Stanley is a school social worker in a public high school in Brooklyn. Before she was in schools, Janelle worked with children in palliative care. Prior to her career in social work, Janelle was a computer programmer and tech lead for a decade in international technologies and change management. She writes and presents on suicide, conflict de-escalation, and trauma-informed services. Janelle holds a second degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate, and teaches self-defense workshops for women, LGBTQ groups, and others who are particularly impacted by violence.

  • Jaime Estades, a former Columbia University Revson Fellow, earned a Juris Doctor at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law and Masters in Social Work at the CUNY Hunter College Graduate School of Social Work. Jaime continues to inspire generations of community activists as Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Policy at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work. He has also taught Social Justice and Public Policy at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Services. Jaime is a frequent invited commentator on political and policy issues on NY1 and NY1 Noticias (in English and Spanish), as well as CUNY TV. He has authored articles for numerous outlets, including but not limited to Roll Call (Washington, DC), The Orlando Sentinel and The National Latino Policy Institute. Jaime frequently participates as a speaker and panelist at academic and other institutions including Columbia University, Rutgers University, Brown University, New York University School of Law and City University in of New York.

    Jaime is an Executive Producer of the new documentary film based on the 2016 presidential election entitled “The November Surprise” to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018. Jaime has committed his life to advocacy, education, health and leadership training. For decades, Jaime has worked on issues related to education, immigration, housing, voter registration and family entitlement issues. In 1996, Jaime founded the Latino Leadership Institute, Inc., a nonpartisan not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the City University of New York which has trained thousands of individuals on the fundamentals of campaign management and public policy, has hosted numerous colloquia and civic engagement projects in the northeast and Florida. The Latino Leadership Institute has chapter at the University of Central Florida and at Temple University in Pennsylvania. In October 2015, the Latino Leadership Institute was selected by the White House as one of the Bright Spots of Excellence in Education in the Hispanic Community in the United States.

    Jaime has also used his expertise to bolster the work of key nonprofits, including the Boriken Neighborhood Health Center, which in 2014 completed renovation of the first eco-friendly (Green) Health Center in East Harlem. As Director for Advocacy for the Alliance for Quality Education, Jaime built, managed and coordinated a coalition of sixty community-based educational and labor organizations to improve the quality of public education in New York City. In 1996, during the Presidential election, as Executive Director of the Hispanic Education and Legal Fund, Jaime spearheaded the nonpartisan registration of over 100,000 new voters in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.

  • Ife Lenard, MSW, EdM, has a profound commitment to intentional spaces that encourage self-awareness and critical reflective practices for all participants. Her ability to serve as a catalyst, share stories, unpack inequities that sustain harm, and deepen practices that continue to move many onward in their journey. Experiences with her address and interrupt toxicity and racial and social disparities. Ife beautifully uses the transformational movements of educational leadership, clinical social work, and restorative and contemplative practices to supportively guide holistic development and collective humanity.

    Professor to graduate students at Columbia University School of Social Work, Ife Lenard continues to feel honored to teach foundational courses, Human Behavior in Social Environments (HBSE-A), Advocacy in Social Justice, Decolonizing Social Work-Foundations, and Motivational Interviewing. She also serves as Educational Coach & Consultant to educators and clinicians, nationally and internationally. Ife holds a B.S. in Human Ecology and two Masters–Clinical Social Work and Educational Leadership–both from Columbia University. A mother of two young adults, Ife is devoted to them receiving messages and being in places where they know and believe that they both are worthy, beautiful and divine.

  • Helaine Ciporen, LCSW, brings more than 30 years of experience and a creative approach to social work. She has developed innovative solutions to patient and student education, which include interactive events and online activities. Within the Mount Sinai Hospital setting, she specialized in pediatrics. She worked clinically with children and their families to better cope with chronic illness, such as cystic fibrosis and diabetes, while addressing systemic healthcare disparities.

    Ms. Ciporen, a graduate of the Columbia School of Social Work, has previously taught at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Borough of Manhattan Community College. She has supervised numerous graduate students in their hospital internships at Mount Sinai Hospital. As the mental health member of the clinical team, she participated in all department research studies, and she is currently a board member of Teen HEED, a research based, self-help program to prevent type 2 diabetes. She has published and presented at various conferences and is the winner of the Health Through the Lifecycle Award presented at the 7th International Conference on Social Work in Healthcare, Dublin, 2010.

  • Dr. Heidi Horsley is a grief expert and the Executive Director of Open to Hope, an international organization committed to providing hope and resources to grieving people. She co-hosts a weekly award-winning cable television show and podcast.

    Dr. Horsley serves on the Advisory Boards for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss (TAPS), the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, and Peace of Mind Afghanistan.  She is the Founding Member for Tuesdays Children Survivors Tragedy Outreach Program (STOP), a coalition offering peer support to individuals impacted by acts of terrorism and military conflict. Dr. Horsley has a private practice in New York City and has co-authored eight books on grief and loss. She has appeared on ABC’s 20/20 and been quoted in numerous media venues. For ten years, Dr. Horsley served as a co-investigator for the FDNY-Columbia University Family Guidance Program, a longitudinal study providing ongoing intervention and follow-up to families of firefighters who were killed on 9/11.

    Dr. Horsley received clinical training at Manhattan Psychiatric Center, St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital, and California Pacific Medical Center.  Her research interests focus on grief and loss, and she wrote her doctoral dissertation on the sudden death of a sibling. She holds a PsyD in psychology from the University of San Francisco, an MS in mental health counseling from Loyola University in New Orleans, and an MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Harry Silver has served as a senior fellow, adjunct professor, and senior research scholar on the faculty of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) since 2013. At SIPA, he teaches and facilitates workshops on career development, networking advice, and resume preparation. At the request of the Dean, he also engages in a broader set of supportive activities including admissions, alumni mentoring, and professional development. Mr. Silver teaches “Leading and Sustaining Change,” a course that equips students with skills to lead change in the public, non-profit, and social sectors. He also serves as a faculty advisor for capstone course projects and student independent study courses.

    Mr. Silver is a former Managing Director with Goldman Sachs. During a broad-based career spanning four decades at Goldman, he led several global operational and risk management initiatives in investment banking, general (corporate) services, human capital management, compliance operations, crisis management, global security, and vendor risk management. Mr. Silver has also served as senior vice president and chief administrative officer of the Wit Soundview Group; executive director for Cravath, Swaine and Moore; vice president and chief of staff to the president of Personal and Banking Services at Chemical Bank; principal with the consulting firm of Booz, Allen and Hamilton; and auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co. From 2012-2013, he served as a senior advisor/loaned executive with the US Department of Homeland Security. In this role, Mr. Silver suggested potential areas of improvement in public-private collaboration related to infrastructure, and provided independent and critical assessments of policies, procedures, and tools impacting the private sector.

    Mr. Silver mentors Columbia students in the Executive Masters of Science in Technology Management program within the School of Professional Studies, particularly those with a public sector focus. He also mentors veterans who recently left active duty (within the American Corporate Partners, Honor our Heroes, and Veterati programs), and children learning literacy skills through the Read Ahead program at PS 36. He earned a BS with honors in accounting from Pennsylvania State University in 1976, and an MBA from Columbia University in 1980. He is a certified public accountant and formerly a FINRA registered supervisor.

  • Harry Schiffman is a community advocate in government, not-for-profit organizations, and neighborhood and economic development corporations. He specializes in government relations, community relations, development, the creation of strategic neighborhood alliances, coalition building, and inter-group relations. Mr. Schiffman has worked with Brooklyn Neighborhoods on issues including health, education, youth services, economic development, housing, immigrant services, and programs for the elderly. He serves on the board of directors of the Midwood Development Corporation and the Brooklyn Center for Quality Life. He is a member of the NASW New York Chapter Pace Committee, Greater Brooklyn Health Coalition, the Senior Umbrella Network of Brooklyn, and We Are All Brooklyn. Mr. Schiffman holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Hunter College Graduate School of Social Work.

  • Giorgio Handman is a social worker and artist. He graduated from The Silberman School of
    Social Work in 2012. Giorgio completed a mindfulness facilitator training at the Engaged
    Mindfulness Institute. He incorporates mindfulness into his social work practice and harm
    reduction work with veterans, young people experiencing homelessness, people living with
    HIV/AIDS, and individuals navigating substance use. Giorgio is currently practicing harm
    reduction, health, and happiness at the REACH (Respectful and Equitable Access to
    Comprehensive Healthcare) clinic at Mount Sinai. Giorgio is committed to working with others
    to promote wellness, joy, and harmony.

  • Georgia has more than twenty years of leadership experience in the private and nonprofit sectors at the intersection of capital markets, responsible investing and business, philanthropy and public policy, most recently as the President of the Navab Capital Partners (NCP) Foundation and head of the firm’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practice, and before that Executive Director of the Pershing Square Foundation. She is also a professor of social enterprise at Columbia Business School. In 2020, Georgia helped to lead one of New York City’s COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts, and has focused on the importance of stakeholder capitalism in times of crisis. Georgia serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations including The Bloomingdale Family Program, Sea Change, Commonwealth, Columbia Global Reports and TheDream.US. She is the author of Capital and the Common Good: How Innovative Finance is Tackling the World’s Most Urgent Problems (Columbia University Press, 2016) and Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century: Innovation Across the Nonprofit, Private and Public Sectors (McGraw Hill, 2013). Georgia holds a BA from Yale University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an M.Sc. from London School of Economics, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.

  • Gariy Livshits, LMSW, LCAT, MM, SIFI, CRPA, is a social worker, creative arts therapist, and musician with more than 20 years of experience in a vast variety of settings with different populations. Gariy immigrated from Belarus in the early 1990s and began his social services career at FEGS Continuing Day Treatment Program where he worked as a social worker and music therapist. He began his tenure at the New York State Office of Mental Health Manhattan Psychiatric Center as an intensive case manager, delivering rehabilitative and restorative services to patients with severe mental illness, dual diagnoses, and forensic backgrounds. He later transferred to the inpatient facility as a treatment team leader, directing multidisciplinary teams on the Inpatient and Intensive Psychiatric Unit Discharge Planning Team as well as the sex offender treatment program

    Gariy also worked as a senior housing associate at the New York State Office of Addictions Services and Supports where he managed a contract portfolio of voluntary housing agencies and implemented standards and methods to measure effectiveness of agency activities. Gariy has since returned to the Manhattan Psychiatric Center, where he worked as treatment team leader in the Quality/Risk Management department, conducting standardized program reviews, writing facility-wide policies, and serving as a language access coordinator. He has also worked as a Coordinator for Forensic Intensive Case Management Services at Central New York Psychiatric Center, where he supervised a staff of case managers providing services to people who were recently released from prison and have a history of mental illness.

    Currently, Gariy works at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where he is a Program Evaluation Specialist providing administrative oversight for Washington Heights community services. He also provides field instruction to MSW students from universities all across the country. To give back to his local community, Gariy spends countless hours of his spare time working at Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, helping children and families to achieve stability and functional improvement in daily living.

    Gariy received his bachelor of music degree in choral conducting and piano performance from Molodechno School of Music in Belarus, his BA in general music from CUNY, City College of New York, his master’s in music therapy from Illinois State University, and his MSW from CUNY Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Currently, Gariy is working on his DSW at the University of Kentucky.

  • Gabrielle Gilliam is an independent consultant specializing in fund development and non-profit management. Her experience includes direct solicitation fundraising, high-level volunteer engagement, and strategic campaign planning.

    Most recently, Ms. Gilliam served as vice president for development at the French-American Foundation where she oversaw all aspects of the Foundation’s revenue generating activities. She previously served as director of development and associate director for advancement and planning at Poly Prep Country Day School, an independent nursery-through-twelfth-grade school in Brooklyn. Her responsibilities included strategic campaign planning, major gift fundraising, and oversight of the parent annual giving campaign, including fundraising and volunteer management. Prior to joining Poly, she was the executive director of Bottomless Closet New York, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income NYC women transition into the workplace. She oversaw all fundraising and programmatic efforts and, under her leadership, the organization saw a forty percent increase in income (year over year) as well as expanded program offerings.

    Ms. Gilliam served seven years with United Negro College Fund (UNCF), where she was the area development director for individual giving, workplace giving, and foundation giving for the New York Campaign. In partnership with the national office, she helped raise five million dollars annually through major corporate and foundation grants, individual gifts, and workplace campaigns. She managed UNCF’s largest national, corporate workplace giving campaign; developed strategic plans and campaign materials for use in New York and area offices throughout the country; created and launched a Young Professionals volunteer group; and, working closely with the New York City Board of Education, secured funding for and implemented a major college admissions preparatory program. She also oversaw local programs and initiatives aimed at raising visibility among existing supporters and prospective funders and students. Prior to UNCF, Ms. Gilliam served as a Project Manager for a NYC-based special events firm, working on large-scale fundraising events for area non-profits. She also served as development director for City College of New York, and as development director for City Colleges’ schools of Science and Engineering.

    Ms. Gilliam is currently the board chair for viBe Theater Experience, a non-profit performing arts and education organization that empowers teenage girls through the creation and production of original performances. Previous volunteer leadership experience includes service on the boards of The Women’s Alliance and the Harlem Jazz Foundation. She has moderated panels for Fundraising Day New York, sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She also served on the New York State Association of Independent School’s Advancement Conference Planning Committee. She has led workshops for those conferences on topics including Capital Campaigns and Communications for Annual Giving Campaigns. Ms. Gilliam holds a BA from Vassar College and an MA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.

  • Gabriela Suriel is a full-time licensed clinical social worker at Mount Sinai Hospital where she works with a multidisciplinary team targeting the pediatric asthma and cystic fibrosis population. She is passionate about access to health and education for all and the impact this has on her patients and families throughout the five boroughs of NYC. Additionally, Gabriela also serves at the Wellness Advisor for the students in the Masters in Genetic Counseling program in the Icahn School of Medicine where she also precepts courses for medical students on the social determinants of health. Through this role, she meets with students throughout their 2 year program to provide wellness advisory sessions and connect them to resources, when necessary. Gabriela also serves on various committees in the Mount Sinai Health System that are geared toward advocating for the patient experience and anti-racism social work practices in the health care system.

    Gabriela received her bachelors in Human Development from Binghamton University in 2008 and her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University in 2013.

    Gabriela is also a mother, a wife and identifies as Ecuadorian- American, as the daughter of immigrants. In her spare time, she enjoys podcasts, hiking with her husband and daughter and watching documentaries.

  • Dr. Frederick (Jerry) Streets is the former Carl and Dorothy Bennett Professor in Pastoral Counseling at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, New York City. He is the first African American and Baptist to served as Chaplain of Yale University, 1992-2007. He is an Associate Professor (Adjunct) at Yale Divinity School, a licensed clinical social worker, member of the facuty Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma and Senior Pastor of the Dixwell Congregational Church in New Haven, CT. (

    Dr. Streets is the 2018 recipient of the Diana R. Garland Award for Social Work Practitioner Excellence. The awardee is a social worker of faith who has devoted a significant part of her/his career as a social work practitioners and member of National Association of Christians in Social Work who has evidenced excellence in social work practice, reflecting the values and attributes which are characteristic of Diana Garland’s life of service as a Christian in social work. Professor Streets is a former Chaplain of Yale University and Senior Fulbright Scholar int eh Department of Practical Theology and the Department of Social Work at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

  • Felecia Farrell, LCSW, RYT  is a psychotherapist, educator, yoga instructor, and founder of Alline Therapy - a group practice dedicated to helping all people align their lives and build a new path forward.

    Before receiving her master's degree from Columbia University in Advanced Clinical Social Work, she attended Williams College in Massachusetts.

    Felecia is committed to helping clients increase their authentic self-expression and improve communication skills so that they can foster meaningful relationships with themselves and with others.

    Over the course of her career, Felecia has provided services to various New York City communities while working with organizations such as The Fresh Air Fund, Creative Connections, S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective and Project SAFE of the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone. In addition to her clinical work, she has experience in workshop facilitation, curriculum development, community organizing, and program development. At CSSW, Felecia is an adjunct instructor for courses such as Decolonizing Social Work and Motivational Interviewing.

    When she's not teaching classes at Columbia or leading workshops or supporting clinicians at Alliine, you can find her on long runs throughout New York or rolling out her mat to dive deeper into her yoga practice.

  • Eva C. Haldane runs a consulting firm, ECH Consulting, LLC, where she teaches communities of color about mental health, speaks and writes about living with mental illness, and creates programming for children. Dr. Haldane has 13 years of experience in the nonprofit sector where she conducted program evaluations and currently works in programming quality improvement. Her research interests include fatherhood, mental health and mental health stigma in communities of color and trauma. She is a huge fan of research and data analysis and hopes her work will relieve the fear that surrounds these two. She earned her BA from Smith College and her MSW and PhD from Columbia University School of Social Work.

  • Ericka Echavarria, LMSW, JD, currently serves as an Associate Director of Field Education and Adjunct Faculty at Columbia University School of Social Work, and is the Coordinator of the Seminar in Field Instruction for CSSW Field Instructors. Ericka is passionate about preparing future and current social work professionals for a justice-based practice with clients/participants and systems, through: a power, race, oppression, and privilege lens; the use of contemplative practices and inquiry to cultivate self-care and self-awareness practices; a solid foundation in social justice advocacy; and a grounded ethical, professional identity.

    Prior to her role at CSSW, Ericka served as a mitigation specialist/sentencing advocate and had her own private practice working closely with defense attorneys of both court appointed and privately retained cases, where she advocated for clients in serious federal and state felony cases, including death penalty eligible cases, through the use of comprehensive psychosocial investigations, narratives, sentencing advocacy, in-depth assessments, storytelling, and case management , in the federal, and several state criminal legal systems. Ericka also spent several years advocating for youth, children, and their families in schools and community-based agencies in Washington Heights and Harlem. Ericka received her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University in 2008 (FYC/AGPP), and her Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School in 2002. Ericka is also a mother, a caregiver, and identifies as Afro-Dominican, born to immigrant parents, and aspires to leave a legacy of love, courage, hope, and compassion for future social workers and above all, her son and nephews.

  • Eric Shanks, works in alternative dispute resolution and mental health, as a clinical social worker, psychotherapist, mediator, and restorative justice practitioner. In his work, Eric works to interrupt cycles of harm by facilitating structured healing processes to bring about relational growth, development and transformation. Prior to his current role at the NYC Center for Creative Conflict Resolution, Eric facilitated restorative circles for Hidden Water to heal the impact of child sexual abuse in the family system. Additionally, he has 20 years of experience within various human service delivery systems from youth work and juvenile justice through end of life care with older adults. Eric is a graduate of UMASS Boston College of Public and Community Service and Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.

  • Eri Noguchi is the Chief Program Officer of the Association to Benefit Children, a nonprofit organization that provides early childhood, youth, and wraparound family support services in New York City. Her research interests include labor markets, poverty, urban sociology, social welfare policy, and civic engagement. Dr. Noguchi earned her MSW, MPA, and PhD in sociology from Columbia University.

  • Em is passionate about eradicating systemic injustice and further merging policymaking and the social work profession. Em is a Senior Policy Analyst in New York City Council’s Legislative Division, and works with the Council’s Committees on Health and Hospitals. In their role, Em assists with developing health policy to govern New York City, such as Int 0954-2018, a Local Law which created a third gender marker option on birth certificates for those who do not identify as female or male. In addition, Em drafts and finalizes resolutions, prepares materials for City Council hearings, and meets with Council Members, advocates, and experts to ensure the City passes equitable and helpful legislation.

    Prior to joining the Council, Em was a Senior Policy & Client Services Associate at the Medicare Rights Center, where they advocated for older adults and people with disabilities, and specialized in assisting and advocating for those with long-term care health needs. Em was actively involved in efforts to push back against the Trump Administration’s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and advocated at the City and State level for health care programs benefiting New Yorkers.

    They received both their Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Masters in Social Work from New York University.

  • Elizabeth Fasanya, LMSW has been active in the social service field for over 10 years. She currently works as a Program Director at Project Renewal (PRI), a non-profit social service agency dedicated to serving New York City’s homeless population. She oversees the programs at a shelter servicing men who are experiencing homelessness, issues with substance use and mental health disorders in Brooklyn. In her role, Elizabeth is able to merge clinical practice with program development to foster the best possible outcomes for clients. As a member of the Undoing Racism Committee within Project Renewal Inc. from 2015-2016, she was able to collaborate with her peers to inform further inclusion of cultural competency practices within the agency. Currently part of the Integration committee at PRI, Elizabeth participates in workshops geared towards strategizing ways to integrate the agency’s services into a meaningful, client-centered continuum of care. In her spare time Elizabeth can be found with a camera in tow capturing street photography and events. Elizabeth received her B.A. in psychology from Stony Brook University and her MSW from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.

  • Dr. Counselman Carpenter works in advanced clinical practice with children, teens, and families. Her expertise is in play/art therapy, developmental parenting models, LGBTQIA+ affirmative medical and behavioral health equity, post-traumatic growth, and disabilities advocacy.

    Dr. Beth Counselman Carpenter is an educator and licensed clinician in Connecticut and New York. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Counselman Carpenter maintains a private practice working with adolescents and adults with a focus on treating trauma, mood disorders, and developmental life concerns through psychodynamic play, art, and other expressive therapies. She also provides parent guidance training and play therapy supervision, and she regularly consults with local schools, hospitals, and mental health agencies and on diversity, inclusion and trauma-informed care. She served as a bereavement consultant for ABC News for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and her work has been featured in O Magazine. Her first book, Working with Grief and Traumatic Loss: Theory, Practice, Personal Reflection, and Self-Care, was published in November 2019 by Cognella Publishing.

    She taught Diagnosis and Assessment, Substance Abuse Treatment, and other practice- focused courses before joining the School’s faculty. Her current funded research projects explore the use of technology in the classroom and clinical settings to break down barriers to service provision, expressive arts trauma treatment and art as a restorative practice in preventing burnout, and affirmative practice models for trans-inclusive medical and behavioral health care.

    Dr. Counselman Carpenter holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Richmond, an MSW from New York University, and a PhD in Social Work from Adelphi University. She recently received her Registered Play Therapy Supervisor designation from the International Association of Play Therapy.


  • Eleni Zimiles is a social worker grounded at the cross-section of healing, education and organizing. Her work strives to build authentic community, foster creativity and critical consciousness, and disrupt harmful relationships and systems of power. Eleni is currently a School Mental Health Specialist for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Eleni guides schools in developing transformative mental health practices in order to cultivate trauma-informed and healing-centered learning cultures. She is one of the agency’s Race to Justice Trainers, facilitating staff workshops on how racism drives health disparities and inequitable workplace practices. Eleni is also a Therapist at the Critical Therapy Center, a relational, liberation-oriented psychodynamic practice. Her organizing work is currently focused on mobilizing social workers to transform the mandated reporting culture and laws that lead to the mass regulation and surveillance of families.

    Eleni’s social work practice is rooted in two decades of movement-building and youth justice spaces. Eleni has worked in youth shelters, after-school programs, community centers and schools in NYC, Chicago and D.C. Eleni has supported the creation of anti-racist political education & community organizing spaces with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond as part of the Undoing Racism Internship Project, Operation Understanding DC, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Avodah, Showing up for Racial Justice, and the Bridgeport Alliance. She has served as adjunct professor at Touro College. Eleni holds a BA in Anthropology from Macalester College, and a MS in Social Work from Columbia University. Eleni is a proud fifth generation Brooklynite and Brighton Beach devotee, who carries a love for messy art & writing experiments.

  • Eishelle M. Tillery, has over 20 years of experience In the healthcare field working primarily in infection disease overseeing prevention and support service programs throughout New York City. Ms. Tillery received her Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University School of Social Services where she majored in Client -Centered Management and specialized in Gerontology. She recently began her first year at Tulane University’s Doctorate of Social Work program Summer 2021.

    Ms. Tillery currently is working in the youth development field focusing on youth programming, health and safety operations of school age programs and building curricula activities within afterschool programs within the community school setting.

    Ms. Tillery is currently an Adjunct Professor at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice Africana Studies Department and has taught at Molloy College School of Social Work and CUNY Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. She has been a guest lecturer at many other colleges and universities.

    Ms. Tillery is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated where she is the immediate past president of Pi Phi Omega Chapter in the Northeast Queens community.

  • Diane D. Williams is an Adjunct Faculty member and Fellow at the China Center for Social Policy. Diane is currently completing her PhD in Social Work focused on productive aging in older adult populations with specific attention on social integration and retirement. Previously, Diane has earned a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy and a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia School of Social Work. Most recently, Diane has worked on the AARP Disrupt Disparities IL Report which focuses on racial disparities among older adults across topic areas of economic security, health equity, and connectivity. Currently, Diane serves as an NASW IL Delegate.

  • Diana Melendez, LCSW, is Director of Progresando en Comunidad at the Institute for Family Services (IFS) and a member of the planning committee for the annual Liberation-based Healing Conference. Diana has worked within the education, child welfare, mental health and juvenile justice systems. Diana also has experience as an organizer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and as a trainer of the “Undoing Racism- Community Organizing” workshop. Her interests include expanding on liberation-based practices that move towards systemic and relational equity by interrupting colonial projects of white supremacy, heteronormative patriarchy and capitalism through critical consciousness raising and collective-building processes across intersectionality. Diana received her MSW from NYU following a dual BA degree in Social Work and Psychology from Seton Hall University and has subsequently completed the Post-Graduate Training at IFS, where she is now faculty.

  • Desiree Bunch is Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development for Public Health Solutions, a nonprofit organization that develops, implements, and advocates for solutions to prevent disease and improve community health. Public Health Solutions creates and manages community health programs, provides services to organizations to address public health challenges, and conducts comprehensive research on public health issues.

    Over fifteen years in the HR field, Ms. Bunch has served in leadership capacities for local, national, and international organizations. She is a certified trained mediator, and mediates community and family disputes at the Safe Horizon Mediation Center. Ms. Bunch is a board member for Voices of African Mothers, an international women’s organization. She holds a Master’s degree in social work, and a Senior Professional Certification in Human Resources Management.

  • Deborah Lolai is a public defender at The Bronx Defenders, where she serves as the first ever LGBTQ Client specialist. Deborah founded the LGBTQ Defense Project, where she represents LGBTQ people in criminal cases and related legal matters, in addition to working on policies impacting the LGBTQ community. She conducts trainings to improve the representation of LGBTQ people by direct service providers and improve their treatment in legal systems. Deborah brings a decade of experience in community organizing, policy making, and direct legal services in a broad range of social justice issues with a focus on policing, mass incarceration, and gender and sexuality to her teaching. She has been published and cited in various journals and articles on her areas of expertise. Deborah is a native Farsi speaker. She received her Bachelors Degree from CUNY Queens College in Political Science and Urban Studies, and her Juris Doctor Degree from Touro Law Center with a certificate in Criminal Law.

  • David Rich, LMSW, earned his Masters graduate degree from Columbia University School of Social Work in 2016 with completion of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training program and lab under Dr. Andre Ivanoff, PhD. He is currently part of two NYC group private practices, Brooklyn Heights Behavioral Associates, and Metro NY DBT, where he provides DBT therapy to adolescents, adults, and families. Mr. Rich has extensive training experience in various therapeutic modalities including DBT, Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), Parent Management Training (PMT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). His previous work experience includes lead mental health worker at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore, MD, where he was part of inpatient crisis stabilization team for adolescent males.

    Dave has been involved with CSSW and the HBSE-A course for the past two years, and brings great enthusiasm in working with first-year students so they may excel in the CSSW program.

  • David B. Howard, MSW, PhD, has more than 20 years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector, including senior management, program planning and evaluation, data management and analysis, and direct care. David currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Research, Evaluation & Learning at Covenant House International, where he leads strategic efforts to achieve positive outcomes for and with youth facing homelessness. David’s team oversees the agency’s performance management initiatives and has helped Covenant House become a learning organization that embraces and implements rigorous performance measurement, continual quality improvement, and program excellence.

    Prior to his work at Covenant House, David was the Director of Research and Innovation at The Doe Fund, one of the most successful nonprofit housing and workforce development providers working with homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals in the United States. He was also a researcher at the UCLA Center for Civil Society, where he co-authored numerous reports on the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. David has presented research findings to diverse audiences at national and international conferences. David has taught graduate-level coursework on program planning, design, evaluation, and grant writing.

    David is a graduate of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, where he earned his doctorate and a master’s in social welfare, and University of California, Berkeley, where he received his bachelor’s degree.

  • Danielle Elleman is the supervisor in the Bellevue Hospital Victim Services Program. Her advocacy experience includes individual-level work in criminal justice, civil court, and hospital contexts. Her macro-level experience includes advocacy work with local and state policymakers.

    Ms. Elleman co-leads Project Envision, a community organization that addresses the root causes of violence from a public health perspective. Project Envision considers intersectional social issues through the lens of oppression and social norms, and develops strategies for change on the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and public policy levels. Along with her co-leaders at Project Envision, she received the 2014 Lydia Martinez Multidisciplinary Award for Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence.

    Ms. Elleman has worked with international organizations through the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan and Romania, and through the Open Society Institute’s Sexual Health and Rights Project. She assisted La Casa Mandarina in Mexico City with program development and community mobilization. She organizes and trains forty volunteers a year to provide crisis intervention and advocacy to sexual assault and domestic violence survivors in the immediate aftermath of the trauma.

    Ms. Elleman earned her MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work in 2006.

  • Christopher Ferraris, LMSW (he/him/his), is a research program manager at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. In this role, he manages a portfolio of HIV care and treatment studies predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa. Chris has over a decade of experience in clinical research and clinical program management, domestically and internationally, in a variety of academic and healthcare settings. He has also provided training and capacity-building to a variety of settings and institutions across the US centering around HIV care and prevention best practices and continuous quality improvement processes with a focus on the role of the social worker. Additionally, Chris has presented at local and international conferences and has co-authored work published in AIDS and Behavior and Drug and Alcohol Dependence. His areas of expertise are research operations and administration, program management and evaluation, LGBTQ+ health, and the intersection of mental health and chronic condition management.

    Chris holds a BA in Sociology from Christopher Newport University and an MSW from Tulane University School of Social Work. When not in the office, he is an avid runner, traveler, and unofficial NYC dessert expert

  • Dr. Christine D. Holmes is an adjunct lecturer at the Columbia School of Social Work and has enjoyed working with the Online Campus since 2018. Her areas of interest bridge aging and international social work. Christine is the founder and counselor of Hand in Hand Caregiver Counseling, supporting long-distance caregivers through elder care and bereavement. She is also an ASA RISE Fellow for the American Society on Aging for leadership development with other BIPOC professionals in aging.

    Christine has served internationally in various capacities, including her role as a course facilitator for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative in Jakarta, Indonesia. Previously, she was Visiting Faculty for The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health, an academic institution of The Banyan, a mental health and homelessness NGO in Chennai, India. She developed an operations manual and a diploma course for homeless shelter coordinators and led research on the history of colonial psychiatry in Kerala, India. Christine also worked in Cambodia as a Regional Teacher Trainer for the Peace Corps and an advisor to local NGOs and academic programs.

    Christine’s clinical practice began at The New York Foundling where she delivered Functional Family Therapy in the South Bronx before supporting families in D.C.’s juvenile justice system as a case manager for the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. Christine discovered her passion for family caregiving as a case manager for the D.C. Superior Court’s Guardianship Assistance Program. Afterward, she provided distance-counseling to caregivers of parents living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias for the NYU Caregiver Intervention study.

    Christine earned her Doctor of Clinical Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania where she was honored with the Dr. Ram Cnaan Award for merit. Christine holds a Masters in Social Work from the Columbia School of Social Work, a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Arizona State University and an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies from Glendale Community College.

  • Christine Carville, LCSW-R, is the co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of Resilience Lab, an innovative psychotherapy startup with 250 clinicians and supervisor providing simple, personalized, affordable therapy in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Christine developed the Resilience Methodology, a trans-theoretical training model that provides the fundamental framework for therapists to be able to provide individualized, flexible, trauma-informed care which is taught through the Resilience Institute. She brings a unique perspective to the mental health social enterprise by combining her expertise as a Columbia School of Social Work instructor, her entrepreneurial past, 10 years running multi-disciplinary community-based clinical teams, and her private psychotherapy practice. She has been teaching Advanced Clinical Practice and Understanding Depression and Bipolar Disorder practice courses since 2016.

  • Chantelle Doswell, LCSW, is a clinical supervisor at Esperanza NY. Esperanza, a community based alternative to incarceration program, provides both casework and family/individual counseling services to teens in the criminal justice system and their families. She also acts as Esperanza’s post-program completion coordinator; facilitating connections to voluntary pro-social programming for youth after their mandated services end. Experienced in working with multi-problem youth and families with complex needs and chronic trauma/stress; Chantelle has used a variety of counseling techniques to promote the health, empowerment and well-being of her clients. She is trained in EMDR (as well as A-Tip, EMD & EMDr), Narrative Therapy, CBT, Mindfulness and Breath-work, Family Systems Therapy, Hip-Hop Therapy, and Dance/Movement Trauma Work. Chantelle has worked to provide responsive and integrative therapy that also incorporates her love of singing, rapping, and writing. She is working to set a standard of evidence-based mental health treatment that is accessible, holistic, anti-racist and non-oppressive.

  • Catherine Shugrue dos Santos, MSW (she/her/hers) is the President and CEO of Shugrue dos Santos Consulting, and currently serves as the Deputy Executive Director for Programs at the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) and a Senior Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work (CSSW). AVP envisions a world in which all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and HIV-affected people are safe, respected, and live free from violence. AVP’s mission is to empower LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and support survivors through counseling and advocacy. Cat identifies as an anti-racist liberation social worker, Queer/Bi activist, and an educator, with over 35 years in the intersecting fields of public health, anti-violence, anti-oppression, reproductive and economic justice work. Cat teaches several classes at CSSW, including: Decolonizing Social Work Practice (Foundations), Decolonizing Mezzo and Macro Social Work Practice (Advocacy), and Social Work Practice with LGBTQIA+ People and Communities. Through organizational leadership, innovative program development, policy advocacy, direct services, training, and education, all through a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, harm reduction approach, Cat has dedicated her career to addressing intersecting issues of power, privilege, and oppression, and promoting social justice and equity for people who identify as queer, trans, and non-binary, HIV affected, people of color, women, immigrants, and youth. Cat speaks locally and nationally at conferences, has contributed articles to the Domestic Violence Report and Huffington Post, and is a leading voice in many local and statewide coalitions, including serving as: Chair of the Coalition on Working with Abusive Partners (CoWAP) and founder of Justice Speaks, a language access initiative for immigrant survivors of trauma, and the Task Force on Domestic Violence and Economic Justice (DVEJ), as well as membership in key coalitions and advisory bodies, including the Advisory Council to the New York State Office of Victim Services, the Mayor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, the New York State LGBTQ Domestic Violence Network, and the Mayor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence. Cat lives just outside of New York City with her husband, daughter, and the family dog.

  • Carmen Fajardo is a New York State-licensed clinical social worker who specializes in developmental trauma in relation to interpersonal and gender-based violence. She is currently the Enough Is Enough coordinator at the Domestic and Other Violence Emergencies (DOVE) Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, where she provides New York City colleges and universities with comprehensive, prevention-focused training and education for students, faculty, and staff on topics including bystander intervention, trauma-informed care, and domestic and sexual violence awareness. She also provides crisis intervention and trauma-focused psychotherapy to survivors of sexual violence and intimate partner violence and serves on the Washington Heights and Inwood Coalition Against Interpersonal and Domestic Violence.

    Additionally, she is the founder of a New York City group therapy practice called Bodega Roots Therapy, PLLC, which developed to help bridge the gap in BIPOC communities to destigmatize mental health. She utilizes an anti-oppressive and client-centered lens to provide culturally sensitive approaches to create and maintain a calming and safe environment.

    Carmen received her bachelors in Social Work from Long Island University and her MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work. She is also an adjunct professor at Manhattan College. Carmen identifies as Honduran-American and utilizes she/her/hers pro-nouns. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her partner and Luna, their Shiba Inu. She also enjoys reading, hiking, and the beach and has a guilty pleasure of binge-watching reality TV.

  • Brooke Stott, LMSW (she/her) is the Program Manager of the CSSW Psychedelic Therapy Training Program. She is a practicing therapist at Golden Psychology, primarily focusing on trauma, attachment and shame, where offers group and individual ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. Brooke is also part of the Flourish research collaborative, exploring psychedelic-assisted therapy in work with trans and gender-expansive community members. 

    Brooke was previously a psychotherapist, founding Project Manager, and Community Partnerships Lead at Transhealth, an integrated healthcare center serving transgender & gender-diverse community members. Prior to that, Brooke was a Project Coordinator for the Pioneer Valley TransECHO, which trained over a hundred healthcare providers and staff on gender-affirming care practices, and on Plan and Act for Transgender Health (PATH), a community-based participatory research project on healthcare access.

    Brooke has an MSW from Salem State University, with a concentration in Integrated Health & Behavioral Health. She holds a Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy & Research from the California Institute for Integral Studies, has completed the MAPS MDMA-Assisted Therapy training, as well as additional psychedelic-assisted and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy trainings. Brooke has a certificate in Trauma Therapy, as well as training in EMDR and Progressive Counting, from the Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute. Brooke has been engaging with psychedelic compounds and subcultures for over 20 years, including having spent six months in 2013 working with Shipibo Ayahuasceros in Pucallpa, Peru, an experience for which she feels immense gratitude.     

    Brooke currently resides in New York City, where she also enjoys producing music, making art, exploring western esotericism, working with plants, and exploring the city.

  • Brandon J. Weiss, PhD, is an attending psychologist and assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He provides evidence-based individual psychotherapy for adults, primarily individuals who identify as LGBT and/or are HIV+, with a variety of presenting problems, He also maintains a part-time private practice where he specializes in anxiety disorders, PTSD/trauma, and LGBT mental health. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Weiss was an assistant professor at Georgia Southern University, where he taught and mentored students in the clinical psychology doctoral program.

    Dr. Weiss received his BS in Psychology from the University of Houston and his MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He completed his clinical internship at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology, where his major rotation was within the National Center for PTSD Behavioral Science Division at the VA Boston Healthcare System. While on internship, he maintained academic appointments as a clinical fellow in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a teaching fellow in Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Weiss also completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for PTSD Dissemination and Training Division, part of the Stanford University School of Medicine and VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

    His program of research is driven by a desire to improve mental health services for underserved populations, particularly individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) and individuals residing in rural areas. His research focuses on (1) evidence-based treatment for PTSD and related disorders (particularly anxiety disorders) and (2) using various technologies (e.g., videoconferencing, mobile apps, web-based interventions) to increase access to care and maximize the efficiency of interventions.

  •  Boris Vilgorin is the Health Care Strategy Officer at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at NYU. In this role, he provides technical assistance to all publicly funded mental health and substance abuse agencies in New York State. He has over twenty years of experience in health and human services.

    Mr. Vilgorin was previously the Vice President of Managed Care & Business Development at Federal Employment & Guidance Services (FEGS). He oversaw Managed Care Contracts and Services for their behavioral health network, which consisted of programs serving persons with mental illness and/or developmental disabilities in New York City and Long Island. Previously, Mr. Vilgorin worked at Magellan Behavioral Health, where he worked on a development and implementation team and served as a contract manager for their ambulatory care network.

    Mr. Vilgorin has assisted with the development of new businesses, designing and implementing projects that range from $1 million to $40 million.  He served on the New York State Office of Mental Health Clinic Restructuring Stakeholder Workgroup, and helped implement the New York State Department of Health Chronic Illness Demonstration Project, PROS and Health Home services. He has served on DSRIP, PPS Senior, and Executive Committees, and on the board of Independ Practice Association (IPA).

    Mr. Vilgorin earned his BA in Psychology from the City College of New York, and his Master’s in Public Administration (Executive Program) from Baruch College.

  • Aurora Cruz is a dedicated professional thriving in the realm of private practice, specializing in family work. A graduate of City College for undergraduate studies and holding a Master's degree from Columbia University, Aurora Cruz brings a wealth of academic prowess to their client-centered approach. With a passion for fostering healthy family dynamics, she leverages her education and experience to create meaningful connections and guide individuals toward holistic well-being. Aurora Cruz is committed to making a positive impact in the lives of individuals and families, embodying the values instilled by her esteemed education.

  • Ashley E. Stewart is a PhD candidate at Ohio State University. As a social work educator, she promotes self-awareness and advocacy skills. As a policy/political social worker, she is passionate about the translational aspect of research, policy, advocacy, and social change. Her main research interests are theory development around racial trauma, and policy advocacy around efficient and intentional federal programming.

    Ms. Stewart has taught Introduction to Social Work, Social Problems and Social Policies, and Policy Advocacy. She has worked extensively in higher education on student support and program development. In Ohio, she has also been an advocate for community-based service, including work with incarcerated women and children with a diagnosis of Emotional Disturbance.

    Ms. Stewart earned her BA from Rutgers University, and her MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Arjon Crawford is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker that has been practicing social work in child welfare since 2011 and has over a decade and a half of experience in the nonprofit, health care and education sectors. Throughout her career in social work, she has supported families in Juvenile Justice, Preventive, Foster Care, Clinical and Care Coordination services, both as a direct service provider and in managerial roles. Arjon has a strong belief in professional development, wellness and holistic care and has expanded that interest in becoming a certified yoga instructor, reiki practitioner, and professional development and wellness consultant. Arjon has developed her professional skills over her career in multidimensional roles from case planner to program director to business owner. Throughout Arjon’s career she has worked closely with service providers and stakeholders to support the well-being and safety of children and families served, approaching her roles from the lens of cultural awareness, humility, and learning. In addition to her clinical and organizational experience, Arjon has been an adjunct instructor in courses such as Integrative Seminar (BSW) and Motivational Interviewing (MSW).

  • Anthony Zenkus, LCSW, is the director of education for The Safe Center, a victims services agency on Long Island providing services for survivors of family violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. He has worked for almost 30 years in the field of youth and family services.

    As a presenter, Mr. Zenkus has trained thousands of professionals regionally and nationally on issues of trauma, child abuse, family violence, and income inequality. He has been the keynote presenter at the Prevent Child Abuse NY Annual Conference, The Child and Family Home Program National Conference, the Nassau County Co-Occurring Disorders Annual Conference, and others. In 2016, Mr. Zenkus gave a TEDx Talk on the ways in which income inequality and racism affect the brains and behavior of children. He also serves as an expert on family violence and trauma in television, print and digital media. He has taught as an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Social Work at Adelphi University for 9 years, and has taught at the LIU Post graduate School of Social Work.

    Mr. Zenkus is an activist on issues of racial justice, income inequality, and climate justice. He was trained by Vice President Al Gore as a presenter in his Climate Reality Project, and has been an organizer with Occupy Wall Street, the fight for a $15 minimum wage, and an ally in the Movement for Black Lives.

  • Anna M. Hedrick teaches Foundations of Social Work Practice and the AGPP Seminar in Field Instruction. She has also served as a CSSW Field Instructor and Field Advisor.

    Ms. Hedrick served as the Deputy Director of NYC Department of Transportation Employee Assistance Program for ten years, heading up the training and organizational development component. Major projects included “work and family life” programs, supervisory and managerial staff development, organizational change, stress prevention, and conflict management training. Ms. Hedrick then assumed the position of Deputy Director of the city-wide Employee Assistance Program, where she developed a Trauma Intervention Program for non-uniformed city employees assaulted in the line of duty. For this multi-faceted treatment, advocacy, and disability management program, she received the 1997 Sloan Public Service Award.

    Ms. Hedrick has also worked on major applied research projects in the Psychology Department at St. John’s University, developing and conducting stress, anger, and conflict management treatment protocols for victims of abuse and women with AIDS. She maintains a private clinical practice, and specializes in the treatment of affective and personality disorders, learning and attention deficit disorders, and PTSD. She earned her MS from the Columbia School of Social Work in 1982.

  • Angelie Singla, LMSW (she/her), has extensive experience in fundraising, program development/evaluation, and grant management in the fields of public health, youth development, and healthcare. Currently she is the first chief development officer for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the only organization focusing on building power with AAPI women and girls to influence critical decisions that affect their lives, their families, and their communities.

    Previously, Angelie was the director of corporate, foundation, and  government relations at Mount Sinai South Nassau, where she managed a $25 million portfolio of programs to improve patient experiences. As vice president of philanthropy at Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, she was responsible for retaining and growing the portfolio of foundation, corporate, and government partnerships as well as supporting individual donor cultivation efforts. Before that, as the assistant director of program and resource development at the Fund for Public Health in New York, Angelie secured several multimillion-dollar grants and donations for high-profile, complex initiatives.

    Angelie earned her MSW degree from the Columbia School of Social Work and a BA from Pace University. As a student at CSSW, she interned at UJA-Federation of New York, the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, and Palladia (now part of Services of the UnderServed) and worked as a development assistant at Sakhi for South Asian Women. Prior to graduate school, she was a site director at the Queens Community House, where she facilitated programs for students, parents, and staff.

    Angelie is an adjunct faculty member at the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service and Stony brook University’s School of Social Welfare in-person and online. She has taught continuing education courses and workshops at CSSW, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare, and the Network for Social Work Management’s national and New York City chapter conferences. In addition to classroom teaching, she has been a field instructor for CSSW and Silberman students. She is the co-chair of the Scholarship Committee of the NYC chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has served on the board of directors of Community Mediation Services, as a team leader for the Grants Advisory Committee of the New York Women’s Foundation, and a member of the Asian Women Giving Circle. Angelie was a Selection Committee member for the NYCT Nonprofit Excellence Awards, a volunteer mentor for the Network for Social Work Management, and a career coach for Women in Development.

  • Analeah Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from SUNY Cortland, a Master of Social Work degree from New York University, and a PhD in Human Services with a specialization in Administration and Leadership from Walden University.

    She is originally from Queens, New York, where she worked as an LMSW for a case management agency for adults aged 65 and older. From 2009 to 2011, she and her husband lived on the island of Dominica in the West Indies, where she worked with university Behavioral Science and Introduction to Clinical Medicine departments to train third-semester students in interviewing and taking biopsychosocial assessments. Since that time, she has worked as a social work instructor, field placement advisor, and field placement coordinator.

    Dr. Green has an interest in staff and program development, grant writing, continuing education, and the use of animal-assisted therapy with the older adult population. Her Facebook page offers more information on animal-assisted therapy.

  • Amy Batchelor works on policy related to Medicaid long term care, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and social determinants of health in the Executive Office of the President at the Office of Management and Budget. She previously worked on issues related to minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, overtime policy. Prior to her service in the federal government, Amy supported a consensus study on family caregiving for older adults at the National Academy of Sciences

    She has been a lecturer at the Columbia School of Social Work since 2016, where she has taught Introduction to Statistics, Social Welfare Policy, and Policy Practice courses. She is also the author of Statistics in Social Work: An Introduction to Practical Applications.

    Amy holds a BA from the George Washington University in International Affairs and an MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Professor Amelia Ortega, LCSW, TCYM, SIFI, currently works as a somatic psychotherapist, organizational change consultant, and professor of Social Work practice. As a social worker, Professor Ortega’s work for the last 14 years has been dedicated to supporting queer and trans young adults and families. They currently work in their NYC-based practice, Amanecer Feminist Psychotherapy, as a Senior Lecturer at the Columbia School of Social Work, and as a consultant to direct service and non-profit agencies seeking to address structural and interpersonal racism.

    Professor Ortega has taught at Columbia for ten years both residentially and online, specializing in trauma-informed practice and classroom pedagogies. They have been dedicated to the growth and development of the CSSW Online Program since the program was established. Professor Ortega currently teaches Human Behavior in the Social Environment A, Advanced Clinical, and Building Resilience to Trauma, and has also created a HBSE B course focused on Constructions of Gender and Sexuality. Professor Ortega believes their role in social work education and as a community-based clinician is an opportunity to build collective consciousness about identity, power, and liberation labor.

    Professor Ortega’s clinical and teaching practice engages healing through use of somatic experiencing, EMDR, and their training in the Trauma Conscious Yoga Method. In 2019 they were named by Negocios Now as one of “NYC’s 40 Latinos under 40” for their trauma therapy work with LGBTQ Latinx community.

    Professor Ortega’s academic background includes a BA in Media Studies and Critical Race Studies from Hampshire College and an MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work (AGPP/Family, Youth, and Children). Since graduating from Columbia in 2007, Professor Ortega has focused their career on work within the foster care and public school systems. While their work is currently clinically oriented, Professor Ortega’s background is primarily rooted in community organizing, training, and consultation. They are a current candidate for a doctorate in Social Welfare at SUNY Buffalo, where they are focusing their academic labor on somatic interventions for healing racialized trauma with multiracial identified clients.

    Professor Ortega is a deep listener of all life, and when they aren’t working they are often found out in nature with birds and wildlife. They are a photographer, writer, visual creator, and naturalist.

  • Amanda Levering oversees the Brooklyn Supervised Release Program, which has diverted more than 4,000 people from pre-trial detention since March 2016. Additionally, Ms. Levering launched the Pre-Trial Youth Engagement Program (PYEP), which supervises 16-19 year olds charged with violent felony offenses. Ms. Levering previously served as the Strategic Coordinator for the Circles of Support Program at the Harlem Community Justice Center. Before joining the Justice Center, Ms. Levering worked for the Delaware Department of Justice as a victim advocate and as a substance abuse counselor at an outpatient facility. In 2009, she worked as a health volunteer for the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. Ms. Levering holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Delaware and a master’s in social work from the Columbia University School of Social Work, where she completed the Management Fellows Program in 2013.

  • Ms. Brown Kenney is a mission-driven international development professional committed to social justice and access to quality health care. A respected international humanitarian and development professional with more than two decades of experience as both practitioner and executive, Ms. Brown Kenney collaborates with partners to ensure that humanitarian actors are equipped to lead effective and creative responses to alleviate suffering and save lives.

    A social work public health professional by trade, her areas of expertise include program development and coordination, advocacy and representation, curriculum development and training, and partnership building. She has utilized these skills in complex environments, in both emergency and development settings with a focus on maternal and child health. Extensive work in Bangladesh, Haiti, and Rwanda, and collaboration with national and international NGO partners has deepened her commitment to improving health outcomes for vulnerable communities and providing dynamic and relevant training opportunities that help learners build their skills, knowledge, and confidence to take on leadership responsibilities. As a lecturer, she strives to create an inclusive learning environment whereby students feel empowered to bring their authentic selves to the classroom.

    For close to fourteen years, she held a variety of positions at Concern Worldwide US. Most recently, she served as the Director for the National NGO Program on Humanitarian Leadership (NNPHL), a consortium led by Concern in partnership with Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and International Medical Corps, which provides training to the next generation of humanitarian leaders. Prior to leading NNPHL for five years, she managed Concern’s Child Survival grant funding and provided technical and liaison support to Concern’s maternal and child health programs; oversaw the organization’s active global citizenship program, which included advocacy efforts focusing on Concern’s food security and nutrition portfolio; and served as Concern’s acting Operations Director (2010), managing technical and operational staff, overseeing emergency and development US government grants, providing high-level representation, and temporarily deploying to Haiti for the 2010 earthquake response.

    Earlier, Ms. Brown Kenney worked with other international and domestic mission-driven organizations, including managing socioeconomic reintegration programs at the World Rehabilitation Fund and coordinating services for New York City families affected by 9/11. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Peace and Conflict Studies from the College of the Holy Cross, and a Master of Science in Social Work degree and Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University.

  • Allison R. Ross, PhD, LCSW, is the Deputy Clinical Director at Sanctuary for Families, an organization that provides comprehensive services to adults and children survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and other forms of gender violence. Her area of interest includes: intimate partner/domestic violence and its impact on women and children; along with developing social interventions and prevention programs to benefit survivors of domestic violence.

    Dr. Ross earned her MSW degree from Columbia University School of Social Work, and a doctorate degree (PhD) from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. She is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and New York University, Schools of Social Work. She also serves as a Field Instructor, in which role she provides clinical instructions and supervision to MSW, MHC, and undergraduate interns as they complete their varying degrees.

  • Alissa Silverstein (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private psychotherapy practice specializing in individuals and couples who identify as queer or non-monogamous. She also offers specialized supervision in working psychodynamically with alternative genders, sexualities, and lifestyles. 

    Alissa completed her post-graduate clinical training at Rose Hill Psychological Services, a psychoanalytic practice and training center, where she also developed MSW Internship and Continuing Education programs. She has nearly a decade of experience designing and managing programs in the nonprofit sector, including volunteer engagement, staff training, and corporate social responsibility programs.

    Alissa has developed and facilitated training in LGBTQ+/TGNC-affirming practice for both clinicians at Rose Hill and staff at Covenant House New York. She has served as a field supervisor for over a dozen social work interns and is passionate about teaching students to practice through an anti-oppressive lens. 

    Alissa holds BA in Psychology from the University of Rochester, an MSW from Columbia School of Social Work, and an advanced postgraduate certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from the William Alanson White Institute (WAWI). She is currently pursuing an advanced certificate in Couples Therapy at WAWI.

  • Alirio H. Guerrero, LMSW, is the former Deputy Director of Child Welfare and Family Services for the Children’s Aid Society of New York. Over his 22-year tenure at the Children’s Aid Society, he oversaw their child abuse prevention and domestic violence programs. During that time, as Director of Preventive Services, he developed a comprehensive trauma-based clinical model that addresses relational family dysfunctional behaviors and their interference with strength-based and positive parenting. This model successfully reduced child abuse and neglect and prevented out-of-home placement.

    Professor Guerrero earned his Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work. Before earning his MSW, he served as a child abuse investigator and adolescent case specialist for the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services. After relocating to New York City, he served as Program and Site Director for a Lower East Side community-based organization, where he provided counseling, advocacy and other services for immigrant families facing child abuse issues.

    Professor Guerrero completed his post-graduate studies at the prestigious Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City. He maintains a private practice in Manhattan and specializes in family therapy with bi-racial, bi-cultural families. He has written and presented extensively on the issues of child abuse and neglect, the immigrant experience, and systemic family therapy. He also sits on the Board of St. Nick’s Alliance, a non-profit social service agency serving children and families in Brooklyn.

    Professor Guerrero is completing his tenth year as an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work. He is the proud father of two adult daughters and currently resides in Brooklyn with his fiancé and their newly adopted dog, Luna.

  • Alexandra Seals is currently the Associate Director of Mission and Outreach at The Reformed Church of Bronxville. In her current role, she oversees the Reformed Church in Bronxville’s mission and advocacy efforts, ranging from systemic change and social justice issues locally and abroad, as well as the administration of Coming Home, a prison re-entry program. Prior to this, she was a Research Consultant at Fordham University’s Beck Institute for Religion and Poverty. Alexandra has provided consulting services for reentry programs where she conducted training, curriculum development, and program planning for organizations such as Rye Presbyterian Church, Riverside Church, and SEARCH Houston.

    Alexandra has worked on many mass incarceration reform initiatives including at the Westchester County Jail, where she spearheaded a program that provides incarcerated youth with pre-release training and coordinated planning to support their transition into the community. She has served as an Advisory Board member of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison and most recently has served on the Westchester Ban the Box Task Force. Her work is featured in a documentary released by the New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration. Alexandra is pursuing a Doctoral degree in Social Work at Fordham University and has an MSW from Lehman College. Alexandra’s current research is in the area of parental incarceration and intergenerational transfers.

  • Adeline Medeiros, LMSW

    Adeline currently serves as the Executive Director for The Children’s Storefront, a first-of-its-kind, free program in Harlem where parents receive support to build their children’s brains in the first 1,000 days of life through the power of interactive play. With strengths-based coaching focused on responsive, nurturing interactions, families build a strong foundation for lifelong success.

    Previously, Adeline was the Borough Director for Power of Two where she led a team of 25 to expand services throughout New York City, develop a thriving, equitable organizational culture, and ensure holistic support of the hundreds of families Power of Two partnered with annually. She also served as Associate Director of Community at 100Kin10, where she strategized in partnership with stakeholders to strengthen STEM education in the United States. She began her career as a community organizer and coalition builder, and has previously directed civic engagement efforts at Barnard College, developed curriculum and taught as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, and facilitated community leadership fellowship programs. Adeline earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Bridgewater State University, a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University, and has received her LMSW and SIFI certification. She is an active leader in the fight for equity and racial justice, a regular guest lecturer and trainer at educational and community institutions across the country, a long-time member and former treasurer of NASW-NYC’s political action committee, and a recipient of the National Association of Social Worker’s Emerging Social Work Leader Award.

  • Adela Effendy, a Licensed Master Social Worker in New York State, has led multiple pilot and well-established programs in the nation’s largest secondary and public university systems, overseeing over $1.5 million in budgets, 75+ staff members and reaching 10,000+ students over the past 12+ years. She has expertise in staff and student learning and development, teaching and facilitating groups, crisis management/rapid responding, and fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive team environments while also leading teams and programs through change management processes.

    As the current Program Coordinator at CUNY Start/Math Start’s LaGuardia Community College, Adela has been at the forefront of capacity-building and navigating significant systems changes at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) pilot program since 2014 by redesigning professional development and student advisement processes for increased stakeholder engagement and change. Along with her work at CUNY, Adela has worked with various non-profit organizations, summer camps, public schools, and corporations to uplift conversations around examining knowledge of self, cultural sustainability, and anti-oppressive and healing-centered work spaces.

  • Abe Zubarev, LCSW, BCD, ATR, DPS, is a board certified licensed clinical social worker. He has over thirteen years of experience working with adults and adolescents providing direct clinical services, and much of his career has focused on college mental health. Most recently, Abe served as Director of Counseling at University of the Arts in Philadelphia and directed Counseling Services at Penn State Brandywine. He has worked in staff therapist roles at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and as an embedded clinician at The Wharton School.

    As a registered art therapist as well as an LCSW, Abe is an expert in the field of visual arts in mental health. At CSSW, Abe teaches a graduate seminar on Art Therapy in Social Work Practice — the first art therapy course ever to be taught at Columbia University. Previously, Abe helped to establish the undergraduate art therapy concentration as a lecturer at Rutgers Camden. Abe has taught undergraduate courses on modern/contemporary art history and theory at institutions such as Penn State Abington and Moore College of Art & Design, and graduate seminars in art therapy and counseling psychology at Holy Family.

    Abe earned his BA summa cum laude/Phi Beta Kappa from Brooklyn College CUNY in Art History and Philosophy, an MSSW from Columbia (2010), and a doctorate in Bioethics with a focus on clinical ethics consultation from Albany Medical College, where he wrote his doctoral project on bioethics in art therapy. Abe is also currently completing a second doctorate in Health Sciences at Eastern Virginia Medical School (expected 2023). Before pivoting into the Arts in Health field, Abe trained to be an art historian and arts educator. He has an MA from Cornell in Art History (ABD, 2004) and an MEd from Harvard in Arts in Education, and he later obtained an MFA in Studio Art with a focus on sculpture from University of the Arts.

    Having worked in a range of mental health settings, from outpatient/IOP clinics to inpatient psychiatric units, residential treatment programs, and college counseling centers, has left Abe with a deep sense of purpose to help support young adults and their mental health. Abe has considerable leadership experience in program development/coordination and evaluation, with staff and intern training, and financial management. Abe currently works full-time as a psychotherapist in private practice. His clinical interests focus on autism, self-esteem, social anxiety/loneliness, gay men’s issues, and existential concerns. Abe further supports Columbia students by serving as an external clinical supervisor and advisor in field education and enjoys mentoring the next generation of clinicians.

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