Adjunct Bios A-C
Adjunct Associate Professor
Since retiring from her tenured position as Associate Professor, Dr. Theresa Aiello has continued directing the Post Master's Certificate Program in Advanced Clinical Practice. She also teaches Social Theory and Clinical Practice for the DSW program at NYU Silver. Dr. Aiello has continued her scholarly work on narrative, oral history, psychoanalysis, and social theory. In 2016, she presented her oral history project on Homesteaders of the East Village at the Psychohistory conference at New York University and the Narrative Matters Conference in Victoria, B.C., and she gave a paper on teaching social theory and oral history at the Oral History Association in London. In 2017, she was invited speaker at the annual AAPCSW conference.
Dr. Aiello has been a consultant to many mental health agencies including the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. Her interests include the intellectual history of psychoanalysis and clinical social work. Other areas of expertise include: attachment theory, trauma, and contemporary issues of child and adolescent treatment. She has also written on child maltreatment and on children and the arts. Dr. Aiello taught in the PhD program and MSW programs at NYU Silver. She was Chair of Human Behavior and helped to develop the Focused Learning Opportunity program in Child and Adolescent Treatment for the MSW program. Dr. Aiello developed many courses including the first course in Object Relations Theory for the MSW program. She co directed the Post-Master's Certificate Program in Child and Family Therapy for several years.
Dr. Aiello received the New York University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2000. She was elected to the National Academies of Practice in Social Work as distinguished practitioner. She also teaches at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies Psychoanalytic Program.
Dr. Debbie Akerman, PhD, LCSW, CASAP is a licensed clinical social worker with years of experience in addiction/recovery, trauma, and marriage and family work. Dr. Akerman has worked for over ten years in addiction in both the clinical an administrative realms. Dr. Akerman received her Master’s in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University and her doctorate in social welfare from Wurzweiler, Yeshiva University as well. Dr. Akerman’ s dissertation, “Build it and They Will Come” focused on the lack of outpatient addiction treatment facilities in the orthodox Jewish community. Dr. Akerman has extensive teaching experience covering a wide range including clinical practice 1 and 2, HBSE 1 and 2,trauma, addiction, philosophical concepts in social work and values and ethics. Additionally, Dr. Akerman is a public speaker educating and speaking to various communities and professionals on addiction, resilience, cultural appropriate practice, stigma and bereavement.
As Senior Program Associate in the Clinical Education and Innovation Department at the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, Diana assists in developing and disseminating training initiatives throughout the State of New York. She has worked on initiatives related to trauma-informed care, family-driven care, resilience, engagement best practices, and service provider burnout. Additionally, she helped to coordinate the Family and Food Matters research projects, which address food insecurity among caregivers and kids as well as pregnant women.
Diana has an MS degree in Social Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. She is a recipient of Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center’s 40 Under 40: Class of 2018.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Darren Arthur is a bilingual, English/Spanish, practitioner with expertise in oncology, palliative and end-of-life care, mental health, HIV/AIDS and LGBT clinical practice. He presents on these subjects both locally and nationally. Darren currently works as an Oncology Clinical Social Worker at Beth Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center and as a group facilitator with Gilda’s Club New York City. He has taught in the BSW, MSW and post-graduate programs at NYU SSSW, and is a Certified Field Instructor supervising MSW students. Darren has a Post-Master’s Certificate in Palliative and End-of-Life Care and in 2011 was selected as a Fellow for the NYU Social Work Leadership Fellowship in Palliative and End of Life Care. In 2013 Darren was awarded the Emerging Social Work Leader Award from NASW NYC - recognizing exemplary leadership qualities, dedication, and unique commitment to the social work profession and improvement of social and human conditions. Darren sits on the NYU Silver School of Social Work’s Dean’s Advisory Council.
Graduate Student Adjunct
Terry S. Audate is an adjunct lecturer and a DSW Candidate at NYU Silver School of Social Work. She is also an adjunct lecturer at New York City College of Technology in the Human Services department. Ms. Audate earned her master’s degree at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Her studies focus on a concentration in Spirituality and Clinical Social Work. Ms. Audate is a licensed clinical worker who is the founding owner of Autesh Therapy Services, LCSW, PLLC in Queens, New York. She is also a school social worker with the NYC Department of Education. Ms. Audate directed programs in mental health/substance abuse programs, developmental disabilities residential programs, and the health care integration department in foster care. She was one of the pioneers of Project Hope after Hurricane Sandy at Transitional Services of New York Inc. and continues to service the community.
Ms. Bagnini is a licensed creative arts therapist and clinical social worker who has practiced in schools and out-patient mental health clinics in Boston + NYC for 19 years. She completed her Master of Arts Degree in Expressive Therapies at Lesley University, and obtained her MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College of the City University of New York. She has presented nationally on community-building, anti-oppressive practice, and social and emotional learning in school communities and has held positions in direct service, clinical supervision, and program management. Ms. Bagnini's style of engagement attempts to foster individual strengths and collective understanding of identified problems as well as barriers to continued growth and learning. She embraces a firm commitment to ongoing professional development that includes how self-awareness impacts professional competence. Ms. Bagnini is also a practicing musician (piano, guitar, and voice) and has published scholarly writing about creativity, culture, and the practice of psychotherapy.
As the Assistant Director of Strategic Operations at McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, Meg is an integral part of the team that manages the ongoing work of the Managed Care Technical Assistant Center (MCTAC) as well as a variety of other projects. As part of the team, Meg helps to oversee the daily operations of MCTAC as well as numerous on-going partnerships and the development of trainings, tools, and resources to support ongoing healthcare transformation work.
Meg is a graduate of Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work’s Community Organizing, Planning and Development and has been invited to be a guest speaker at various Hunter, NYU, and Columbia's master social work classes. Meg is interested in supporting individuals and communities in implementing sustainable and effective interventions and programs. Prior to her graduate studies, Meg lived in Alaska working as an advocate for survivors of intimate partner violence and as a program coordinator for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Ms. Baier is passionate about social justice and trauma informed practices and has a background in the development and implementation of community violence presentation plans and working within child welfare reform.
Graduate Student Adjunct
Daniel is a PhD student at New York University's Silver School of Social Work where he also obtained his MSW degree. Before returning to school for his PhD, he worked in community mental health and substance use treatment programs in Vermont as a clinician and supervisor. His clinical and program management experience implementing evidence-based practices in community treatment settings has informed his research interests in implementation science, integrated service delivery systems, and rural social work practice.
Gwendolyn (Wendy) Bassett, MSW, LCSW-R, is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Midtown Manhattan. She specializes in working with men and women who seek recovery from the aftereffects of trauma. Wendy’s expertise is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); brief, evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapies for PTSD with individuals, groups, and couples; and veteran postdeployment mental health.
In addition to her clinical work, Wendy is a Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD trainer and consultant. For more than a decade, she worked with veterans with PTSD at VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT. A graduate of Smith College School for Social Work, she is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, and an Adjunct Lecturer at NYU Silver School for Social Work.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Dr. Besa Bauta is the Chief Data Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for MercyFirst, an organization that provides health and mental health services for clients in NYC and an NYU Adjunct Assistant Professor in social work and public health. As divisional lead for Research, Evaluation, Analytics, and Compliance for Health (REACH), she oversees data integration technology, infrastructure development, research, evaluation, and analytics. She served as Research Director for USAID community-based education project in Afghanistan and as Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at the Center for Evidence-Based Implementation and Research (CEBIR) at CGS. She holds a Ph.D. from NYU with training in Health Services and Implementation Science, MPH in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from College of Global Public Health, MSW in Clinical Social Work from Silver School of Social Work, Psychoanalytic training from Institute of Psychoanalytic Education, NYU Medical School, and BA from Rutgers University with Evolutionary Anthropology training.
After obtaining my MSW from Fordham University, most of my career has focused in the field of Mental Health. I have worked in inpatient psychiatry, community based mental health clinics, and forensic mental health clinics in NYC at Rikers Isalnd and with the Department of Juvenile Justice. Within these settings, I have practiced as a clinician, clinical supervisor, field instructor, Unit Chief, Clinic Director, and Mental Health Director. Currently, I am in private practice and for the past eleven years, I have been at NYU as both a Faculty Advisor and Adjunct Professor. My approach to treatment is eclectic, that is using different approaches based on the needs of the client. Some of these approaches include psychodynamic psychotherapy, strengths perspective, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness with children, adolescents, individuals, families and couples.
Jennifer Benetato is an educator, integrative psychotherapist, trauma specialist, and the founder of The AMBIKA Method, an embodied psycho-spiritual approach for enhancing emotional wellbeing.
Jennifer received her MSW from NYU, where she was the recipient of the Constance McCatherin-Silver Fellowship. Jennifer is also a registered dance/movement therapist, licensed massage therapist, certified yoga therapist, and trained practitioner of EMDR, gestalt therapy, Reiki, meditation, herbal medicine, and CranioSacral therapy.
Jennifer was a presenter in NYU's first conference on Creative Arts and Social Work in 2015. She has also presented at NASW’s Social Work in the City Conference and NASW’s Addictions Institute Conference. She is a regular lecturer on mind-body-spirit approaches to mental health.
Jennifer is licensed in New York and Hawaii, and works with individuals, couples, and groups. She is currently in private practice.
Adjunct Associate Professor
Robert S. Berger is in full-time private practice. His area of expertise is outpatient psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and adults.
Dr. Berger earned his MS in social work from Columbia University in 1978 and his PhD in clinical social work from the NYU Silver School of Social Work in 2000. His dissertation explored self-perceptions in latency age children with Familial Dysautonomia.
Barbara Biermann is an NYU graduate and has worked with children and families for 25+ years. Currently employed by the New York Department of Education she serves children, families, teachers and administrators in the PreK 4 All program. She teaches parent workshops and is a faciliatory of teacher professional learning (Thrive). Other experiences include Heath and Hospitals Corporation (child psychiatry and pediatrics), preventive service (PPRS/ACS) and Columbia University – Teachers College where she taught a play therapy practicum course in the Clinical Psychology Department for several years. Professor Biermann continues to supervise MSW interns in the field.
Ellen Blaufox, LCSW-R is Director of Clinical Services at The Mann Center (The Jewish Board), the largest psychiatric, residential treatment facility for adolescents in New York State. Ellen has been working with adolescents, adults and families, survivors of chronic stress, trauma and mental illness for twenty years. During her time at The Mann Center, Ellen has had the opportunity to participate as a Core Team Member (for JBFCS) in the National Child Traumatic Study Network Learning Collaborative with the founders of TF-CBT. She has been practicing TF-CBT for nearly ten years and has provided consultation and supervision for TF-CBT clinicians. Additionally, Ellen was a Core Team Member of the implementation of the Sanctuary Model on the Westchester Campus of JBFCS. She participated in the adaptation and implementation of the Sanctuary Model from an adult modality to the adolescent population. She is an expert in the field of Trauma and CSEC (youth who are survivors of Commercial, Sexual Exploitation).
Ms. Blaufox has been an Adjunct Professor at New York University Silver Graduate School of Social Work for six years, where she teaches Diversity, Racism, Oppression and Privilege. She has also taught Trauma and Resilience at Iona College. Ellen is the Founder of True Edge Workshop whose mission is to empower girls and women by challenging their cognitive distortions and increasing their practice of self-compassion. She is a well-respected authority and has been presenting workshops on such topics as white privilege, feminism, self-abuse, trauma and depression for more than ten years. In addition, she is a contributor to Mary Pender Greene’s chapter “Family and Children’s’ Services” in the publication Encyclopedia of Social Work with Groups. Ms. Blaufox is in private practice in Westchester County. She is a graduate of Skidmore College, NYU Silver School of Social Work, Circle in the Square Theater Summer School and NYSSA (Julliard).
Graduate Student Adjunct
Lynden Bond is a PhD Candidate at New York University's Silver School of Social Work. She is a graduate of the Silver School of Social Work's MSW program and is a licensed master social worker in New York. Her previous clinical experiences include working as a clinical supervisor in homeless outreach and supportive housing programs, and in engaging in advocacy work around ending unsheltered homelessness in New York City.
Lynden's research interests include social determinants of health, housing insecurity, homelessness, and behavioral health. Her current research focuses on how housing insecurity and homelessness impact access to mental health and substance use treatment services among emergency department patients.
Adjunct Associate Professor
An accomplished public-health leader, Dr. Breitbart has dedicated her career, spanning 40 years, to improving health services. Many of the programs, partnerships, and policies that she helped initiate serve as models for other urban centers across the country. She recently served as Director of the Health Advocacy graduate program at Sarah Lawrence. College, Vice President of the Department of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, which she created at Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC), and served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Clinician Training Initiative at PPNYC, as well. She has held positions as Project Director at the Columbia School of Public Health for a national study, funded by the Ford Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and served as Deputy Director of the Office of Women’s Health at the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation. Prior to that, she served as Program Management Officer at the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health at the New York City Department of Health, where she managed the 300-staff initiative to reduce infant mortality in the city. Working with community and government partners, her accomplishments include founding the first Bereavement Program in New York City for families experiencing perinatal loss, establishing the Brooklyn Perinatal Network. In recognition of her work and leadership abilities, she was elected President of the Public Health Association of New York City in 2010 and has served as Chair of the Board of the National Abortion Federation. Dr. Breitbart is presently on the Board of Directors of the Reproductive Health Access Project and the Advisory Board of the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program at Hampshire College. Dr. Breitbart has taught at CUNY School of Public Health, Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and New York University. Her publications include books on education and articles on reproductive health and intimate partner violence for peer-reviewed journals.
Mr. Brooks has 30 years of social service experience working in the fields of supportive housing, child welfare, early childhood education and mental health, with last 18 of those years serving in an executive or leadership position.
As an agency executive, he has managed multi-million programs and services to help strengthen families, to help young people reach their full potential and to help adults with disabilities to lead meaningful productive lives. Mr. Brooks has extensive experience working in the private non-profit, government and academic sectors. He also has experience with the provision of social services at the direct practice, policy and executive level and is able to develop and integrate effective programs, services and systems to serve our most vulnerable populations. Currently, Mr. Brooks has founded and operates the Brooks Counseling and Consultation Group, providing mental health, mentoring and executive coaching to people in need.
Mr. Brooks earned his MS of Social Work from Columbia University in 1994. Mr. Brooks also completed Columbia University's Non-Profit Management Program and Harvard University's Executive Leadership Program.
Graduate Student Adjunct
Originally from Ireland, Dr. Gillian O’Shea Brown, LCSW is a psychotherapist, EMDR certified practitioner and complex trauma specialist. Dr. O'Shea Brown completed her doctoral studies at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work, this research focused upon attachment injury acquired through childhood-related traumas and the treatment of complex layered trauma through integrative healing techniques. Dr. O'Shea Brown previously served as a clinical affiliate of the Integrative Trauma Program at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. She is the author of the Vogue featured book ‘Healing Complex Postraumatic Stress Disorder – A Clinican’s Guide’ and has a special interest in the research of relational trauma. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan, NY.
O’Shea Brown, G. (2021). Healing Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Clinician’s Guide, New York, Springer Nature
O’Shea Brown, G. (2021). Survival through Adaptation: Reflections on Providing Virtual Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy in the Wake of COVID-19 in Tosone, C. (in press) Shared Trauma, Shared Resilience During a Pandemic-Social Work in the Time of COVID-19, Springer Nature, Switzerland
O’Shea Brown, G. (2020). Internal Family Systems Informed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: An Integrative Technique for Treatment of Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, International Body Psychotherapy Journal, 19 (2)
O’Shea Brown, G. (2020). The Impact of Anomie and Societal Splitting on the Self: Suicide amongst Members of the Travelling Community of Ireland, Journal of Psychohistory, 48 (2), New York, NY
O’Shea, G. (2012). ‘An Exploration of the views of Young Adults aged 18+ on the YMCA Ground Floor Open Youth Space’, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork
O’Shea, G. (2011). ‘Suicide amongst Members of the Traveller Community’ UCC Journal of Critical Social Thinking: Policy & Practice, 3, 55-69
William Cabin is also an assistant professor of Social Work at Temple University and adjuncts at NYU, Columbia, Hunter, and the University of Michigan.
Dr. Cabin’s areas of expertise are gerontology, home health care, hospice, program evaluation and management. He has authored numerous articles and made numerous presentations on the limits of Medicare coverage of Alzheimer's disease patients and the impact of for-profit ownership on home health care quality.
He earned his JD from NYU Law School in 1972; an MA in sociology from The New School in 1973; an MSW from the University of Michigan in 2004; a PhD in social welfare from CUNY in 2009; and an MPH from Hunter in 2011.
Dr. Cammarata has been the Deputy Director of the New York City (NYC) Office of Labor Relations Employee Assistance Program (EAP) since June 2016. She was the former Clinical Director of the New York City Fire Department’s Counseling Services Unit for over 15 years.
Dr. Cammarata received her M.S.W. from Fordham University in 1994. She acquired her PhD in Clinical Social Work from New York University (NYU) in 2008. Her dissertation is titled: “September 11th, 2001 and The Fire Department City of New York (FDNY): A Search for Growth.” Based on her work, Dr. Cammarata was named a Fahs-Beck Scholar in 2006 and received the NYU Greenstein Award in 2007.
In addition to her position at the NYC EAP and NYU, Dr. Cammarata has a private practice in Manhattan that serves adults and adolescents. Dr. Cammarata has provided numerous professional presentations focused on mental health issues among the emergency service population and has several journal publications on this topic.
After receiving her MA from Columbia University, Stephanie worked as a journalist until she was hired by Powers, Crane & Company. Lobbying led her to the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate, where she honed her policy and legislative skills. While working for a former chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Stephanie pursued her MS in Adolescent Education at the University at Albany to become a high school social studies teacher. After teaching for a few years, she went on to receive her MSW/CASAC-T training at the New York University Silver School of Social Work. It was there that she began working at the macro level on a variety of legislative advocacy issues focused on addiction and recovery. Stephanie joined Friends of Recovery – New York (FOR-NY) in 2015 and worked at the state and national levels to reduce stigma, advocate for changes in public policy, and promote a culture of recovery. In 2018 Stephanie joined the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) as the NYS Behavioral Health Ombudsman Program Director.
I have been in the Behavioral Health field for the past 40 years with a varied clinical background. I began my social work career at the Upper Manhattan Mental Health Center, then moved to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, moving from a social work clinical position, to a supervisor role and then becoming the clinical administrator in the outpatient behavioral health clinic. From there, I moved to St. Luke's-Roosevelt as a Program Manager in the Integrated Psychiatric Service overseeing outpatient adult services and the 32-bed inpatient psychiatric unit. From there, I moved to Elmhurst Hospital where I was hired as the Associate Director for Ambulatory Behavioral Health Services, responsible for all adult and child outpatient and grant-funded behavioral health services and programs. My final behavioral health director position was at NYU/Langone Sunset Terrace Mental Health Center located in Brooklyn, New York where I supervised a staff of over 80 individuals. Currently, having left the behavioral health field, I am working as a Real Estate agent for The Corcoran Group.
Dr. Katherine Charlap earned her M.S.W. and Ph.D. at NYU Silver School of Social Work. She is an Adjunct Professor at New York University's School of Social Work where she teaches in the School’s Masters Degree and Advanced Certificate Programs in the areas of domestic and family violence practice and policy. In addition to her work at the School, she maintains a full-time private practice.
In her previous position, as Director of Clinical Services in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Dr. Charlap developed and implemented a comprehensive social service program designed to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence, sex crimes, and child abuse whose perpetrators were being prosecuted by the agency’s legal staff. She personally wrote and was awarded more than 4 million dollars in federal and state grant monies for the D.A.’s Office Counseling Unit, and she participated as a member of the multidisciplinary team which established the first Felony Domestic Violence Court in the State of New York.
She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Dissertation Support Grant, as well as a Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation Doctoral Dissertation Support grant. In addition, she has been awarded the Diane Greenstein memorial fellowship from New York University Silver School of Social Work, and an Influencing State Policy Grant in recognition of her dissertation entitled "Counseling and Advocacy Services for Intimate Abuse Victims: A Study of Recidivism in a Mandatory Prosecution Jurisdiction."
Adjunct Associate Professor
Benjamin Charvat is research director at the Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) located in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, Office of the Mayor, the City of New York. In this capacity, Dr. Charvat supervises cross-agency research projects to inform citywide policy in the health and human services field. His areas of research interest include child welfare, youth development, youth violence and justice.
In addition, Dr. Charvat’s interests include LGBTQ youth involved in child welfare and justice services. He has held various senior government and nonprofit positions to advance policy and research as well as improve client services.
Dr. Charvat earned his MSSW from Columbia University in 1988 and his PhD from Columbia University in 1999. Dr. Charvat was a recipient of a fulltime Columbia University Teaching Fellowingship while pursing his doctoral degree.
- Baker, A.J.L., Ashare, C. & Charvat, B.J. (2009). Substance use and dependency disorders in adolescent girls in-group living programs: Prevalence and associations with milieu factors. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, Vol 26, p. 42-57.
- Baker, A.J.L. & Charvat, B. (2008). Research methods in child welfare. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Charvat, B. (2002). Working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth: A view from management. Focus, 9(4)5-8.
I have a private practice in Somerville and Montclair NJ where I provide individual and couples therapy. In addition to my Master's degree from the College of St Elizabeth, I have certifications in marriage and family therapy, traumatic stress, childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence. The focus of my private practice is the therapeutic treatment of the various forms of trauma ranging from abuse and neglect, to the traumatic effects of micro aggressions. While I'm trained in a number of therapeutic techniques including EMDR, they're practiced from a multicultural perspective. In addition to my therapeutic work, I've done numerous presentations on subjects such as "Examining Race Through Trauma Lens," "Unmasking Race With Interracial Couples," and "Understanding Loss Through Family Play Genograms."
Assistant Chair of Social Science & Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute. A researcher with extensive experience in human rights advocacy and various social justice issues, Rosa has worked across a wide variety of NGOs, including Amnesty International USA, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Re:Gender, as well as grassroots social service organizations. Her research interests are on labor, globalization, poverty, and qualitative research - especially as they intersect with race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in the U.S. and globally.
BA, University of California, Berkeley; MS, Columbia University; PhD, New York University
Graduate Student Adjunct
Dr. Jessica Chock-Goldman, DSW, LCSW, is the School Social Worker at Stuyvesant High School. She received her DSW from NYU, focusing on restructuring how mental health and suicidal ideation are addressed within the Department of Education. She is an adjunct professor at NYU School of Social Work and has taught numerous Continuing Education Workshops on Suicide Prevention and Intervention in Schools to MSW students and clinicians. Jessica also started the first peer-to-peer support group for school clinicians, providing peer supervision regarding the rise of suicidal ideation, self-harm, and drug use in middle and high schools. She has two years of advanced clinical training at the Ackerman Institute for the Family and is the adviser to Stuyvesant’s LGBTQ club. She received her MSW from NYU School of Social Work and her BA from Oberlin College.
Dr. Andrew F. Cleek is an expert on the scalable implementation of systems change initiatives, particularly related to healthcare reform, value-based payments, Medicaid managed care, and trauma-informed services. Dr. Cleek is the Chief Program Officer at NYU’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. In this role, Dr. Cleek oversees a portfolio of technical assistance offering training and support to all behavioral health, child welfare, and intellectual and developmental disabilities serving agencies in New York State. He additionally directs a number of initiatives involving trauma-informed prison education, early childhood mental health, and the implementation of healthcare reform.
Prior to his current role, Dr. Cleek was the founding director of the Urban Institute for Behavioral Health an association of 15 Nonprofits dedicated to the implementation of evidence-based models in real-world settings. Dr. Cleek has 15 years of experience leading local and statewide, and national technical assistance activities to nonprofit improve business, clinical, and administrative operations.
Dr. Cleek holds a Psy.D. and MA in Clinical Psychology from Spalding University, a BA in psychology from California State University, Long Beach, and is also a Research Assistant Professor at the NYU School of Medicine.
Orsolya Clifford teaches Human Behavior I and II, Clinical Work with Families, and one-credit intensives on practice with traumatized youth. She is currently a clinician at the Westchester Intensive Day Treatment Program of Rockland Children's Psychiatric Center, a therapeutic program that helps students in emotional crisis transition from hospital to school.
Her area of expertise is in working with traumatized youth and their families. Her previous work includes social work in residential settings, foster care, and at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Orsolya received her MSW from NYU in 2004 and obtained postgraduate training at the Ackerman Institute for the Family and in CBT for depression and trauma through the Evidence Based Training and Dissemination Center Project at Columbia University. She currently serves as vice president of New York State Society for Clinical Social Work, Rockland Chapter, and maintains a private practice in Nyack, New York.
Graduate Student Adjunct
Christine M. Cocchiola, MSW, LCSW is a tenured professor at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT, teaching in the Pre-Social Work Program for over 18 years. Christine began her career in social work as Certified Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Counselor for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury at the age of 19 where she remains a volunteer. Her expertise is in the areas of intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, trauma, and child maltreatment, developing and presenting workshops on these topics. Christine is a 2022 candidate for a Doctorate in Social Welfare, attending New York University; her Capstone Project on Coercive Control and the impact that this abuse has on adult and child victims. She has been published in the CJSW, Shared Trauma, Shared Resilience During a Pandemic: Social Work in the Time of COVID-19. Ms. Cocchiola has a private practice serving adolescents, families, and couples and is a divorce mediator.
Terrance Coffie is a 2017 graduate of New York University’s Silver School of Social-Work, where he earned his BSW and MSW with a focus in criminal justice policy and reform. Terrance is currently employed at The Doe Fund, as the PR Coordinator-RWA America. During his tenure at NYU, Terrance interned at McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Terrance was named the 2017 NASW-NYC Alex Rosen Student of the Year, the 2016/2017 Excellence in Leadership’s Award Recipient and NYU’s 2016 President’s Service Award Recipient for his development of the College Pathways Program, and led to the founding of Educate Don’t Incarcerate, which assists young men of color and the formerly incarcerated in obtaining higher educational opportunities. His work has been highlighted in Chaney, J.R., & Schwartz, J. (with Coffie, T.) (2017). Chpt. 13: Race, Education and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizen. NY. Lexington Books.
Dr. Jasmin Collazo is a New Jersey Licensed Clinical Social Worker who graduated from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work with her DSW in May 2021. Jasmin currently serves in multiple roles as a practicing clinician, clinical supervisor, and case manager in a variety of community settings. Through her experiences working with various types of traumas, Jasmin focused her Doctor of Social Welfare degree at NYU Silver on trauma-informed policing and police reform. Jasmin is beginning to work with local police departments to develop training and programming on mental health and trauma-informed community policing. Jasmin continues to publish work, such as in the Clinical Social Work Journal on clinical challenges and treatments for law enforcement officers (2020).
Katherine Compitus is a licensed social worker in New York and New Jersey and holds a DSW from NYU Silver. Her research focuses primarily on pediatric mental health, attachment theory, and the human-animal bond. She is especially interested in crisis intervention and working with trauma survivors; she is a Certified Family Trauma Therapist and trained in EMDR. Katherine was a teacher prior to becoming a social worker and has almost 20 years of experience working with children and families.
Katherine currently works in private practice utilizing an integrative approach that combines psychodynamic psychotherapy, DBT, CBT, Animal-Assisted Therapy, EMDR, and Hypnotherapy. Katherine is the founder and chairman of Surrey Hills Sanctuary, a non-profit organization providing veterinary social work services in New York State. She also works at Orange Regional Medical Center as a psychiatric social worker in the emergency department where she works with clients with all types of mental illness (primarily those that are psychotic, suicidal or homicidal) and all ages, from pediatric through geriatric. Katherine has an MSW from NYU and also a BA in Spanish, an MSEd (Education) and an MA (Biopsychology) from Hunter College. Early in her social work career Katherine provided bilingual social work services at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases and was a grief counselor for pet loss at the Animal Medical Center.
Gerri K. Connaught is a PhD Candidate at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. She obtained her MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at CUNY Hunter College and is a licensed master social worker. 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 interests focuses on providing underserved and underrepresented groups with equal opportunity and access to higher education. She is interested in examining the racialized experiences of BIPOC students in social work education programs, and the ways in which these experiences contribute to feelings of the impostor phenomenon among BIPOC students, as well as the impact this has on their mental health.
Laura Curran, MA, LMHC is a 4th year doctoral candidate in the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. Her research focuses on medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder among pregnant women. She has 4 years of post masters clinical experience working in the child welfare system and as a substance use counselor in a harm-reduction methadone program in Tampa, Florida. She received her Masters in Community Mental Health from the University of South Florida, Tampa. This is also her third year being funded by a predoctoral fellowship (T32) with the Behavioral Sciences Training program in the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
Laura seeks to contribute knowledge about substance use and mental health interventions, and to improve collaboration between substance use services, child welfare system, and healthcare systems. Her current research examines the effectiveness of Critical Time Intervention (CTI) for individuals with substance use disorders leaving residential treatment, as well as evidence-based practices among residential treatment programs in New York City. She recently first-authored a publication entitled "The risk of child removal by child protective services among pregnant women in medication-assisted treatment for OUD" (2021), which explored biopsychosocial factors that influence child removal of women served by CPS. Her dissertation focuses on estimating rates of utilization of medication for opioid use disorder among pregnant women nationwide, and also examines multi-level barriers to accessing treatment. She also has a strong interest in the ways in which stigma associated with substance use during pregnancy influences treatment outcomes, as well as advocating for specialized services for women and families experiencing substance use.