2015 Alumni Awards

Outstanding Recent Alumni Award

Mordechai Levovitz

Mordechai Zac Levovitz, MSW ’13

Mordechai is the co-founder and Executive Director of JQY (Jewish Queer Youth) a nonprofit for at-risk LGBT youth in the Orthodox Jewish community.  JQY provides support groups, crisis resources and educational initiatives on behalf of LGBT teens and young adults in the Orthodox, Hasidic and Sephardic world. With over 1000 members nationwide, JQY is the only national support resource designed for LGBT Orthodox youth.

Rebellious and free thinking from the age of five, Mordechai insisted that he be considered a "boy-girl" on his first day at his ultra-Orthodox kindergarten. Throughout the next sixteen years in Orthodox yeshivas, Mordechai continued to challenge the gender norms of Orthodox Judaism, while developing a proficiency in Judaic studies and Jewish cultural competency. He was the first student in Yeshiva University to come out of the closet. In college Mordechai became New York's first male Certified Rape Crisis Advocate. Mordechai was accepted early-decision to Stony Brook Medical School where he studied medicine for two years until taking a leave of absence to pursue a Masters in social work. Mordechai worked as a social work intern for teens at the LGBT Center of Manhattan and as the LGBT consultant for the UN NGO Committee for Human Rights.

In April 2015 Mordechai spearheaded the first Mental Health Conference on Sexuality and Gender Identity in the Orthodox Community. The JQY conference was attended by over 120 Orthodox therapists and rabbis and featured key note addresses from both the Honorary President and Executive Vice President of the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America). Under Mordechai's leadership JQY is at the forefront of creating sensitivity programs aimed training Orthodox high schools, camps, synagogues, and organizations to better care for its LGBT constituents.  

Dalphine E. Meadows

Dalphine E. Meadows, MSW ’11

Dalphine E. Meadows is a lifelong community activist and champion of social justice. Having retired with over 30 years of experience in the Juvenile and Criminal Justice field as a Supervising Probation Officer, Dalphine currently serves as President of the Westchester Association of Black Social Workers Inc., and 2nd Vice-President of the Westchester-Rockland Guardians Associations, Inc. In 2014, she was re-appointed Commissioner on the Board of Directors for the City of Yonkers Municipal Housing Authority.

Dalphine holds a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Long Island University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Syracuse University and is a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor-Trainee (CASAC-T) in the State of New York. She is currently a 2nd year Candidate in the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Program at the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She works as a Clinician in a family mental health program and volunteers as a mentor for a faith-based mentoring program for girls. Dalphine resides in Westchester County with her husband.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Rebecca A. Clark

Dr. Rebecca A. Clark, MSW ’87

Dr. Clark is a psychotherapist and international sports performance and disability consultant in private practice specializing in child maltreatment, disability rights, diversity, grief and loss, substance abuse, trauma, and sport and exercise effects on mental health. She holds a courtesy adjunct faculty appointment at Temple University. Dr. Clark received her PhD in Kinesiology with a specialty in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Temple University and MSW in Clinical Social Work from New York University. She is a certified consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). Her professional career encompasses over 25 years as administrator, advocate, clinician, mental skills coach, mentor, researcher and supervisor in various clinical, government, nonprofit and social service settings.

Dr. Clark has served as a Sports Envoy to China to advance disability rights, inclusion and gender equality for the U.S. Department of State, an American Cultural Ambassador in the area of sports for the Deaf in Venezuela, and sports diplomat for youth, disability rights and gender equality. She was selected as a torchbearer for the 2002 Winter Olympics as a result of her advocacy and clinical work in child maltreatment.

Dr. Clark has presented at the United States Mission to the United Nations, the International Working Group on Women and Sport and various organizations and conferences on deaf and disability sport, disability rights, diversity, and the use of sport as a tool for effective and positive social change.

Dr. Clark is a staunch advocate for persons with disabilities and using sport as a vehicle to breaking barriers and building bridges among cultures globally. She is a 2015 recipient of the President’s Council of Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Community Leadership Award. Dr. Clark serves on the Advisory Board of WomenSport International and co-chairs its Task Force on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Girls and Women in Sport. She also serves as tri-captain of the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon Psyching Team.

Dr. Susan Nayowith

Dr. Susan Nayowith, PhD ’00

Susan A. Nayowith’s career has spanned the fields of homelessness, mental health and social action. She has run adult and family shelters at not-for-profit and government agencies. Susan is committed to the education and training of social workers as demonstrated by her teaching and commitment to the supervision and placement of social work interns, development of social work supervisors, and close relationships with field work colleagues, especially those at the NYU Silver School of Social Work!

In addition to her professional commitments, Susan also does volunteer work and serves as a guest lecturer for the Youth Services Opportunity Program (YSOP) talking about homelessness issues, social work services and the value of ‘giving back’ to one’s community. She continues to serve in a faith based shelter throughout the year.

In 2010, Susan was elected President of the NYC Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She represented professional social workers in government and nonprofit agencies, educational institutions, private practice and other social work practice settings. She worked to develop, strengthen and promote professional standards and programs for social work practice on behalf of social work clients and for policies that supported social workers in their professional work. During her 2 year tenure as president and 2 terms as a board member, NASW addressed issues of organizational leadership and development, recruitment, social work licensing, diversity and cultural competency.

Susan works at the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) as the Executive Director of Policies and Procedures where she manages the development of agency policy within the context of regulatory, programmatic, and mayoral directives. Susan also serves as the Educational Coordinator for the organization where she works with schools of social work and social work supervisors to coordinate intern placements and training opportunities. She ran the DHS Office of Client Advocacy for 10 years where she and her staff handled 5,000 service requests annually. Before coming to the DHS central office, Susan was the Director of the Auburn Family Shelter, a directly- run NYC 190 unit shelter in the Fort Green section of Brooklyn with a goal of professionalizing services.

Susan spent the early part of her career working at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a nonprofit settlement house running and developing their shelter services for 100 homeless women.

She has been an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University and Hunter College Schools of Social Work and at Hunter College’s Department of Urban Affairs and the Public Service Scholar Program.

Susan Nayowith PhD, LCSW, received a B.A. from Boston University; an M.S.S.W. from Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) and her Ph.D. at the New York University Silver School of Social Work where she wrote her dissertation titled. “The Good Enough Shelter and a Secure Base.”  

Making A Difference Award

Nancy Edelman

Nancy Edelman, MSW ’89

Nancy H. Edelman, a certified social worker, has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Fisher House Foundation, Inc. since 2003. She joined her husband, Martin L. Edelman who has been a trustee since the Foundation’s incorporation as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 1993. Nancy was appointed a Vice Chairman
of the Board of Trustees in January, 2006.

Ms. Edelman received her master’s degree in social work from New York University. She was a full-time psychiatric social worker on an acute care unit at New York Cornell Hospital, Westchester Division from 1988-1996. While at New York Hospital she completed a two-year program for clinical externs in family therapy at the Ackerman Institute, New York City in 1992.

Nancy Edelman has been in private practice as family therapist working with individuals, couples and families at the Center for Family Learning in Rye Brook, New York from 1992 until she retired in 2005.

Ms. Edelman completed a two-year clinical externship program in divorce mediation in 1998 and has attended numerous workshops and seminars to maintain and improve her skills as a mediator and counselor. She currently serves as an executive board member of Center for Mediation in Law in New York City.

As a trustee and “Fisher House Ambassador,” she has traveled extensively, meeting Fisher House managers and their guest families, and she shares her expertise in working with families in stressful situations with the Fisher House Foundation board and staff.

A resident of both New York City and Rye, New York, Nancy has been involved in other volunteer organizations in addition to Fisher House. These organizations include the American Red Cross (accredited mental health worker in the disaster relief), the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Rye Youth Council, Rye Country Day and Rye City Public Schools, the National Association of Social Workers and member of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York.

Nancy and Martin have three grown children and four grandchildren.