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Celebrating Our Students: A Year in Review 18-19

The list of our students’ achievements is growing every year and this year was no different. From presenting at conferences, publishing and securing grants, to planning events to stay engaged with the goal of social justice, our students are doing it all. The topping was the graduation of five students in Spring 2019! Please read on to see the many accomplishments of our students this past year.

Grants and Awards

Gary Kwok, PhD Candidate
Fellowship Award

Gary Kwok, MA was one of the six recipients selected for the Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellowship. In Spring 2019, he worked on a project (along with Dr. Chrisann Newransky and national leaders) to increase awareness and help-seeking of mental health services among first-generation social work college students. In this project, Gary used narrative writing techniques and psychoeducation to help social work students to reflect and understand their academic challenges which in turn may raise help-seeking intention and behaviors. Findings will be presented at the Active Minds’ National Conference in Philadelphia, PA in June 2019.

Bernadine Waller, PhD Candidate

Bernadine was one of four recipients awarded the Mental Health Research Dissertation Grant to Enhance Workforce Diversity (R36) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to complete her dissertation research. Her dissertation, Understanding the psychosocial processes of help-seeking among African American women survivors of intimate partner violence, is designed to build a model that explains their help-seeking.

Presentations at Regional, National and International Conferences/Meetings

Joseph De Gearo, PhD Candidate

On May 30, 2019, Joseph presented at the American College Health Association’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado. This session: Title IX’s “Responsible Employees” and the Role of College Health Care Providers explored Title IX’s use of “responsible employees” versus “confidential employees” like health care providers, therapists, and spiritual counselors and included definitions, practice implications, and alternatives. Case study and discussion demonstrated challenges and explored options. Recommendations for future practice with a focus on confidential employees were also included. 

Dena Gassner Presenting at a Conference

Dena Gassner, PhD Candidate

August 2018 

  • Symposium at the American Psychological Association “The Lived Experience of Being Autistic, Female and Researcher: Considerations for Future Research”
  • Chico State University “Autism, Bourbon, Perspective and Resilience.”

October 2018

  • Presentation to students on autism research, Stony Brook, NY

November 2018 

  • Skivve International Autism Conference, Denmark  “Integrating the Diagnosis”
  • Arc National Convention “Broken Girl to Empowered.”
  • Ohio Center for Autism & Low Incidence Disabilities National Conference  “How Did I Get So Old?”
  • YAI West Chester Conference “Growing Into Autism: Achieving Autistic Authenticity for Wellness.”

December 2018

  • Mt. Sinai Hospital Grand Rounds
  • Columbia University Hospital “Sex, Gender and Autism.”

April 2018

  • Columbia University “What Autistics Wish you Knew.”
  • NIMH Special Event for Autism Awareness Month, Washington D.C. “A Woman’s Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs.”

May 2019

  • 7th Annual Teaching Social Activism Conference “Inclusive Employment: Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce.”

Powerpoint slide of Warren Graham's presentation

Warren Graham, PhD Student

In June 2018, Warren Graham was a presenter at the National Organization of Forensic Social Work’s Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. His talk titled “Differential police response to protesting: When color matters,” looked at the significant ways in which law enforcement react and respond to rioters or protesters based on race. The oral presentation was co-facilitated with Dr. Jalana Harris.

On the right: Dulande Louis

Dulande Louis, PhD Candidate

On May 1st, 2019, Dulande presented at the annual Northeast Behavioral Healthcare Conference, Syracuse, NY. Her oral presentation: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, was part of the research track. This presentation explored the process and outcome measures of EMDR through review of the existing literature, identified knowledge gaps, and discussed avenues for further research.

Kristina Monti and Santiago Martinez, PhD Candidates

On November 9, 2018, Santiago and Kristina, co-facilitated at the Council for Social Work Education’s (CSWE) 2018 Annual Program Meeting (APM) at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. Their oral presentation “Returning to our roots: Analysis of social casework and present-day case management,” was a part of the APM’s Social Welfare History Track.

From left: Kristina Monti and Santiago Martinez

From left: Erin Nau, Kristina Monti, Santiago Martinez, Dr. Panchanadeswaran and Dr. Cohen

Erin Nau, PhD Candidate

At CSWE’s 2018 APM in Florida, Erin’s presentation topic was: Putting Intersectional Feminisms Back into our Curricula. Erin specifically discussed the Importance of Intersectional Feminisms in her role as a Field Educator.

Kari Tabag, PhD Candidate

Kari Tabag standing next to a poster for Pinay Power

Kari Tabag Presenting Her Paper

On April 19, 2019 Kari served on the panel: Pinays in Social Work at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, at the PINAY POWER II: Celebrating Peminisms in the Diaspora conference. She also presented her paper “Dual jeopardy: Challenges and experiences in developing a research study of Filipina Americans.” 

Bernadine Waller, PhD Candidate

In an oral presentation in January 2019, Bernadine spoke at the 23rd Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) in San Francisco. Her presentation was titled: “A Systematic Review of African American Women Intimate Partner Violence Victims’ Help-seeking Pathways.”

On March 28, 2019, Bernadine was quoted in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article: Are there warning signs before a tragic ending?

On May 4, 2019, Bernadine participated in a panel discussion exploring the proximal and distal effects of childhood sexual abuse at the Women’s Diversity Network Annual Summit at SUNY Old Westbury.


Erin Nau, PhD Candidate

Erin published three chapters this academic year including one as the sole author: ‘A Place in History: Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, describing the history of support groups and group work models at Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program.’ Her second publication was a co-authorship with colleagues in Group Work:  Creating Space for All Voices. Finally, Erin contributed to the chapter, ‘Actualizing the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development through Social Group Work.’

Natalie Brooks Wilson, PhD Candidate

Natalie co-authored two publications with her faculty mentor this past year, one included a chapter in a Handbook and the second was a peer-reviewed journal article.

Panchanadeswaran, S., Manasi, A., Brooks-Wilson, N., Chacko, S., Brazda, M., and Kuruppu, S. (2018). Mobile phone technology: Opportunities and perils for female sex workers in India. In Dewey, S., Crowhurst, I., and Izugbara, C. (Eds.). Routledge International Handbook of Sex Industry Research. New York, NY: Routledge.

Panchanadeswaran, S., Unnithan, A. M., Chacko, S., Brazda, M., Brooks Wilson, N., and Kuruppu, S. (2019). Female sex workers’ use of mobile phones in India: Lessons in effective engagement. Human Technology, 15(1).

Social Justice Event: Party With a Purpose

On April 17, 2019 several doctoral students and faculty joined for the second annual Party with a Purpose. In an effort to further our collective social justice agenda, this year’s event featured four esteemed interdisciplinary panelists (pictured below). These inspiring scholars spoke about how they have been able to integrate social justice into their research. The panelists inspired continued discussion amongst students and faculty on this important topic and sparked thoughtful and meaningful discussions and planning for our dissertations.

Planning Committee Photos (from left): Kari Tabag, PhD Candidate, Warren Graham, PhD Student, Natalie Brooks Wilson, PhD Candidate, Dr. Subadra Panchanadeswaran, Director of the Doctoral Program, Dr. Kristina Monti, PhD, Santiago Martinez, PhD Candidate, Dulande Louis, PhD Candidate

Proposal Defenses

It’s been a busy year! Eleven students successfully defended their dissertation proposals this past year! Emmanuel Bioh, Erin Nau, Kathryn Cavan, Anne Cofone, Shavone Hamilton, Gloria Lepore, Santiago Martinez, Kyle McGee, Ohiro Oni-Eseleh, Gareth Schumack, and Bernadine Waller are all immersed in data collection for their dissertations!

Congratulations To Our Newly Minted PhD Graduates!

Five candidates graduated from the program in Spring 2019! Congratulations to Dr. Tara Bulin, Dr. Lisa Henshaw, Dr. Karime Hernandez, Dr. Kristina Monti, and Dr. Dana Spada! We are so proud! Here are some glimpses from the Hooding Ceremony!

Dr. Tara Bulin

The experience of women during the inter-pregnancy interval: Women with History of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Dr. Lisa Henshaw

The Complexity of Unrecognized Trauma: Survivors’ Narratives.

Karime Hernandez 

Love in the Times of HIV/AIDS: Latinas Experiences of Dating with a Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS

Dr. Kristina Monti

The Experience of Transitioning from Opioid Anelgesics to Heroin: A Life course Perspective

Dr. Dana Spada

Women and Leadership

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