PhD Student Ambassadors
Who We Are
NYU Silver PhD Program Student Ambassadors are enthusiastic, well-informed, student representatives who work together with the PhD Program Office to promote opportunities available to prospective students within the program and across the university.
PhD Program Student Ambassadors assist with program events, such as Open Houses and New Student Orientation, and respond to inquiries on student life within the program and in New York City.
Lynden Bond is a PhD student at the Silver School of Social Work. Her clinical experience includes working in supportive housing and homeless outreach programs. Lynden's research focuses on the experiences of homeless individuals, including barriers to accessing services, and on housing policy. She is also interested in understanding the role of social networks and community for persons experiencing homelessness.
Areas of Interest: Homelessness, Housing, Poverty, Mental Health
“The methods and substantive electives provide an opportunity to focus in on what will be useful in my research and in my career. These, along with the structured curriculum, are giving me a solid foundation for my academic future.”
Gerri K. Connaught
Gerri K. Connaught is a PhD student at the Silver School of Social Work. Her clinical experience includes working with various student populations—such as first-generation college students, student veterans, and adult learners—in transitioning into life as college students. Gerri’s research focuses on the structural ways in which higher education institutions contribute to feelings of imposter phenomenon among students of color and how this impacts their mental health, sense of self, and retention rates.
Areas of Interest: Imposter Phenomenon, Students of Color, Higher Education, Student Retention, First-Generation College Students
“The faculty and peer support that is provided by this program is something that I am extremely grateful for. Everyone is invested in your growth and in helping you reach your academic and professional goals.”
Lauren Jessell is a PhD student at the Silver School of Social Work and a pre-doctoral fellow in the Behavioral Science Training program at the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Her research focuses on the delivery of mental health services for people with co-occurring substance use disorders. She is also interested in overdose prevention and individualized approaches to the use of psychiatric medication.
Areas of Interest: Co-occurring Disorders, Medical and Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use, Overdose Prevention
“The culture around mentorship is what stands out to me in this program. You have the opportunity to work and learn from leaders in your field while also receiving support to develop your own unique research agenda. It's the best of both worlds.”
Tessa Jones is a PhD student at the NYU Silver School of Social Work and an appointed scholar at the NYU Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing. Currently, she is involved in research that aims to improve dementia care and quality of life for persons with dementia and their caregivers who have enrolled in hospice.
Areas of Interest: Dementia Care, End-of-Life Health Disparities
“NYU Silver is an exceptionally supportive academic community and one that I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of.”
Cliff Whetung is a PhD student in the Silver School of Social Work and an NYU Urban Doctoral Fellow. He has clinical experience working in early childhood mental health and with older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. His research interests include intergenerational program models, Alzheimer's and dementia interventions, and child welfare. Cliff is particularly interested in quantitative methods and developing theoretical models for intergenerational interactions.
Areas of Interest: Aging, Intergenerational Programs, Child Welfare, Theory Development
“The challenging yet supportive structure of SIlver's PhD program has grown dramatically in my short time here. My relationships with other students and my mentors have also made every day here both fun and stimulating. I love it here!”
Yeqing Yuan is a PhD student at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. Yeqing's research seeks to understand the complex needs among individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders. Specifically, her dissertation focuses on housing stability among individuals diagnosed with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders receiving Assertive Community Treatment services.
Areas of Interest: Housing, Co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, Mixed Methods Research
“At NYU Silver, I have had the opportunity to work with colleagues with a wide range of substantive and methodological expertise, which exposed me to a diverse learning platform that extends beyond the curriculum.”