Adjunct Bios D-F
Penny Damaskos, PhD, LMSW (NY)
I am currently the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. My career has focused on oncology social work specifically survivorship, staff support, LGBTQ and leadership in healthcare.
Damaskos, P, Mathew, L & Jackson, L (in press). Leadership development in oncology and palliative care social work. C. Messner, G. Christ, S. Hedlund & B. Miller (Eds.) Oncology and Palliative Social Work: Psychosocial Care for People Coping with Cancer, Oxford Univ. Press
Damaskos, P., Amaya, B., Gordon, R.A. & Walters, C. (2018) Intersectionality and the LGBT cancer patient. Seminars in Oncology Nursing 34 (1)
Bowling, J. & Damaskos, P. (2015) Building resilience: Responding to compassion fatigue and burnout in oncology staff in C. Messner, G. Christ, & L. Behar (Eds.), Handbook of Oncology Social Work, Oxford Univ. Press
MA—University of Washington
MSW—New York University Silver School of Social Work
PhD—Yeshiva University—Wurzweiler School of Social Work
Lekeisha Dawkins, MSW, LCSW, CASAC, SAP New York
Professor Dawkins is a LCSW, who has been in the field of human Service for 19 yrs. embraced various, roles from line staff Clinician to managerial. In 2004, she earned a Master degree in the area of Social Work from New York University and BA in Psychology Lehman College in 1998. She has CASAC certification and OASAS NYS Impaired Driving Evaluator. In 2009, she received training at Yeshiva University for SIFI and mentored several Social Workers, CASAC and Mental Health Counselor interns. Mrs. Dawkins completed Post-Graduate coursework in Applied Behavioral Analysis at Mercy College in 2015. Lastly, she has trained at the Williamson Alanson White Institute, Intensive Psychotherapy Psychoanalysis Program in 2016. Currently, Mrs. Dawkins is employed and serves as the Site Director at Montefiore Medical Center, Division of Substance Abuse Opioid Treatment program located in Bronx, New York. She operates in a dual capacity, Administrative and Clinical with hands-on involvement with the staff in providing direct substance treatment and medication assistance for addicted individuals, who manifest a wide range of problems related to the disorder, especially the dually-diagnosed (mental health & substance abuse). Mrs. Dawkins’s experience extends beyond her present role as a Site Director, as she have worked in the areas of mental health, HIV/AIDS, grant-funded programs, Grant Reviewer for SAMHSA, Drug addiction (inpatient & outpatient), teaching, worked with community-based programs for school age children with special needs, quality improvement/assurance auditor, which have all added to her foundation as a Clinician. Mrs. Dawkins thrives on the opportunity to bring the everyday clinical practice work to the classroom setting in order to cultivate students into clinicians.
Awarded: "The wholeness of Life Award" 5/2012- issued by the NYC Health Care Chapliancy from the Pastoral Care Department
Professional Affliations: NASW, Pajacam Inc.
Shirley de Peña, PhD, LCSW
Adjunct Lecturer and Interim Westchester Campus Coordinator
Shirley de Peña, PhD, LCSW, joined the City University of New York (CUNY) in November 2015 as the Director of the Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYCSI). FYCSI is a program designed to support foster youth at CUNY to succeed by providing targeted services that increase retention and graduation rates. As the Director, Dr. de Peña works with students individually and in small group settings to ensure they are receiving the appropriate support they need to be successful in college and in life. Prior to working at CUNY, Dr. de Peña spent 14 years at the Jewish Board, working first as a social worker and then as an administrative supervisor in the Preventive Services Division for 9 years and ending her tenure as the Internship Coordinator and Master Trainer in the Martha K. Selig Educational Institute at the Jewish Board. As the Internship Coordinator, she was passionate in her approach to holistically develop students and provide support in negotiating their professional development. Dr. de Peña managed JBFCS’ Bicultural Institute, an educational support program for the agency’s social work interns of color. Dr. de Peña dedicated herself to a life of voluntary professional service both within the Jewish Board and within the community at large. Dr. de Peña was one of the Jewish Board’s most visible leaders in its mission of Anti-Racist Policy and Practice. Dr. de Peña has provided consultation and training to the NYC Administration for Children Services (ACS) and other large social service agencies on matters of race and the Latino experience. She also provides training and consultation on the following topics; Social work licensure prep, understanding the impact of race and culture on clinical & case work practice, and race relations in the work place. Dr. de Peña is an organizational consultant and holds teaching posts as an adjunct professor at NYU Silver School of Social Work and Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dr. de Peña received her social work degree at Stony Brook University and her Doctoral Degree in Social Welfare at Yeshiva University.
Kara Marie Dean-Assael, LMSW, DSW
Kara has been working with children and families for the past 16 years. She is passionate about helping to create and disseminate programs and practices to improve family mental health. She has worked for the past several years on creating and testing a model to help children and families with behavioral difficulties, called the 4 Rs and 2 Ss for Strengthening Families. She has trained clinicians and supervisors on how to utilize this model with children and families in their clinic settings. She currently works for the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research where she is the Co-Director of the Clinical Education and Innovation Department and the Clinical Leader for the Community Technical Assistance Center (CTAC). As an innovator, she creates, coordinates, manages, and facilitates various clinical projects both locally and nationally. Two years ago, Kara also co-founded a 501c3 called Fareground Community Cafe, which is a collaborative project with the community of Beacon, NY, where children and families from the entire community can gather to enjoy a healthy meal that functions on a ‘pay what you can’ model.
Her interests are in family mental health, best practices in child outpatient mental health settings, food insecurity in the U.S., and community mental health.
She earned her MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work in 2001. She has participated in many trainings and courses to further her education.
Gopalan, G., Franco, L., Dean-Assael, K., McGuire-Schwartz, M., Chacko, A., and McKay, M. (2014). “Statewide Implementation of the 4 Rs and 2 Ss for Strengthening Families”. Journal of Evidence Based Social Work. 11(1-2): 84-96.
Mercado, M., Beharie, N., and Dean-Assael, K. (2014). “Examining the Association Between Food Insecurity and Children's Educational Outcomes”. Accepted Abstract for Society of Social Work and Research Annual Program Meeting, January 2014, San Antonio, Tx.
Gopalan, G., Bannon, W., Dean-Assael, K, Fuss, A, Gardner, L, LaBarbera, B., and McKay, M. (2011). “Multiple Family Groups: An Engaging Intervention for Child Welfare Involved Families”. Child Welfare. 90(4): 135–156.
Dr. Ralph Depalo, PhD, LCSW
Dr. De Palo is the Director of Congregate Care for Archcare Senior Life PACE (Program All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) Program, New York City.
His areas of expertise are in clinical practice with trauma, palliative care, and chronic and terminal illness. His current research is in neurobiology and Social Work Practice with autism spectrums and PTSD, particularly with veterans. He is on the scientific advisory boards of Global Stress Initiative, Stand for the Troops and The Huffington Post.
Dr. DePalo received a certificate in analytic psychotherapy from The Alfred Adler Psychoanalytic Institute in New York City chartered by The New York State Board of Regents. He received a full two year scholarship for his MSW studies from The National Institute of Mental Health in Gerontological Community Mental Health. He earned a Ph.D from the New York University Silver School of Social Work in 1997 after my scholarship from NIMH.
Aida Diallo, MSW, LMSW
Aida Diallo is a Social Welfare and Policies professor at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the City College of New York and her Masters degree in Social Work at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work.
Aida worked in case management in the New York’s foster care system where she successfully handled caseloads related to children’s welfare and participated in various meetings pertaining to the development and improvement of the New York foster care system.
Aida was also employed by the New York City Department of Homeless Services, as a licensed Master Social Worker, and was constantly in contact with clients in need and learned the deep implications of social welfare policies and its impact on service delivery.
Aida has taught Introduction to Social Work as well and is a Certified Field Instructor supervising MSW students. She is currently the Supervising Family Case Manager at African Services Committee, a nonprofit organization dedicated in assisting immigrants, refugees, and asylees from across the African Diaspora.
Lily Ann Divino, MSSW, MPH, LCSW (NY) LICSW (MA)
Lily Ann M. Divino, LCSW, MPH is the director of programming for the Adolescent Health Program at NYC Health+Hospitals. She is a bilingual/bicultural social worker and public health professional with 23+ years of experience in sexual violence, intimate partner violence, adolescents and families, Asian Pacific Islander health and mental health. She is focused on improving health outcomes and equity for marginalized groups. She co-founded Kalusugan Coalition, Inc. (KC), a Filipino community health organization. Other areas of expertise include: community-participatory based research, coalition development, non-profit management, cultural sensitivity, program and evaluation planning.
She completed post-graduate training in Data and Analysis; Leadership, Management, and Governance; Policy and Programs; and Education and Workforce Development at Boston University School of Public Health. She received her MSSW from Columbia University School of Social Work and MPH from Mailman School of Public Health. Her BA is from the College of the Holy Cross.
Robin Donath, MSW, LCSW
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Robin Donath is a clinical social worker in private practice, specializing in working with children, adolescents, and their parents. She is also a mental health consultant at the JBFCS's Child Development Center. She teaches clinical practice classes at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in addition to teaching at the Silver School of Social Work. Her area of expertise is children and adolescents, with a focus on prevention through working with parents.
Robin is a graduate of the NYU Silver School of Social Work. She is also a graduate of the National Institute for Psychotherapy's Three-year Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Training Program and the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity's One-year Post-analytic Training Program.
Straussner, Naegle, Gillespie, Wolkstein, Donath & Azmitia. (2006). The SATOL project: An interdisciplianary model of technology for research-to-practice in clinical supervision for addiction treatment. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 3(3-4),39-54.
Donath, R. (2010). When something more is too Much: The case of Paul. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 9(4), 141-150.
Monique Dunn, BA, MSW, LMSW (NY)
Monique Dunn is program coordinator for a counseling program at the STAR Health Center in Brooklyn’s SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where she leads a team that provides therapeutic and supportive services for people living with HIV. Within this role Monique provides direct clinical services to individuals, couples, groups and families as well as providing supervision to her team. Monique is passionate about utilizing evidence-based interventions with a person-centered approach in her work as a therapist. This stems from her foundation of training to becoming a therapist in the U.K. which began in 2011 at the University of Nottingham where she completed her degree in Humanistic Counselling Practice. This training had an emphasis on the person-centered approach which she continues to carry with her in her social work practice. Monique Dunn moved from England to the U.S. in 2015 and is a graduate of NYU Silver School of Social Work.
Dr. Stacey Dutil, MSW, DSW, LCSW (NY)
Dr. Stacey Dutil currently works full time as the Director of Counseling & Wellness at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology. She received both her MSW (2012) and DSW (2019) degrees from New York University. Previously, she worked as a school social worker and her area of study during her DSW program included adolescent traumatic and disenfranchised grief and the relationship between trauma and the school-to-prison pipeline from a Critical Race perspective. She is also a consulting editor for Children & Schools (NASW Press).
Melissa D. Elliott, MSW, LCSW-R (NY)
Melissa Elliott is the founder and CEO of AGAPE Family Therapy & Coaching, which provides psychotherapy to clients experiencing perinatal and postnatal anxiety and mood disorders, couple counseling, family counseling, & clinical supervision. She is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching Practice I & II and Field instruction I & II, Field lab experience, and Diversity, Racism, Oppression and Privilege. Provides clinical supervision to LMSW, LMHC, LMFT, LCAT, LCSW in the state of New York. Known co-facilitator of (DEIB) workshops/groups for Board of Directors across the country. Sought after facilitator of Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) affinity groups for organizations. Known for developing and facilitating retreats for Assembly Members and community based organizations in New York City. Provides trauma-informed coaching and consulting through a DEIB lens to BIPOC professionals and organizations. She provides life, leadership board and executive coaching internationally and nationally cultivating liberatory practices for those who experience inequities by examining internalized racial oppression and anti-blackness; developing voice and choice in the workplace. Her approach to coaching and consulting is rooted in five (5) core values, to create a space that is authentic, non-judgmental, confidential and transformative to all those served. If you want to learn skills to manage your inner critic and develop your inner author, actualize your highest potential in life, achieve academic success and/or maximize your gifts and talents in your professional career, or build deeper meaningful relationships, she is that coach.
Melissa holds a master’s degree in social work from New York University, a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in African and Latino history from CUNY-Bernard M. Baruch College. Melissa holds a certificate from Leadership that Works/Coaching for Transformation as a certified professional coach. She is a licensed clinical social worker (084193-1) with R privilege in the state of New York, she holds an executive education certificate from Fordham University and a Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) certified from Hunter College (CUNY).
Cort Engelken, MSW, LCSW-R (NY)
Adjunct Associate Professor
Teaching at NYU since 1996. Ramapo College of New Jersey since 1992.
Areas of practice include Intimate Partner Violence, IPV in the military, HIV/AIDS. Community Dispute Resolution. New York State Office of Court Administration Certified Mediator and Arbitrator.
MSW, NYU School of Social Work, 1984
BA, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Intercultural Literature, 1974.
Danielle Esposito, MSW, LCSW (NY)
Danielle is the Director of Social Work & Wellness at East Harlem Scholars Academies, EHTP. She oversees the social work programming for the entire network, provides and supports ongoing professional development for social workers and school staff and supervises the lead social workers from elementary through high school. She has expertise in working with children and their families who've experienced trauma.
Danielle actively engages in Anti-Racism work through the People's Institute of Survival and Beyond and continues this work at her network. Danielle has been a field instructor for years. She earned her Masters degree in Social Work from Fordham University and received a BA in Human Development from Boston College.
Laura I Esquivel Martinez, MSW
Laura Esquivel is a current Silver School of Social Work Ph.D. student working on her dissertation, focusing on exploring healthcare access for Latino subgroups with co-occurring depression and diabetes. Laura is passionate about chronic health disparities, substance use and mental disorders, intervention research, and immigration policy. She currently works as a Senior Research Scientist on a NIDA-funded project to adapt and pilot test Critical Time Intervention under Dr. Jennifer Manuel's Supervision. This critical research project aims to assist people in long-term residential substance abuse treatment transition back into the community and achieve better life outcomes. Laura has earned an MSW from The University of Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Texas-Pan American.
Jaime A. Estades, Esq. MSW
Jaime A. Estades is a Columbia University Adjunct Professor, writer, labor and community activist, who has committed his life to advocacy, education, health and leadership training. In 1996, Jaime founded the Latino Leadership Institute, Inc. The Latino Leadership Institute, a not-for-profit nonpartisan corporation affiliated with the City University of New York, has trained hundreds of individuals on the fundamentals of campaign management and public policy. In October 2015, the Latino Leadership Institute was selected by the White House as one of the Bright Spots of Excellence in Education in the Hispanic Community in the United States. Jaime, who was a Revson Fellow at Columbia University, received his Juris Doctor from the City University of New York School of Law, his Masters in Social Work from the Hunter College Graduate School of Social Work.
William (Tripp) Evans, MSW, PhD, LCSW-R (NY)
Dr. Tripp Evans has been in private practice (NYC) for the past 20+ years; his focus is on individual and couple therapy. Tripp teaches potential therapists how to work with couples at The Training Institute for Mental Health (TIMH) in NYC. He also supervises TIMH therapists. Throughout the years, Tripp has given a number of workshops at TIMH and the Advanced Clinical Education Foundation (ACE); workshop topics include: The Dark Side: Helping Couples Talk About Breaking Up, The Reluctant Male in Couple Therapy, Challenging Entitlement in Couples, Empathy as Defense and Adventurer/Nester. He received his MSW from NYU and a PhD from the Union Institute. Tripp completed a 2-year certificate in Couple Therapy and a 2-year certificate in Supervision from TIMH. Tripp has taught Clinical Practice with Couples at NYU on 2 previous occasions.
Drena Fagen, MSW, MPS, LCSW, LCAT
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Drena Fagen is co-founder and the Director of Programs and Adult Services at New York Creative Arts Therapists PLLC, a group practice specializing in the integration of creative arts therapies with best practice and evidence-based psychotherapy treatment.
Her area of expertise is in the use of art therapy with high-functioning adults in individual and group psychotherapy and corporate environments. She also specializes in educating social workers and other helping professionals on burnout and vicarious trauma through on-site workshops for community based organizations and on-going therapy groups. She has extensive experience developing and implementing social work-informed art therapy programs in foster care, juvenile justice, and other agency settings. She has received post-graduate training in parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) and trauma-focused CBT.
Drena received a BA from the University of Florida, an MPS (Master of Professional Studies) in creativity development and art therapy at the Pratt Institute in 2001, and an MSW from NYU in 2006. She is a nationally board-certified art therapist (ATR-BC).
Matthew Fasciano, BA, MSW, JD
Matthew Fasciano has served as the Chief Operating Officer for The Posse Foundation since 2006. He oversees the day-to-day programmatic functioning of the organization nationally to ensure the continued success of the foundation and to carefully grow new program initiatives, like the STEM, Veterans Arts and virtual models.
Fasciano works with the leadership of Posse’s university and career partners, as well as board members, to build the network that supports Scholar and alumni success. Matthew began his career as a NYC teacher and went on to work for Counseling Services, E.D.N.Y. and Safe Horizon. Prior to working at Posse, Fasciano spent five years as Deputy General Counsel at the NYC Department of Juvenile Justice and as a legislative analyst for the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.
Matthew received his B.A. in Sociology and an MSW from New York University and earned his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.
Michelle Felder, MSW, LCSW (NY), MA
Michelle Felder is a licensed clinical social worker, play therapist, parenting counselor, and the Founder and CEO of Parenting Pathfinders, an online counseling service for parents and caregivers that offers workshops, insight, tools, and strategies to support them along the journey of raising children. Michelle is the Director of Elementary School Social Work at a Community Roots Charter School, an intentionally diverse school in Brooklyn, NY and a facilitator of family workshops through Roots Connected, Inc. After moving to Brooklyn from the California Bay Area, Michelle began facilitating therapeutic playgroups for children; these groups focused on fostering children’s social and emotional development as well as parental attachment. Michelle subsequently received her Masters in Social Work from New York University and Masters in Child Development from Sarah Lawrence College. Michelle specializes in child development and conscious parenting; her work is rooted in mindfulness and builds upon each person's strengths.
Christopher Ferraris, LMSW (NY)
Christopher Ferraris, LMSW (he/him/his), is a research program manager at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. In this role, he manages a portfolio of HIV care and treatment studies predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa. Chris has over a decade of experience in clinical research and clinical program management, domestically and internationally, in a variety of academic and healthcare settings. He has also provided training and capacity-building to a variety of settings and institutions across the US centering around HIV care and prevention best practices and continuous quality improvement processes with a focus on the role of the social worker. Additionally, Chris has presented at local and international conferences and has co-authored work published in AIDS, AIDS and Behavior, and Drug and Alcohol Dependence. His areas of expertise are research operations and administration, program management and evaluation, LGBTQ+ health, and the intersection of mental health and chronic condition management.
Chris holds a BA in Sociology from Christopher Newport University and an MSW from Tulane University School of Social Work. When not in the office, he is an avid runner, traveler, and unofficial NYC dessert expert.
Dr. Christine Fewell, PhD, LCSW, CASAC
Christine Fewell teaches advanced practice and substance abuse classes at the Silver School of Social Work. She is co-coordinator and faculty advisor of the Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders Focused Learning Opportunity and associate editor of the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions. She has a private practice providing psychotherapy and supervision.
Dr. Fewell has extensive experience working with people with substance abuse problems and their families and has published widely in this area. Other areas of interest include mentalization and its application to clinical practice, social work licensing, and ethical social work practice.
She earned her MSW from the University of Chicago, her PhD at the Silver School of Social Work, and a certificate in psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.
Straussner, S. L., & Fewell, C.H. (Eds.). (2011). Children of substance-abusing parents: Dynamics and treatment. New York, NY: Springer Press.
Molly Fisher, MSW, LCSW (NY)
Molly Fisher, LCSW is the Director of Program Innovation and Education for Inspir Senior Living. In the field for over 15 years, Molly has spent her career working to educate and improve best practices within organizations, focusing on improving clinical skills in all staff, despite their background, and ensuring the community served is provided the opportunity to improve overall health and wellness, emotionally, mentally, & physically. In her current position, Molly is able to work with a dynamic interdisciplinary team providing education, resources, and support to older adults, their families and care professionals. Molly has had variety of clinical positions, starting her work in New York City on the Bowery serving the homeless then shifting to community health work focusing on substance use and mental health, ultimately finding a home in the medical wellness and aging community. Molly received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from American University in Washington DC, and went on for her Master’s in Social Work from New York University. Molly finds her most rewarding work has been teaching professionals and paraprofessional staff clinical techniques to improve the quality of services being provided within the populations they serve.
Rachel Foster, Esq., JD
Rachel Foster is Campaign Director for New Abolitionists, a national multimedia campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking. She is a Founding Co-Chair and Executive Council Member of World Without Exploitation, the national coalition working to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation. She has been an advocate at the Tompkins County Task Force for Battered Women and Sanctuary for Families, a community organizer at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, and a senior staff attorney and Board Officer at Brooklyn Legal Services, and a Board Member of the Citizens Committee for Children, Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition, Arts and Ideas in Motion, and Community Board Two. Rachel received the New Yorkers Who Make a Difference Award from United Neighborhood Houses for her work representing disenfranchised New Yorkers. She is the President of Heights Advisors, a real estate firm, and a Co-Founder of the Brooklyn Cat Cafe, an animal shelter and adoption center.
Fighting Exploitation-Foster helps coordinate efforts to stop human trafficking
Monroe France, MA in Higher Education, MA in Cultural Studies in Education
Monroe France is the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives at New York University. Monroe has over 20 years of experience as a professional trainer, educator, faculty member, consultant, strategist, and keynote presenter. His areas of research and courses include, social justice education, intergroup dialogue, race and ethnicity, intersectionality, class, global social justice, and gender and sexaulity. He has implemented, and managed social justice and human rights education programs, nationally and internationally. Monroe’s expertise in anti-oppression and social justice work has led to his appearing on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show, regular radio interviews and presenting keynote addresses at national conferences and universities across the globe. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the NYU Silver School of Social Work and the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Communication. Monroe currently serves on the board of trustees for the OutRight International and has received numerous honors and accolades, including New York University’s 2012 Distinguished Administrator of the Year Award, the 2014 Trailblazer Award from re:gender (formerly National Council for Research on Women) and the 2016 National Association for Student Personal Administrators’ Diversity Achievement Award.
Dina Franchi, MSW, LCSW-R (NY)
Social Work Manager of the Institute of Advanced Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. My focus is on health and mental health with an emphasis on infectious diseases, trauma and substance use/abuse. I am also the Project Director of a Harm Reduction Program for people who are HIV positive and currently using substances. Focus of this program is the use of CBT, Evidence Based Interventions, Seeking Safety and Motivational Interviewing. In addition I Coordinate the Social Work Graduate internship program at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. I am also certified in Trauma Informed Care. I received my Masters in Social Work from Adelphi University.
Toshi M. Francis, PhD, MSW, LCSW (NY + NJ)
Dr. Toshi Francis graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a minor in business administration-marketing/finance. After Dr. Francis entered the mental health field, within a year of graduating from CAU Toshi was accepted into Adelphi University’s MSW program. She graduated from the program in 2008. She went on to gain vital career experience before enrolling in a PhD program, where her major was focused on the area of psychology. That includes ventures such as working as a therapist, as well as a professor. She graduated with her PhD in psychology where her focus was on the clinical and leadership fields. She is considered a subject matter expert in the area of African American women, Caribbean women, mental health, and diversity/inclusion. Toshi Francis continues to look for ways to expand her reach and make a true difference. Currently, Dr. Francis works for the Department of Veterans Administration and as a consultant.
Dr. Efrat Shoshana Fridman, DSW, LCSW (NY), MSW
I am a licensed clinical social worker with years of experience in addiction/recovery, mental health, women's issues, and marriage and family work. I worked for over ten years in addiction and mental health in both the clinical an administrative positions, in Israel and in the US. In Israel, I opened the first single gender day center for women who suffer from a substance use disorder. Currently I treat people in my private practice, working mostly with couples, through an IMAGO lens.
I received my Master’s in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University and my doctorate in social welfare from NYU Silver School of Social Work.
I teach the following courses: clinical practice 1 and 2, HBSE 1 and addiction.
Additionally, I presented in several conferences focusing on women’s unique needs of women who abuse substances.
Samantha A. Fried, MSW, LCSW, NYS
Samantha Fried has worked in child welfare for over a decade, and is currently Director of Program Planning at JCCA where she works on agency-wide initiatives to advance the delivery of child welfare and mental health services to NYC families. She began her career in foster care at New Alternatives for Children and spent four years as a Forensic Social Worker at the Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Rights Practice advocating for children in court. At the Center for Court Innovation, she oversaw a $2.5 million-dollar federal grant to create educational materials that facilitate the provision of developmentally appropriate support to children involved in criminal and family court throughout the U.S. Samantha has presented at national conferences about preparing children for court, and has taught at Columbia University and Fordham University, including at Fordham’s School of Law. Samantha holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and an M.S.S.W. with a law minor from Columbia University. Samantha serves on the board of City Living NY and is passionate about children’s rights and empowering families involved in the child welfare and justice systems.
Dr. Ellen Friedman, MSW, PhD, LCSW (NY)
Adjunct Associate Professor
Currently I am providing consultation and supervision of mental health and substance services at a substance abuse/ mental health and a SAMSHA grant funded agency. I have a private practice with a specialty in treating stress and anxiety and depression as well as substance abuse and problem gambling. I am trained in mindful meditation and the use of compassion in the helping process.
I am a graduate of Hunter (MSW) and have a PhD in Clinical Social Work from NYU as well as training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and have written several book chapters on treatment.
Dr. Mathylde Frontus, BSW, MSW, MA, MTS, PhD, LMSW (NY)
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Dr. Mathylde Frontus recently served as a member of the New York State Assembly, representing the 46th District of southern Brooklyn from November 2018 to December 2022. She served on six committees including Aging, Children and Families, Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, Mental Health, Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development and Transportation. She also served as the first chair of the newly created Minority Mental Health Subcommittee in the New York State Assembly.
Before taking office Dr. Mathylde Frontus served in several social work-related capacities. From 2004-2016 she served as the founder and executive director of a multi-service nonprofit organization in Brooklyn that offers services in housing, employment, legal assistance, financial literacy, mental health, veterans outreach, and youth leadership. She also founded two multi-stakeholder coalitions to reduce the incidents of community violence, as well as two social enterprises offering organizational management and behavioral health consulting.
Dr. Frontus earned her BSW and MSW from the New York University Silver School of Social Work; her MA from the Clinical Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University; her MTS from Harvard Divinity School; and her PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work, with a concentration in Social Policy and Administration.
Dr. Frontus is proud to hold appointments as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work in addition to the NYU Silver School of Social Work. At Columbia University she has taught Advocacy in Social Work Practice, Stigma and Mental Health and Social Welfare Policy. At NYU Silver she has developed and taught two courses, Advocacy and Social Justice and Political Social Work for Advocacy and Social Change.