Adaptive Leadership in Human Services Institute
Based at NYU Silver, the Adaptive Leadership in Human Services Institute was co-founded in 2016 by Clinical Associate Professor and Katherine & Howard Aibel Executive-in-Residence Linda Lausell Bryant and Adjunct Assistant Professor Marc Manashil. With funding from the B. Robert Williamson Jr. Foundation, Katherine and Howard Aibel Foundation, and New York Community Trust, the institute enables students, alumni, and human service practitioners to learn and apply the adaptive framework to engage challenges and support social change in their work. This growing community aims to promote connection and collaboration by engaging complex barriers to social justice in the human services field.
Adaptive Leadership Fellowship
In 2016, with funding from the B. Robert Williamson Jr. Foundation and the Katherine and Howard Aibel Foundation, Dr. Lausell Bryant and Professor Manashil established an Adaptive Leadership Fellowship at NYU Silver for up to 15 second-year MSW students per year. The competitive program features intensive weekend seminars on the adaptive leadership framework, which provides a set of strategies and tools to help practitioners bring about needed change within organizations and communities. Fellows also receive coaching and guidance to help them directly apply what they have learned to challenges they have identified at their field placement agencies, their communities, or the school itself.
Leadership Development for Social Work Students
Dr. Lausell Bryant and Professor Manashil have also incorporated adaptive leadership training into the School’s MSW-level, macro-focused Social Work Practice III curriculum, and introduced an MSW-level elective on Exercising Leadership in the Non-Profit and Public Sectors. Furthermore, they created and teach a required course on Adaptive Leadership for Organizational Change for students in the school’s DSW program.
In 2018, Dr. Lausell Bryant was awarded a grant from the New York Community Trust to replicate NYU Silver’s robust social work leadership education program at a public graduate school of social work and expand our Adaptive Leadership Fellowship program to include not only 15 MSW students from NYU Silver but also 10 MSW students from CUNY's College of Staten Island Department of Social Work.
Leadership Development for Social Work Professionals
The Institute hosts a variety of leadership courses, training programs and special events for the larger community of NYU graduates and social work professionals from the New York area and beyond. Dr. Lausell Bryant directs the Post-graduate Certificate Program in Executive Nonprofit Leadership, anchoring the program in the adaptive leadership framework. Shorter form online and in-person workshops are offered through NYU Silver’s Office of Global and Lifelong Learning. Additionally, NYU Silver’s Adaptive Leadership in Human Services Community holds periodic events for students, alumni, and human service practitioners, such as the November 2020 panel “Facing Racism in Human Services through the Adaptive Framework.”
In 2020, the Institute launched a new Leadership Laboratory initiative (formerly known as the Task Force) to engage a supportive cohort of human service practitioners as they identified and made progress on a shared adaptive challenge. The inaugural Leadership Lab addressed the timely challenge of promoting more equitable and innovative leadership in the human services field during the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism.