NYU Silver School of Social Work Announces New Faculty Members

The NYU Silver School of Social Work welcomed six new faculty members in September. Three tenured and tenure-track faculty members, a post-doctoral fellow, and two visiting professors joined the School this year. These new faculty bring impressive records of scholarship on important social problems such as prevention of adolescent risk behavior, child mental health and child welfare services, poverty, globalization, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. They will contribute to building the School's reputation for strong empirical research on social work interventions.

The three tenured and tenure-track faculty members are:

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, professor of social work, has expertise in the role of families in promoting adolescent health, with a special focus on preventing HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies. Additional research interests include parent-adolescent communication, intervention research, HIV prevention, and alcohol and drug use. Guilamo-Ramos has conducted research primarily in urban, resource-poor settings, including the South Bronx, Harlem, and Lower East Side communities of New York City. In addition, he has extended his focus to HIV-prevention among vulnerable populations in the Dominican Republic and India.

Michelle Munson, associate professor of social work, has professional interests in mental health services and interventions, vulnerable populations of youth and young adults, and supportive relationships. Her research focuses on two related areas of behavioral health: mental health service engagement and the role of relationships and health beliefs in the process of engaging in care. Munson's scholarship is informed by both adolescents and young adults that utilize services and their providers.

Darcey Merritt, assistant professor of social work, has extensive experience as a practitioner in the private and public child welfare systems, specializing in child and family assessments for appropriate foster and adoptive placements. Her research interests include: evaluating the public child welfare systems, correlates of child maltreatment, characteristics of abusive and neglectful parents, the neighborhood structural impact on parenting, and family violence. Her published work primarily focuses on children's preferences and expectations for permanency while living in temporary care, and the relationship between parental potential to abuse and child abuse rates in communities.

The School has awarded a post-doctoral fellow for the 2010-11 year in conjunction with the University's Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program.

Myra Jones-Taylor, faculty fellow at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, is a cultural anthropologist who studies the ways social policy takes shape in people's everyday lives. Her dissertation is an ethnography of a community that adjusted to shifts in federal and local policies toward poor children and families during the twenty-first century's first decade. At the McSilver Institute, Jones-Taylor will begin her next project, which focuses on the two most prominent approaches to rid poverty from urban America: education reform and neighborhood-based reform.

The School has appointed two visiting faculty members for the 2010-11 academic year.

Liliana R. Goldín is a visiting professor and a faculty fellow at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Her research explores the processes of economic and cultural change and the ways in which the mostly indigenous Maya populations of the western and central Guatemala highlands cope with poverty and marginality, and make sense of the changes they have experienced in the context of national and global transformations. She has worked with communities involved in agriculture oriented to internal markets and international exports (NTAE), petty industrial producers of western style clothes, and wage workers in apparel maquiladora industries.

James Jaccard, a visiting professor, focuses his research on adolescent problem behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and substance use. He has developed programs to teach parents of adolescents how to more effectively communicate and parent their children so as to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies and problems due to substance use. Additionally, he has written numerous books and articles on the analysis of interaction effects in a wide range of statistical models, and teaches advanced graduate courses on structural equation modeling.

"Our new faculty members join an esteemed group that has helped build the Silver School's strong reputation," said Dean Lynn Videka. "These new faculty members will help strengthen the School's research and scholarship work, and build our mentorship of junior faculty and doctoral students."