NYU Silver School of Social Work Welcomes Seven New Faculty Members

The NYU Silver School of Social Work announces seven new faculty members starting in September. These new faculty have exceptional research and scholarship backgrounds in areas such as quantitative and qualitative research methods, positive youth development, and reduction of youth risk behavior. These scholars will help build on the School's strong research portfolio, particularly in the area of poverty and related topics, such as policy analysis, child well-being, and HIV prevention.

The School has appointed four tenured faculty.

Liliana R. Goldin has been named professor of social work; faculty fellow at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research; and faculty fellow at the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health. 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.

Wen-Jui Han, professor of social work, has an extensive background in the issues surrounding policies and services designed to enhance the welfare of children and their families. She has extensive research experience in the area of child care, maternal employment, and child well-being. Han's current research focuses on: 1) maternal employment and child cognitive and social and emotional well-being; 2) the extent to which parental work schedules (e.g., working at evenings, nights, or rotating shifts) affect child care arrangements and child well-being; 3) the effects of family leave policies on parents' use of parental leave and how this might affect children's later cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes; and 4) the developmental experiences of U.S. young children in immigrant families.

James Jaccard has been named professor of social work; associate dean for research; and co-director of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health. His research focuses 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.

Mary McKay joins as professor of social work and director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Prior to joining Silver, she served as the head of the Division of Mental Health Services Research at Mount Sinai. She has received substantial federal funding for research focused on meeting the mental health and health prevention needs of inner-city youth and families. Working with colleagues in the field, she developed a substantial body of research findings around engagement practices to improve involvement in family-based HIV prevention programs and mental health services by children, youth, and families in poverty-impacted urban areas.

Other faculty appointments include:

Evelyn Nieves, clinical assistant professor of social work and the coordinator of the Rockland County Branch Campus. As the former director of Behavior Health Services for Newark Community Health Center, Nieves was charged with integrating behavioral health into a primary health care setting. Nieves has more than 30 years of experience in executive management, academia, and behavioral health (with adolescents, adults, and families), and is a published author. Her experiences have evolved in the United States (New York City and East Oakland, California) and Europe (Geilenkirchen, Germany/NATO Air Force Base), including private, nonprofit, and local government sectors.

Geetha Gopalan, faculty fellow at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, with research interests in family-level interventions to improve youth mental health and reduce youth risk behavior, particularly for families with intensive service involvement and extreme psychosocial needs (such as those involved in the child welfare system). Through her doctoral work Gopalan focused on mental health service program development, implementation, and dissemination for inner-city, minority youth and their families. She has participated in two NIMH-funded intervention research training institutes, the NIH Loan Repayment Program, and has been awarded a three-year, NIMH- funded National Research Science Award Individual Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

Catherine Vu, assistant professor/faculty fellow, awarded a post-doctoral fellow for the 2011-13 in conjunction with the NYU Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academic Diversity Fellowship. She is interested in the relationship between human service agencies and their organizational capacity to serve low-income minority groups. Her dissertation explores the contextual and organizational factors associated with service utilization by people of color. At the McSilver Institute for Poverty and Policy Research, Vu hopes to collect data and design studies that explore 1) the strategies used by ethnic agencies to engage minority clients, and 2) how ethnic agencies can provide positive individual and community outcomes for the populations they serve.

Dean Lynn Videka states that, "With the addition of these outstanding scholarly and practice leaders to the Silver School's faculty, the School is poised to reach its goals for playing a key role in building knowledge for the next generation of social work, providing an excellent BS and MSW education, and educating the future professoriate in a globally recognized and rigorous PhD program."