2017 Student Awards

Diane Greenstein Memorial Fellowship

Jane Lee

Mimi Choy-Brown

Mimi Choy-Brown, LMSW is a doctoral candidate and the current president of the doctoral student association. Mimi also serves as the lead research scientist with Dr. Victoria Stanhope on her NIMH-funded randomized controlled trial examining the effectiveness of person-centered care planning and as an adjunct lecturer teaching social work practice. Mimi has worked in multiple adult mental health service settings (e.g., HIV/AIDS services programs, homeless shelters, and supportive housing). Mimi received her MSW from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University.

Robert Moore Award for Excellence in Scholarship

Emmy Tiderington

Laurie Pennington

Laurie Pennington is an LCSW in New Haven, CT. She has worked with youth in the juvenile justice system as part of Yale University's Juvenile Justice Program for the past 7 years. She plans to start a private practice focusing on research and treatment of substance-using transgender youth who are in the juvenile justice system in the New Haven area, and teach courses focusing on harm reduction at Quinnipiac University.

Emmy Tiderington

Lindsey Bornheimer

Dr. Bornheimer is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Washington University in St. Louis Brown School of Social Work and an Associate Research Scientist at the New York University McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Dr. Bornheimer is currently contributing to a NIMH-funded mental health focused R01 study at McSilver and is also a data analyst for NYU Langone Medical Center and Planned Parenthood. Dr. Bornheimer obtained her PhD from New York University and holds a Master's degree in Social Work from Columbia University. She completed clinical training at New York Presbyterian Hospital to obtain her license (LCSW) in New York State

Silver Spirit Award

Tamara Levin

Fengtao Huang

Fengtao is a second year MSW student, and serves as President of The Chinese Student Support Group (CSSG). As a new immigrant, her resettlement experiences brought her tremendous insights of NYC’s under-served community, and cultivate her passion for serving the Chinese immigrant community. Fengtao has been very involved in bridging the Chinese students with student life at Silver. She is dedicated to improving the experience of her peers. Fengtao is also a cat lover and a professional cat rescuer.

Ruoqi Zhang

Alyssa Vu

Alyssa Vu is a graduating senior studying Social Work and minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. She has served on the executive board of NYU Silver’s Undergraduate Student Government Association for four years as a Freshman and Sophomore Representative, Programming Chair, and Co-President. During her undergraduate years, she studied abroad in Florence, conducted research with immigrants, worked as a Behavioral Therapist for autistic children, interned for International High School at Union Square, and advocated for women's rights, sexual assault awareness, and education and immigration policies.

Global Social Work Award

Mónika Estrada Guzmán

Yuan Zhang

Yuan Zhang, MSW’17, is an international student from China. She is placed at Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC)’s Asian Family Service program and works with immigrant Asian families. During her placement at CPC, Yuan tries to find culturally-competent treatments for Asian people and improve NYU by bringing Asian techniques to Silver.

Social Justice Award

Loretta Owens

Dee Bonnick

Dee Bonnick is an advocate, educator and activist with a focus on social justice issues that affect children and families. Dee had dedicated over 20 years of her professional career advocating for health and wellbeing of others. In her various professional roles, Dee has been committed to lifting up the voices of vulnerable and marginalized populations, through leadership development, education, advocacy and policy practice. Dee received her BSW from Southern CT State University in 2016 and will be receiving her MSW this May and will not stop fighting toprotect the human rights of all people.

Emily Jacobs

Alyssa Hernon

Alyssa Hernon is a graduating senior studying Social Work. Alyssa has been involved in Silver’s Undergraduate Student Government Association as junior representative last year and Co-president this year. Alyssa has held various positions working with domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, including her Rape Crisis Advocate position at Bellevue Hospital. Alyssa is most proud of her efforts towards making this campus safer for all students through helping organize NYU’s Denim Day- a day dedicated to sexual assault awareness and prevention. She will be continuing her education at Washington University in St. Louis and after that, the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Silver Citizenship Award

Rachel Rusch

Tammy Smith

Tammy Smith is a single mother and a tireless mental health advocate. As Chairwoman of the town of Fair Lawn New Jersey's Stigma-Free Task Force, Tammy works closely with her mayor and borough council to raise awareness about the prevalence of mental illness and substance abuse in the community to decrease stigma. Tammy also serves as the Graduate Student Representative on the New Jersey National Association of Social Work (NASW) Board of Directors. Tammy further volunteers her time with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New Jersey (NAMI NJ).


Jose Alvear

Terrance Coffie

Terrance Coffie is a 2017 MSW Graduate. Terrance's focus in the field of Social Work lies's in criminal justice and educational reform. During his academic year,Terrance interned a McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, where he gained the opportunity and learning experience in policy/advocacy through the D.C. Global Program. Terrance plans to pursue a career policy, advocating for social justice.


Jose Alvear

Monique Reilly-Mundle

Monique trained as a therapist in the U.K. specializing in Humanistic Counseling Practice. Following this Monique ventured stateside and enrolled at NYU as a two year MSW International Student. She was a member of the Students of Color Collective (SOCC) in her first year of study, and was elected as president this academic year. Throughout the year SOCC has facilitated support groups for students on campus, organized a student voter registration promotion, and facilitated panels within classrooms alongside other student groups. Monique will be graduating in May 2017 and hopes to continue her career within mental health in New York City.

Mimi Choy-Brown

Elizabeth Kenney

Elizabeth Kenney, MSW ’19, joined a group of fellow New Yorkers in 2015 to form the The Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation (ASID). Her research includes the positive impact of inter-group contact on the reduction of racism and prejudice in K-12 children. She teaches an 8-week organizational skills support class to rising 6th grade children in a public after-school program and will be piloting a three day workshop version to fifth grade students and their parents next year. At Silver, Elizabeth is a co-leader of White Students Challenging Racism (WSCR), a Silver Champion member, a 2017 Phi Alpha National Honor Society inductee, and co-leader of the newly formed STA NYU Silver Long-Term Planning to Address Implicit and Explicit Racism.

Mimi Choy-Brown

Caitlin Stetner

Caity is a play therapy enthusiast and emerging social activist who is thrilled to accept the #SocialWorkersRock Award! Caity is entering the field with a passion for clinical work with children and families through an anti-oppressive, trauma-informed lens. In addition to Caity's passion for clinical social work and social justice, she is a loving aunt, friend, sister, and daughter. Caity would like to thank her friends, family, and mentors for their support and guidance though these past two years of growth and development.

Jenna Strauss

Elizabeth Dederick

Lizzie is in the two-year program at NYU Silver graduating in May. She is a co-facilitator of White Students Challenging Racism (WSCR), participates in the Inter-School Council on Undoing Racism, and is active in the NYU Silver community through Phi Alpha Honors society as well as the Silver Champions program. Lizzie is currently interning at Association to Benefit Children’s Fast Break Mental Health Clinic. Prior to attending Silver, Lizzie worked in policy and advocacy supporting families in New York City for over seven years. Her work included founding the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Currents and MAS Urbanists.


Jose Alvear

Marybeth Nametz

Marybeth Nametz will graduate with a major in Social Work and minor in Politics. She is completing her fieldwork within the area of forensic social work at the Federal Defenders of New York, Southern District. In addition, Marybeth is a Resident Assistant at Palladium Hall and executive board member of Silver's Undergraduate Student Government Association. She is passionate about criminal justice reform, trauma-informed social work, and working with children and families.

Jenna Strauss

Robin Holmes Myers

Robin strongly believes that a solid education supports her deep interest in mental health and community service. She has completed her graduate degree, a Master of Public Administration at Metropolitan College of New York, and a baccalaureate from Marymount Manhattan College in Psychology. She has worked at places like the Door, South Bronx Job Corp, and Stanley Isaccs Neighborhood Center. She’s now at The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as the Director, of Operations and Training. Her field placement with the Mental Hygiene arm of her agency, has allowed her to develop the “Credible Clinician” position for the NYC Cure Violence – City-wide Anti-Gun Violence Initiative.


Jose Alvear

Julianna DiPinto

Julianna pursued a major in social work and a minor in psychology at Southern Connecticut State University where she was inducted to the Beta Rho Honors Society. There she experienced her first introduction into the clinical sector when she completed volunteer hours at a local charter school working with troubled youth who had recently been in juvenile detention. She has interned at Arden House and the Coalition for the Homeless where she works with chronically homeless individuals who need assistance with finding a supported housing placement and applying for Social Security benefits.

Jenna Strauss

Yeqing Yuan

Yeqing came to the United States from China eight years ago to pursue her social work study. She obtained her BSW and MSW from Eastern New Mexico University and Boston College respectively and proceeded to work as a homeless outreach clinician in Boston. Yeqing started her Ph.D. study at NYU Silver School of Social Work where her research focuses on homelessness, serious mental illnesses, and substance abuse. In her spare time, Yeqing provides clinical training sessions to Chinese social work practitioners and educators with the goal of strengthening the connections between US and China's social work systems.


Chinese Student Support Group

Chinese Student Support Group  

The Chinese Student Support Group (CSSG) aims at supporting Chinese students and Asian international students at the Silver School to better adjust to their academics and living in New York and the United States, so they can make the most out of their studies. CSSG also seeks to better facilitate and promote professional communication between NYU Silver and the Asian social work communities in New York and around the world. CSSG fulfills their mission by actively holding group meetings, and providing community resources such as helpful advisory, websites, and guest lectures. CSSG’s work closely revolves around the principle of building better professional communities through dialogue.  

Chinese Student Support Group

Undergraduate Student Government Association

The USGA provides a forum for student participation in the educational program and offers a channel of communication between students, faculty, and administration. The USGA sponsors social activities, social work forums, and special events for undergraduates.


Fengtao Huang
Tamara Levin
Yizhao Sheng
Alyssa Vu
Jessica Yoon