Stories from the Field
Serving as a National Spokesperson on Youth Mental Health
Advanced Standing student Jada Tarvin Abu-Bekr, MSW ’23, recently spoke on NBC News NOW about the importance of young adults having conversations with each other about mental health. Her appearance, which came about through her MSW field placement, was part of the network’s coverage of the national Seize the Awkward communications campaign launched by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and The Jed Foundation (JED) in collaboration with the Ad Council to inspire young adults to start conversations around mental health with friends.
Fostering Collaboration between Social Workers and Medical Professionals in Shanghai
Regina Wu, MSW ’23, is a Los Angeles native in our MSW Program at Shanghai and New York. In their first-year Field placement at Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Regina curated articles on best practices for transgender and intersex care in English-language journals, which they translated into Chinese and presented to doctors and nurses from the hospital’s department of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Regina’s presentation helped spur the doctors’ and nurses’ interest in involving social workers in support for patients and their families, resulting in better collaboration between the medical team and social workers and improved gender-affirming care for patients.
Providing Short-Term, Solution-Focused Counseling to Commmunity College Students
Bill Anthes, MSW ’22, a Green Beret veteran in our 16-month accelerated pathway, is doing his first Field placement at Hudson County Community College’s Mental Health Counseling and Wellness Department. In his placement, Bill does short-term counseling with a solution focus to help students maintain academic progress. “We also do some group services across a variety of different demographics,” he said. “One of the things I’m going to try to do is build a veteran program. That’s obviously near and dear to my heart and currently not being served at HCCC.” He expressed appreciation for the department’s climate and for the strong supervision he receives from Dr. Sheila Dynan, the Associate Dean of Student Success, Doreen Pontius, the Associate Director of Counseling & Wellness, who is an NYU Silver MSW alum, and Tom Larson, who is a Mental Health Counselor. “It’s the real world and it’s a very supportive place,” he said. “I’m incredibly thankful to have landed such a phenomenal Field placement.”
Supporting Underemployed, Underserved Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Ashma Luitel, MSW ’21 (left), and Maxine Sachar, MSW ’22 (right), are doing their field placements in the 2020-2021 academic year at the Collaborative for New Immigrant Education (CNIE), which recently celebrated its first anniversary. Based at NYU School for Professional Studies English Language Institute (ELI), CNIE is a research-practice collaboration between ELI, NYU Silver, and RIF Asylum Support that provides tuition-free, advanced language instruction and support services to underemployed, underserved asylum seekers, asylees, and resettled refugees in New York City.
Ashma, who said she is interested in working with the refugee and immigrant population at a macro level, assists with research activities such as data collection and data analysis using descriptive statistics and qualitative coding, summarizing the findings. She also designs and circulates monthly newsletters to program participants with information about NYU events and other opportunities. Maxine works directly with current and former CNIE students as a support system both inside and outside of the CNIE community. She said, “I have had the honor of supporting CNIE students as they navigate the process of applying for jobs, seeking higher education, and more.” She also works with the CNIE administration team to plan student events and advertise the CNIE community on a broad scale.
Developing a Guide for Low-Income and Homeless Library Patrons during the Pandemic
With supervision from Clinical Associate Professor Peggy Morton, Fairlie McCollough, MSW ’21, did her 2019-20 academic year Field placement at the New York Public Library’s Mid-Manhattan Library branch assisting low-income and homeless patrons. When the School’s in-person Field placements were suspended in mid-March 2020 due to COVID-19, Fairlie shifted to developing what Dr. Morton described as “a concise, comprehensive and helpful guide to emergency resources for patrons during the pandemic.”
Finding Love in a First-Year Field Placement
Jenna Abrams, MSW ’20, admitted she was disappointed when she learned she would be working with older adults in her first-year field placement, which the School assigns to provide new students a foundation of social work practice skills within a generalist perspective. “I thought to myself ‘What? This is not what I wanted at all,’” Abrams said. “But after one day with my geriatric clients, I fell in love with the population.” Months later, Abrams not only worked directly with older adults but she also managed a new, grant-funded initiative that made resources available to their family caregivers.
Interprofessional Simulation Gives MSW Students Hands-On, Team-Based Medical Social Work Experience
One of the advantages of studying at NYU Silver is the opportunity to participate in cross-university, interdisciplinary learning experiences. Through an interprofessional medical patient simulation at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing’s Clinical Simulation Learning Center (CSLC), selected MSW students have teamed with NYU Meyers nursing and Long Island University pharmacy students to collectively assess Simulated Patients while instructors observe through a one-way mirror.
Foundling Fellows Pursue Child Welfare Placements
Sarah Cassidy, Annie Dreyer, and Justin Pataray, all MSW ’ 20, are three of five NYU Silver - New York Foundling Fellows for the 2019-20 academic year, who received scholarships funded by The New York Foundling to support their pursuit of careers in child welfare. In addition to receiving scholarships, the fellows were assigned internships at programs run by The Foundling. Sarah, Annie, and Justin had the opportunity to talk about their placements and career goals over breakfast at The Foundling headquarters with The Foundling President and CEO Bill Baccaglini and Associate Vice President of Training and Youth Development Denise Mauro.