PhD Program Student Ambassadors

who we are

The NYU Silver School of Social Work 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, New Student Orientation, and respond to inquiries on student life in the program and in NYC. 


Lynden Bond

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 homelessness and housing policy. She is also interested in understanding the role of social networks and community for persons experiencing homelessness.

Areas of Interest include: 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 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 include: 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

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 include: 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

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 include: Dementia Care, Health Disparities at the end-of-life

"NYU Silver is an exceptionally supportive academic community and one that I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of."


Cliff Whetung

Cliff Whetung is a Ph.D 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 include: Aging, intergenerational programs, child welfare, theory development.

"The challenging yet supportive structure of SIlver's PhD program has grow dramatically in my short time here. My relationships with other students and my mentors have also make every day here both fun and stimulating. I love it here!"

Yeqing Yuan PhD Candidate

Yeqing Yuan is a Ph.D. candidate 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 include: 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."

contact us