(Assistant Professor, School of Social Work)
A brief overview of
background, area of expertise, research and teaching.
I am a social
work educator, researcher and practitioner with expertise in the
fields of gerontology and health care social work. I obtained my
M.S.W. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University School of Social
Work. Prior to my faculty appointment at Adelphi, I taught as an
adjunct lecturer in the M.S.W. program at Columbia and in the B.S.W.
program at Lehman College, City University of New York. I have spent
over a decade in social work direct practice and program development
positions at academic teaching hospitals in New York City -- most
recently at Mount Sinai Hospital. I have published in the areas
of family caregiving, self-care of older adults, the social service
needs of LGBT elders, and social work practice knowledge in aging
and health. At Adelphi, I currently teach Foundations of Social
Work Practice II, Social Work Research Methods I, and the advanced
elective Social Work Practice in Health Care Settings.
interests currently focus on the service utilization patterns and
attitudes of older adult caregivers and care receivers. My dissertation
research, funded by a John A. Hartford Foundation Fellowship in
Geriatric Social Work, examined dyadic congruence and gender differences
in the community service use attitudes of older spousal caregiver-care
do you wish to contribute? What has been your experience so far?
joined the faculty at Adelphi because I am eager to contribute to
an academic community that highly values excellence in both teaching
and scholarship. It was immediately apparent to me that the School
of Social Work and the University offered a superb environment where
I could pursue my research and teaching interests among faculty
who are passionately committed to training the social work practitioners
of the future.
so far has been great. Adelphi has a very personable and hospitable
culture. I have found colleagues and administrators to be extraordinarily
accessible, welcoming and friendly. I have found students to be
serious about their learning, committed to their educational and
professional development, and very engaging in the classroom.
The campus provides
a wonderful environment for work and study. I think Adelphi's geographical
location, from my perspective, is a great asset. I love the fact
that the students live and obtain their fieldwork training in an
incredibly diverse range of settings all over Nassau, Suffolk, the
boroughs of New York City, upstate, downstate, tri-state and beyond.
What do you feel strongly about in
regards to teaching or your specialization?
Though my substantive
areas of interest broadly encompass social work practice in health
care and aging, I feel strongly about attracting more students to
careers in gerontological social work. Due to the rapidly growing
aging and "baby boomer" populations, the U.S. Department
of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a substantial increase
in the demand for social workers with gerontology training over
the next decade. (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos060.htm)
The need is acute. In fact, many health care and community-based
social workers have already become "de facto" gerontology
providers because they are already dealing with more and more aging
people on their caseloads; however, in my view, these providers
need much more specialized training to address the complex needs
of aging clients and their caregivers.
The new generation
of graduating social workers who possess specialized gerontological
training will likely be in high demand - they will undoubtedly find
great opportunities to pursue clinical practice, to develop innovative
grant-funded service programs, and to do important work that directly
affects the health and well-being of older adults, families and
communities. It is a particularly relevant path for students interested
in working with multi-generational families. It is also a field
that places a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary teamwork -- collaborating
with other allied health professions including nursing, medicine,
psychology, and the rehabilitation specialties.
do you wish to impart to your students?
I am keenly
aware that the direct impact I have on student learning has immediate
and tangible implications for the field work my students perform
with real clients in various communities every day. This in itself
makes teaching social work practice so exciting and rewarding. I
am also attuned to the fact that social work students undergo a
very unique formative experience as they obtain knowledge for practice
while at the same time developing a genuine, authentic and skillful
use of their personal and professional "selves". I know
I developed a truly expanded awareness about the world around me
after I completed my M.S.W. training. My hope is that my students
will similarly experience new ways of thinking about working with
clients and addressing social problems, while also attending to
their own personal and professional growth.
Like any educator
in an applied discipline, I really want to inspire my students to
forge meaningful connections between classroom knowledge and their
fieldwork. I aim to accomplish this not only in my practice classes
where the "classroom-field" connection is generally well
understood, but also in my research classes where the students'
perceived relevance of the material to direct practice requires
a lot more explication. I like to use practice illustrations in
my research classes and I like to bring research concepts into my
practice classes. I want to encourage students to think in a more
integrated way about the relationships among all types of knowledge
Finally, I hope
to communicate to students the enormous diversity of career paths
that are available with a social work degree. Social work graduates
become clinicians, program developers, agency administrators, educators,
researchers, advocates, activists and elected officials-- the list
goes on - the breadth of career possibilities in this field is truly