Virgen Luce

Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work
(212) 992-9716

Areas of Expertise

Health care, psychiatry, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, Field Education


Virgen Luce (LCSW-R, ACSW) joined NYU Silver School of Social Work as full-time faculty member in 2006. She obtained her BA at Lehman College (CUNY) and her MSW and a post-graduate master’s certificate in social work administration and supervision and training at Hunter College School of Social Work (CUNY). Her extensive professional clinical career began in a community-based mental health agency, and continued to hospital settings where she held various clinical, supervisory, and director-level management positions in the service of a multi-racial/ethnic client population. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and maintains a private practice in clinical social work in New York City. She received the 2011 Social Work Leadership Award from the NASW-NYC Latino Social Work Task Force for her dedication and commitment to social work education and the great strides that she has achieved to encourage and support Latino students and social workers in the community.

Professor Luce has been a leader in HIV/AIDS prevention and education, resulting in the creation of new resources and services for patients in her previous senior management and administrative positions. These positions included director of behavioral health at Betances Health Center and manager of the AIDS Center: Pediatric-Maternal Services & Women’s Project at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

She has given numerous presentations on "Mental Health and HIV Affected Adolescents" and "The Therapeutic Use of Art with HIV+ Children." In addition, she has presented on "The Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse" to students in the NYU Occupational Therapy Program. As a lecturer at the New York City Social Work Education Consortium Immigrant Child Welfare Fellowship, she presented "Best Practices for the Development of Culturally/Linguistically Competent Helping Interventions and Evaluation of Goal Achievement and Service Outcomes." She co-developed a research tool, "School-Based Field Education Needs Assessment: Perspectives of Students, Field Instructors, and Faculty Liaisons," to identify training needs for students, field instructors, and faculty advisors in order to improve school-based field placements. She was the NYU Silver faculty liaison to the Immigrant Child Welfare Fellowship Project, a partnership between the New York City Social Work Education Consortium and the New York City Administration for Children's Services. In this position, she trained social work graduates to work with immigrant families in child welfare settings.

Her ongoing interest in health care (i.e. psychiatry, AIDS) has expanded to the care of patients with Parkinson’s disease and their families. She was a leading force in the implementation of the Edmond J. Safra Parkinson’s Wellness Program’s Parkinson’s Care Partners Support Group. In addition to co-developing the 40-session group curriculum and facilitating groups for seven cohorts of Parkinson’s care partners from 2007 through 2018, Professor Luce was also principal investigator of a study, presented at the 2016 Parkinson’s World Congress, that found a positive relationship between care partners’ participation in the group and their ability to manage the stress and burden of caring for their loved one with Parkinson’s disease. She is now co-authoring a paper based on the study findings.

She is NYU Silver's Seminar in Field Instruction Coordinator and a member of the Greater New York Area Directors of Field Education Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) Sub Committee. In Fall 2018, she became the Director of the School’s Post-Masters Certificate Program in Clinical Supervision, a 20-session course relevant for clinicians with experience supervising staff and/or students, which explores theories and dynamics of the supervisory process, methods of providing clinical supervision, and approaches to addressing and resolving conflicts.