Elise Verdooner ’17, Executive Director at TEEEM, Discusses Path to Leadership in Network for Social Work Management’s Blog Series

After graduating from CSSW in 2017, Alumna Elise Verdooner dedicated her evenings to volunteering with TEEEM, a small international nonprofit run only by the founder, fellow CSSW alumnus Jarret Schecter ’14, while working full-time at a technology company. Months later, she was working as the organization’s new Executive Director. Read more about her professional journey, the path to management, and the impact of networking in the Network for Social Work Management’s latest blog series post.


Alumna Jillian Rose ’05 Receives Distinguished Educator Award!

We’d like to extend a warm congratulations to Alumna Jillian Rose, LCSW ’05, MPH, on receiving the Distinguished Educator Award from the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) for her “sustained excellence in the teaching of patients and students/trainees, including health professional students, medical students, residents, graduate students, and/or fellows, with their primary focus being rheumatology-related content.”

Jillian currently serves as Director of Community Engagement, Diversity and Research at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City. She started her career at HSS in 2005 and has dedicated much of her work to understanding inequalities in rheumatology care and empowering both patients and health care providers to ensure the highest quality of care for all.

Most recently, she served as a guest speaker at our recent Communities of Color Roundtable Networking Event, where she provided mentorship and advice to current students about leading successful careers as professionals of color.

Read the full press release to learn more about her background and achievements.

World Leaders Forum Continues in October

The World Leaders Forum is pleased to offer the below listed event opportunities:

Please note the following:

  • Online registration is required and seating is limited. Please visit the online links for more detailed event information and to register.
  • Registration is open to current students, faculty, and staff from Columbia University, Barnard College, and Teachers College.
  • All events will be held in the Teatro, Italian Academy.

Monday, October 29 @ 6:00 pm

World Leaders Forum: Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Online registration is required and is currently open. To register, click here.

Friday, November 2 @ 12:00 pm

World Leaders Forum: Estonia, the Land of Skype, the Digital Land
Online registration is required and is currently open. To register, click here.

Friday, November 16 @ 10:00 am

World Leaders Forum: Cities of the Mind: Lost Cities and Their Inhabitants
Online registration is required and is currently open. To register, click here.

Facebook live with Mariam Jalabi, Co-Founder of Syrian Women’s Political Movement | Thursday, October 25 @ 2:30 pm EST

Mariam Jalabi, the Syrian National Coalition’s representative to the United Nations and founding member of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement, will field questions about current efforts to reach a peace agreement in the Syrian war.

Q & A on Syrian Peace Process with Mariam Jalabi on Facebook Live
Thursday, October 25 @ 2:30 pm EST
Presented by: Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and PassBlue
Sponsored by: UN Women
Join the conversation

The discussion will be moderated by Jamille Bigio, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Maria Luisa Gambale, PassBlue correspondent, and reveal pitfalls of negotiations that sideline female participants.

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to experts in women, peace, and security about the conflict in Syria, pathways to lasting resolution, and women’s role in the peace process.

About the Participants

Mariam Jalabi, the UN Representative of the Syrian National Coalition and a founding member of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement. She has led the Syrian Coalition’s diplomatic engagement with the Permanent Missions to the United Nations, UN Department of Political Affairs, and Office of the UN Secretary-General. Ms. Jalabi’s advocacy and leadership at the United Nations has proven instrumental in framing the narrative on Syrian with the UN community.

Jamille Bigio is a senior fellow in the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Her research focuses on women’s contributions to security and global prosperity. Bigio led the U.S. government’s launch of its first National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, an effort for which she was recognized with the U.S. Department of State Superior Honor Award and the U.S. Department of Defense Secretary of Defense Honor Award.

Maria Luisa Gambale, journalist and filmmaker, has covered the involvement of Syrian women in peace negotiations exclusively for PassBlue, and formerly reported on women working in conflict resolution in Syria.

PassBlue, an independent, women-led digital publication, covers women’s issues, human rights, peacekeeping and other urgent global matters from our base in the UN press corps, with an additional focus on the U.S.-UN relationship. Led by Dulcie Leimbach and Barbara Crossette, PassBlue receives the support of the Carnegie Corporation and is a project of the New School’s Graduate Program in International Affairs. PassBlue is independent financially and otherwise from the UN.

Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Co-Host, was launched in 2011 in order to build the evidence-based case for a focus on women, peace, and security. The institute seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism.

UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.


Special Opportunity for Graduates: Mental Health License Supervision

The New York Person-Centered Resource Center is committed to carrying on the legacy of Carl Rogers and the Person-Centered Approach. They are currently looking for post-graduate mental health (psychology, social work, counseling) license eligible psychotherapists and/or counselors to earn hours at their center while growing a private practice. If interested, please contact them at [email protected] or 212-989-6086.

FREE Professional Development Workshop: “What does it mean to be an Asian American Mental Health Professional?” | Friday, October 26 + Friday, November 30, 2018

The New York Coalition for Asian American Mental Health‘s Professional Development Group will be launching a series of FREE workshops around the theme of “What does it mean to be an Asian American Mental Health Professional?”

The awareness of self and others are crucial tools in advancing one’s practice with clients, program planning, and community building. Their workshops will offer the safe space of being with other Asian colleagues to learn more about these issues and process them together.

The first two workshops will be held on Friday, October 26 and November 30, 2018, 6:00-7:30 pm at the NYU Silver School of Social Work, 1 Washington Square. The foci will be:

  • How do our diverse identities and background serve as assets as well as challenges in the workplace/internship?
  • How does racism impact our Asian and non-Asian clients and professional development?

The presenters will be Johnathan Chang, MSW ’19 and Rebeca Chen on October 26, and T. Han Nguyen and Daniel Tanh on November 30.

Light refreshments will be served. As in previous years, peer supervision facilitated by Daniel Tanh will follow after the workshop from 7:30 – 8:00 pm. All are welcome.

Presenters’ Bios

Jonathan Chang, MSW ’19 currently serves the CSSW student body as a Professional Development and Self-Awareness Coordinator and works with school administration to foster an environment where students feel safe, supported, and accountable within their individual experiences with power, privilege, and oppression. He also is a social work intern with the Undoing Racism Internship Project and works with student organizers and schools of social work to implement anti-racist curriculum in social work practice. Jonathan is also a co-leader of the Asian & Pacific Islander Caucus at CUSSW and works to celebrate, empower, and amplify Asian, Pacific Islander, and/or Desi voices and experiences.

Rebeca Chen Ma, LCSW is a School Mental Health Consultant in Office of School Health. Rebeca is also part of the Race to Justice Co-Lead for Guided Conversations in the Division of Family Child Health. Rebeca is interested in utilizing her understanding of Racial Inequity, Social Injustice, and Trauma to better serve the Asian Community.

Hân Nguyễn (She/Her/Herself), LMSW, is a So-Cal native and moved to NYC to pursue her career in Social Work. She is a recent graduate from NYU and works at the DOHMH. Hân identifies as a Diasporic Vietnamese American, Refugee, woman. She is interested in anti-racist practices and believes that they are necessary to move toward racial equity and justice.

Daniel Tanh is a clinical social worker, a leader in team-based mental health treatment programs, an advocate for hope and recovery, and the nemesis of stigma and oppression. Daniel was also chosen to become one of the leaders of the JB’s Confronting Structural Racism (COR) initiative and facilitates its Manhattan People of Color Caucus. Utilizing his interdisciplinary mindset and knowledge of structural oppression, lessons learned from his published research, and his experience as an Asian American who is ambivalently unafraid to bring people to the edge of discomfort, Daniel has been actively building a community to undo racism at his workplace and in the community.

Access Resources, Tools, and Networks by Joining Professional Social Work Organizations

Are you part of a professional social work network? Consider joining one to get access to tools and resources specific to the social work field. You can find a number of organizations listed under “Professional Organizations” in Career Connect’s Document Library that are seeking to connect and support students, new professionals, and experienced professionals at all levels.

Sample Professional Organizations

At NASW, members can enjoy benefits and networking provided by both the NASW national office and their local chapter, for one annual fee ($57 for MSW students and $225 for professionals).  They also recently launched MyNASW Online Community, a virtual community where members can rally around topics of concern, locate colleagues in your specialty where you live or work, find or be a mentor to new professionals, post useful articles and resources, and much more.

From Idea to Intervention: Breaking down the research process from start to finish

Interested in learning more about the research process? Ever wanted to know how you get from a research idea to the development of an intervention?

Then considering attending this upcoming presentation! 

“From Idea to Intervention: Breaking down the research process from start to finish.”

Monday, November 5, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Presenters: Professor Elwin Wu and Assistant Professor Brooke West
CSSW, Room 1109
RSVP: not required
General Contact: Jenissis Jeanty ([email protected])

In this training session, Professor Elwin Wu and Assistant Professor Brooke West will discuss the phases of research from start to finish, including how research ideas are generated, how studies are designed and implemented and what needs to be done along the way to make sure that the work is ethical and responsible. This session is open to all students and provide an opportunity to learn more about how research gets done. As this will be an informal chat, please come with questions.


Dr. Elwin Wu is a Co-Director of the CSSW Social Intervention Group (SIG) and Co-Director of the HIV Intervention Science Training Programfor Racial/Ethnic Minority New Investigators. He is also a Director of Columbia University’s Training, HIV, Substance Abuse, and Criminal Justice Fellowship Program, and Co-Direcor of Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA), also at Columbia University. His practice experience includes direct clinical practice with individuals, couples, and groups with agencies serving primarily the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities; evaluation of violence prevention programs for perpetrators of intimate partner violence in same-sex relationships; and program development and evaluation for criminal justice-involved adolescents and adults.


Dr. Brooke West is a medical sociologist whose global and domestic research examines determinants of HIV/STI and substance use, as well as reproductive health and violence exposure. Drawing on social science and public health approaches, she examines the conditions in which health risks occur for substance using populations, women in sex work, and other stigmatized groups.

Dr. West is the principal investigator on a NIDA-funded study that examines the intersection of venue-based risk and networks for substance-using women in Tijuana, Mexico, with the goal of informing the development of targeted interventions that create safer spaces for affected people. Other projects include evaluation and development of sexual and reproductive health programs in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, and the United States.

She received her PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University in 2014. She also has an MA in Sociology from Cornell University and a BA in Sociology and Philosophy from Cleveland State University.

Full CASAC Scholarships: This May Be Your Last Chance!

Outreach Training Institute (OTI) has a few more full scholarships for New York City healthcare workers interested in pursuing a CASAC credential. Whether you are seasoned behavioral health professionals or relatively new to the field, the CASAC credential enhances your skills to work with populations affected by substance use disorders.

It can also be used with a variety of clients ranging from adolescents to adults and in different settings/modalities.

Apply now! Scholarships are available for a limited time only!

135-hour CASAC Program
*Important: this program for master’s level clinicians will no longer be available after 2018. Apply now.

Location and Hours

  • Richmond Hill, Queens
  • 6-month track: Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30 to 8:30 pm


  • Currently employed in a healthcare facility located in any of the five boroughs in New York City
  • Possess a Master’s Degree in an eligible behavioral health profession including social work, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, creative arts therapy, and psychotherapy/psychoanalysis

The final enrollment date is Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

Click here for more information on scholarships and to download an application.

View their FAQs page for more information regarding the DOH scholarship.