Seven CUSSW Alumni Honored by the National Association of Social Workers New York Chapter

January 18, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

The Columbia University School of Social Work is proud to announce that alumna Nancy Wackstein ’79 has been named a Top Leader in the Profession and that alumni Natania Kremer ’07, Kevin Queen ’06, Elizabeth Rogers ’04, Joseph Zagame ’08 have been named 2011 Emerging Social Work Leaders by the National Association of Social Workers New York Chapter.  In addition, Mouchuan Teddy Chen ‘86 ‘03PhD and Matthew Wofsy ’92 have been named Mid-Career Exemplary Leaders.

The annual leadership awards identify individuals who demonstrate a unique commitment and dedication to the social work profession and to the improvement of social and human conditions at the local levels through practice, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, and advocacy. The awards also recognize individuals for their exemplary leadership and achievements in their social work careers.

Nancy Wackstein ’79 – Top Leader in the Profession
Nancy Wackstein has been Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses of New York (UNH) since 2002. UNH is the federation of the City’s 37 settlement houses and community centers. Prior to her UNH appointment, she spent eleven years as the Executive Director of Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a settlement house on Manhattan’s East Side. Wackstein served as Director of the Mayor’s Office on Homelessness and SRO Housing from 1990-1991 under Mayor David N. Dinkins. She was Senior Policy Advisor for Human Services in Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins’ Office from 1986-1989, where she was also Staff Director for the Task Force on Housing for Homeless Families. Wackstein currently serves on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations, including the United Way of New York City and is Immediate Past Board Chair of the Human Services Council of New York. She was appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2003 to the New York City Youth Board and to the Citywide Coordinating Committee to End Chronic Homelessness, in 2006 to the New York City Commission for Economic Opportunity, and in 2009 to the NYC Commission on LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth.

Natania Kremer ’07 – Emerging Social Work Leader
Natania Kremer, LMSW, MSEd is a clinical social worker with 10 years of experience in the field of early childhood education. She is currently the Director of Early Childhood Support Services and Admissions at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (JBFCS) Child Development Center.  Kremer holds the core belief that all children are entitled to equitable, high quality early childhood education services and she has infused a commitment to justice into her professional roles as a social worker, educator, early childhood mental health consultant, supervisor, and diversity trainer.  Kremer is involved in social justice organizing efforts throughout the New York City area and co-chairs the Manhattan White Antiracist Caucus at JBFCS. She also works as an instructor for adults through the Social Work Examination and Licensure Support Services at JBFCS and as a diversity trainer for middle and high school students with the Anti-Defamation League’s A World of Difference® program.

Kevin Queen ’06 – Emerging Social Work Leader
Kevin Queen, LMSW, ACSW, is the Vice President/Director of Programs of New York
Foundation for Senior Citizens (NYFSC). He is responsible for the administration and supervision of the Foundation’s ten senior citizen residential buildings, three senior centers and many of its social service programs that help to improve the quality of life of elderly New Yorkers. Queen began his social work career at NYFSC as an intern toward his BSW degree, during which he was assigned to the Foundation’s Home Sharing Program and Mott Street Senior Center. Upon his receipt of that degree, he was hired as the Program Director of the Foundation’s Brown Gardens Enriched Housing Program.  Queen later became the Program Director of the Foundation’s Senior Citizen Employment Training and Job Placement Program and, prior to assuming his current position, served as the Property Manager of the Foundation’s senior citizen residential buildings.

Elizabeth Rogers ’04 – Emerging Social Work Leader
Elizabeth Rogers, LCSW, has provided home-based social work services in New York City for the past seven years in the fields of mental health, juvenile and criminal justice, and child welfare, with the goal of reducing systems involvement in clients’ lives. Currently a Site Supervisor in The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) General Preventive Services Program in the Bronx, Rogers started her social work career at The Bridge ACT Team and then moved on to the Adolescent Portable Therapy Program at the Vera Institute of Justice. She is one of the founding members of the NASW-NYC New Professionals Task Force and helped to co-organize over 30 events to address the particular needs of new social work professionals. Rogers is a newly elected Member-at-Large of the NASW-NYC Board of Directors.

Joseph Zagame ’08 – Emerging Social Work Leader
Joseph Zagame, LCSW works at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in their HIV/AIDS Outpatient Clinic, Center for Special Studies.  Zagame works as part of an interdisciplinary team and providing counseling and case management services to adults living with HIV. At the clinic, he facilitates a weekly gay men’s support group, and coordinates the clinic’s Community Advisory Board.  Since 2010, Zagame has also been working at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, providing psychotherapy to adults, adolescents, and couples.  He has served as an educator providing numerous presentations to students and other counselors about issues on sexual orientation, and plays an active role in the NASW LGBT Committee.

Mouchuan Teddy Chen ‘86 ‘03PhD – Mid-Career Leader
Mouchuan Teddy Chen, PhD, LCSW, is the Director of the Mental Health Bridge Program at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York City. The program is a nationally recognized service model for providing easy access to behavioral health care by integrating it with primary health care. Chen has devoted a large amount of time and energy to the wellbeing of people who suffer from mental disorders. He has authored book chapters and research studies regarding Asian American mental health issues and often speaks out regarding cross-cultural mental health issues and improving mental health services for Asian Americans. Chen is one of the founders of the Chinese American Family Alliance for Mental Health and is also a Board Member of the New York Coalition for Asian American Mental Health, an advocacy organization for improving mental health care in Asian American community.

Matthew Wofsy ’92 – Mid-Career Leader
Matt Wofsy is the Director of Best-Practice and Evidence-Based Treatment Initiatives at the Institute for Community Living, where he is responsible for the identification, dissemination, and implementation of best-practice and evidence-based treatment strategies throughout a large human service agency in New York City. Over the last nineteen years, Wofsy has had extensive practice experience working in community mental health organizations in roles such as crisis interventionist, case manager, primary therapist, clinical coordinator, and program director. Since 2003, Wofsy has presented his work on multi-systemic interventions with high density urban families at city, state, and national conferences. Wofsy maintains a private practice in New York City.

Twenty-one individuals will be recognized this year at the NASW-NYC awards dinner hosted on December 1, 2011 in New York City.