With Fifth Cohort, Our Adaptive Leadership Fellowship Expands its Reach

January 30, 2020

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, our MSW Adaptive Leadership Fellowship program held the first of four weekend seminars for its fifth cohort. The fellowship, established for select second-year NYU Silver MSW students by Clinical Associate Professor/Executive-in-Residence Linda Lausell Bryant and Adjunct Lecturer Marc Manashil, with funding from the B. Robert Williamson Jr. Foundation and the Katherine and Howard Aibel Foundation, was expanded this year under a grant from The New York Community Trust. The current cohort includes not only 15 MSW students from NYU Silver but also 10 MSW students from CUNY's College of Staten Island Department of Social Work in order to increase the capacity of social workers to exercise leadership.

Dr. Lausell Bryant noted that the fellowship is also building adaptive leadership teaching capacity by having alumnx Erik Yazdani, MSW ’14, and Asiya Vickers, MSW '19, who have served as teaching assistants for prior cohorts, serve as the lead teachers this year, supported by College of Staten Island faculty members Dr. Barbra Teater, Anjail Ameen-Rice and Dr. Mayra Humphries.

“While the curriculum is the same, they are taking it to another level,” said Dr. Lausell Bryant of Yazdani and Vickers. Yazdani is a therapist at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies who studied adaptive leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Vickers, who was an Adaptive Leadership Fellow in our third cohort and gave the MSW student address at the School’s 2019 convocation, now works at the Manhattan VA Hospital.

At their first seminar, fellows focused on thinking about the differences between authority and leadership and anchoring themselves in their purpose. Said Dr. Lausell Bryant “We want them to understand their potential to catalyze change and identify ‘what is the change they want to make in the world?’”

Through the four, day-long seminars on the adaptive leadership framework and individual coaching as they address adaptive challenges in their field placements and beyond, the fellows will learn a critical lens and a set of strategies and tools to bring about necessary social and organizational change.

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