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Seven NYU Silver Alumni, Two Students Honored at NASW-NYC Leadership Awards

December 8, 2017

Seven NYU Silver alumni and two current students were among the honorees at the National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter’s (NASW-NYC) 11th Annual Leadership Awards Dinner on December 7, 2017. The event honored outstanding social workers across the generations who have “demonstrated outstanding leadership, expertise and dedication to the profession and to the improvement of social and human conditions in New York City.”

Carmen Collado, MSW ’92, received the chapter’s highest honor, the Top Leader in the Profession award. Deborah Langosch, PhD ’05, received the Silver Leadership award, a new honor introduced by the chapter in 2017 to recognize exceptional social work leaders who have worked for at least 25 years. Kara Dean-Assael, DSW ’20, David Kamnitzer, MSW ’91, Kelsey Louie, MSW ’01, Dianne Mack, PhD ’20, and Sharron Madden, MSW ’76, were all recognized with the Mid-Career Exemplary Leader award, and Amanda Amodio, MSW ’08, and Aaron Skinner-Spain, MSW ’09, received the Emerging Social Work Leader award.

NYU Silver Dean and Paulette Goddard Professor of Social Work Neil B. Guterman said, “NASW-NYC’s annual Leadership Awards brings together members of the city’s social work community to recognize exceptional leaders and celebrate our collective impact on individuals, communities, and society. We are proud that nine accomplished change agents from the NYU Silver community are among this year’s honorees.”

About the NYU Silver-Affiliated Honorees:

Carmen Collado, MSW ’92 – Top Leader in the Profession Award

Carmen Collado

Carmen Collado, LCSW-R, is Chief Networking and Relationship Officer at ICL (Institute for Community Living) where she leads the organization’s strategy for building collaborations and partnerships throughout the community. As she has done throughout her career, at ICL she is building cultural competence and advancing agency policies and practices through a diversity lens.

Previously Carmen served as Government & Community Relations Officer at Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, where she also served as Director of the agency’s Foster Care Initiative, a very successful pilot project/study that provided on-site mental health services to children, reducing disruption of foster-care placement and overall time spent in care.

Carmen has built strong and lasting relationships with public officials at every level of government to support mental health and social services. She has collaborated with leaders of New York’s Hispanic human services community to inform and educate on a range of critical policy issues including adolescent suicide; school dropout rates; and racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity in higher education.

Carmen served as President of the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals (AHMHP) from 2009-2017. In 2010, she was appointed to the New York State Board for Social Work to advise and assist the Board of Regents and the State Education Department on matters of professional regulation. In 2014, NYU Silver honored Carmen with the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2016, the school’s Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health presented her with the Latino Leadership Award at the Sí Se Puede®: Social Workers United for Latino Advancement conference.  

Deborah Langosch, PhD ’05 – Silver Leader Award

Deborah Langosch

Deborah Langosch, PhD, LCSW, Project Director of the Loss and Bereavement Program for Children and Teens and the Kinship Care Program at The Jewish Board, earned her PhD from NYU Silver in 2005. Her responsibilities in the Loss and Bereavement Program include training in loss and trauma, providing clinical consultation and supervision, developing grief support groups for children, teens and family members, and delivering crisis intervention in the community after a tragedy to stabilize individuals and systems. She developed the Kinship Care Program at the agency in order to offer comprehensive services to families where kin caregivers are raising related children because parents are unable to do so. She is also chair of the Brooklyn Grandparents' Coalition and co-chair of the New York City Kincare Task Force. A recognized clinician in the fields of loss, trauma, and bereavement for children and families, she has maintained a private practice for more than 30 years helping clients of all ages with a wide range of challenges and diagnoses.

Kara Dean-Assael, McSilver Institute Co-Director of Clinical Education and Innovation; DSW Student – Mid-Career Exemplary Leader Award

Kara Dean-Assael

Kara Dean Assael, LMSW, is Co-Director of the Clinical Education and Innovation Department at NYU Silver’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research as well as a student in the school’s DSW program in clinical social work. She is also a co-founder and board member of the non-profit, Fareground, in Beacon, NY, which aims to eradicate food insecurity in that city while building community and equality. Initiatives include pay-as-you-can pop-up cafes, Tiny Food Pantries, coat drives, and supporting the local soup kitchen. She holds an MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work and has been working with children and families for over 17 years. She was the co-director of the MFG Project, an NIMH funded project that is now known as the 4 Rs and 2 Ss for Strengthening Families Program, and has trained many clinicians and supervisors on how to utilize the model in their clinic settings. Kara has a passion for social justice and a commitment to creating social change through collaborative community action.

David Kamnitzer, MSW’91 – Mid-Career Exemplary Leader Award

David Kamnitzer

David Kamnitzer, LCSW-R, earned his MSW from NYU Silver in 1991 and is a longstanding adjunct faculty member at the school, serving as both a faculty advisor and a Practice I and II instructor. Since graduating from NYU, David has received advanced certification in Family and Group Therapy. When he's not at NYU, he is also employed as a Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at ICL, a large behavioral health organization in NYC, where he oversees programs and residential services aimed at helping individuals with serious mental illness reintegrate back into the community. He also works as a behavioral health Program Surveyor for CARF, the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, an organization that strives to meet clinical excellence in the field of behavioral health and integrated care. In addition, he is very active in a number of government advisory committees including the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Criminogenic Task Force and Mayor de Blasio’s HASA Advisory Board. He was nominated for the NASW-NYC award by Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Field Learning and Community Partnerships Peggy Morton, who praised David’s “unwavering concern about serving diverse groups and the most vulnerable and oppressed groups in our society,” as well his care and commitment to his students. She concluded, “He is a consummate professional – a true leader at his agency, and a loyal, cherished colleague here at Silver School of Social Work.”

Kelsey Louie, MSW ’01 – Mid-Career Exemplary Leader Award

Kelsey Louie

Kelsey Louie, MSW, MBA, is the Chief Executive Officer of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), the nation's leading provider of HIV/AIDS care, prevention services, and advocacy. He earned his MSW from NYU Silver in 2001 and is a member of the school’s adjunct faculty. Prior to joining GMHC, Kelsey served as the Chief Operating Officer of Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc., overseeing the agency’s $42M dollar budget and managing operations, administration, finance, development, programs, and healthcare services. His rigorous, data-driven management style, sophisticated evaluation processes and commitment to staff development have brought concrete, measurable results to the lives of clients and staff throughout his fourteen-year career in social services at such as New York Foundling, Veritas Therapeutic Community Inc. and the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. He is an appointee to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Task Force to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York State by 2020 and serves on the Board of the National Minority AIDS Council as well as iHealth, a statewide collaborative of community-based organizations united to advocate and negotiate on behalf of HIV Targeted Case Management. 

Dianne Mack, PhD Student– Mid-Career Exemplary Leader Award

Dianne Mack

Dianne Mack, MS, LCSW, is an NYU Silver PhD student and Executive Consultant for Creative Social Solutions, a training, consulting, and clinical group specializing in agency advocacy and personal/professional development for social and human service professionals, organizations, individuals, families, and communities. She also serves as the Lead Catalyst for Sustainable Parents Institute & Network, a network of child welfare advocates and providers that supports parents, strengthens families, and promotes family and community wellbeing. She chairs the New York City Chapter of The Network for Social Work Management and serves on the board of The Havens Relief Fund Society. She earned her MSW at Columbia University, MS in nonprofit leadership, and is a coach, mentor, and trainer of community leaders, advocates, professionals, and social work students.

Sharron Madden, MSW ’76 – Mid-Career Exemplary Leader Award

Sharron Madden

Sharron Madden, LCSW-R, Interim Executive Director of Edwin Gould Services for Children & Families (EGSCF), earned her MSW from NYU Silver in 1976. She was appointed to her current role this past August after three years as the agency’s Chief Program Officer and a diverse social work career spanning more than 30 years. Prior to joining EGSCF she was a member of the executive staff at Jewish Board Family and Children’s Services where her responsibilities included managing a budget of over 13 million dollars with programming responsibility for the Divisions of Prevention, Domestic Violence and Clinical Consultation. Previous positions included Director of Social Work for the Children’s Hospital at New York Presbyterian and a Social Work Supervisor for the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Division, which provided legal services to children within the Family Court system.

Amanda Amodio, MSW ’08 – Emerging Social Work Leader Award

Amanda Amodio

Amanda Amodio, LCSW, graduated from the NYU Silver School of Social Work in 2008 and has been working as a social worker in oncology since 2009. She worked at CancerCare and has been a clinical social worker at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) since 2010. She received post graduate training in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from the American Institute of Psychoanalysis in 2014. Having a long standing interest in world cultures and the migration experience of others and how it may intersect with the seeking of health and mental health care, Amanda sought to further understand the psychosocial needs of the global population in various settings. She worked with a diverse and multilingual population in her second year MSW placement, where she first noticed the disparities in the patient experience in regards to patient-provider communication, health literacy and access to psychosocial support in a patient’s language of origin. Upon completion of her MSW, Amanda was committed to improve her proficiency in Spanish while living in South America. Amanda saw the need to increase access to psychosocial programming for Spanish speaking patients as well as those for immigrants and refugees. She runs several support programs in Spanish, collaborating across hospital departments. Her interest in refugees and asylum seekers was ignited during her involvement with the NASW Disaster/Trauma Committee. She started volunteering with the Refugee Immigrant Fund (RIF) in 2010 and has prepared psychological affidavits for refugees applying for asylum. She started guest lecturing at The Silberman School of Social Work in 2010 and later co-authored a textbook chapter in 2015 in the Handbook of Oncology Social Work on the psychosocial needs of immigrants and refugees with cancer. Amanda currently teaches an elective on clinical social work with immigrants and refugees at the Silberman School of Social Work. She is grateful for the opportunities she has had and would like to extend her sincere gratitude to all of her colleagues and mentors who have supported her career interests thus far.

Aaron Skinner-Spain, MSW ’09 - Emerging Social Work Leader Award

Aaron Skinner-Spain

Aaron Skinner-Spain, LCSW, has worked in the field of social services in New York City for more than a decade in a variety of contexts: from a homeless shelter with teen mothers, foster care with GLBTQ youth, a high school suspension center, to a university counseling center. He earned his MSW from NYU Silver in 2009 and subsequently completed both the Training Institute for Mental Health’s four-year program in psychoanalysis and NYU Silver’s post-master's certificate program in Clinical Practice with Adolescents. Since 2013, Aaron has been in private practice treating a wide variety of issues and has volunteered as a supervisor of MSW interns at the Training Institute for Mental Health. He is also the founder and director of clinical services of NYC Affirmative Psychotherapy, a community-focused, sliding scale group practice with two office locations in Manhattan. His group practice provides affordable and accessible psychotherapy to the NYC community, has a social justice mental health perspective, and a special commitment to serve queer people of color. In addition, since 2016 Aaron has worked with NYU Silver Professor and DSW Program Director Dr. Carol Tosone to conceive and develop an online Post-Master's Certificate Program in Trauma-Informed Clinical Practice, which NYU Silver will launch in 2018.

Type: Article

2017 NASW-NYC Leadership Award Winnners