Career Advice from VNSNY Community Mental Health Panelists

Last week, our office sponsored a panel discussion with VNSNY and their community mental health professionals to learn about their career paths and what led them to this work.

If you missed the session, here are some key takeaways:

    • Meet and build relationships with folx in the field, because networking is still one of the most effective ways to land opportunities.
    • Seek mentors and supervisors who are invested in your development. Surrounding yourself with a strong support system is key to growing and advancing in an organization.
    • Take risks by being open to new opportunities or exploring new paths—these experiences can help you build career agility, find meaningful work, and expand your professional network.
    • Take ownership of the job you have right now; it will not only help you build character and skill sets for your current role, it will also prepare you for future ones.
    • Make sure to prioritize self-care. When interviewing, ask questions about initiatives that are in place to support the well-being of employees and the agency as a whole.

Thanks to those who attended, as well as to our speakers Jessica Aitken, Natasha Anderson, Deborah Cho ’15, Sabrina Machuca, and Echelle Norman, and Keith Peters and Leah Blumberg for collaborating with us on this event!

You can find the presentation slides and speakers’ contact information in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Employer Events / Information Sessions folder.

Communities of Color Virtual Networking Event | Monday, November 9

Image by febrian eka saputra from Pixabay

The offices of Career Services and Leadership Management, Development and Alumni Relations, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are pleased to invite you to our 3rd Annual Communities of Color Virtual Networking Event on Monday, November 9, 2020.

All those who identify as students of color/ BIPOC are encouraged to participate!

Meet and mingle with a group of distinguished alumni of color, learn about their career paths and trajectories, and get tips and advice on navigating your own path as a professional of color in this dedicated virtual support space.

The list of featured alumni can be found below.

Event Details

Monday, November 9, 2020
6:30 – 8:30 pm ET
Platform: Zoom

The event will open with a 45-minute panel discussion and Q&A featuring select alumni guests. Thereafter, you will have the opportunity to engage in two rounds of small group networking with one or two alumni per group. 

*Pre-registration is required. Sign up here using your LionMail account ASAP. We ask that you only register if you are able to attend.


FEATURED ALUMNI (Read their full bio HERE)

Nadine Rose Carole ‘13 (SEA) – Program Manager at Facebook

Chris Eagar-Finney ‘13 (AGPP) – Psychiatric Social Worker II at Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Brandon Hadi ‘20 (SEA)  Program Manager at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP)

Kazuko (Kazu) Kato ‘13 (POL) – Engineering Analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton

Erick Nunez ‘15 (AGPP) Director of Specials Projects & Therapist at Soco Rey Therapy

Gwenelle  Styles O’Neal ’81 (POL) – Professor at West Chester University

Lorenzo Shaw-Graham ’20 (AGPP) – Program Associate, at Council on Social Work Education

Whitney Stewart ’14 (POL) – Senior Consultant-National Security at Guidehouse

Martinique (Marti) Teperman ‘06 (ACP) – Deputy Director of Social Services and Family Engagement at East Harlem Tutorial Program

Suzanne Towns ’01 (AGPP) – Deputy Executive Director at DC Workforce Investment Council

Corporate Social Responsibility Panel with SEA Caucus | Wednesday, March 4

Interested in learning about careers in corporate social responsibility? See below for a great panel organized by SEA Caucus Leaders, featuring the following guest speakers.

Event: Corporate Social Responsibility Panel
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 4 @ 8 PM
Location: Room C06

  • Edgar Avalos ’16, Senior Program Associate, Youth & Workforce Initiatives – Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase Foundation
  • Veena Jayadeva, Director of CSR, Guardian Life
  • Lisa Meng, Corporate Social Responsibility – Societal Impact, Verizon
  • Nicoletta Bumbac, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Analyst, JetBlue
Register here.
Wine and cheese will be provided.

Please contact Caucus Leader Laura Burgos at lo2328@columbia.edu with any questions.

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES: Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require disability accommodations to attend an event at Columbia University, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (212) 854-2388 or disability@columbia.edu at least 5 days in advance of the event.

Preparing for Careers and Internships in Policy: A Panel Discussion | Wednesday, February 13

Wondering what a social worker can do in the policy field or what policy work entails?

Attend our upcoming panel discussion to meet experienced professionals and learn about the different ways social workers can make an impact in the policy space, as well as steps you can take to navigate your own path toward similar roles.

Wednesday, February 12
12:15 – 1:45 PM
Room C03

Register (live-stream link will be made available to those who register)

In-person attendance is strongly encouraged.

FEATURED SPEAKERS

ERICKA ECHAVARRIA ’08 (Moderator)
Associate Director, Field Education at Columbia School of Social Work

Ericka Echavarria is a private consultant and a mitigation specialist. Through comprehensive psychological investigations and narratives, she advocates on behalf of clients facing the death penalty in capital murder cases, as well as clients in the federal and state criminal justice system.

Her areas of focus include: criminal and family law, child welfare, school social work, addiction, trauma, mental health, and case management. She has advocated for immigrant survivors of domestic violence; families and children in the family court and child welfare systems; clients struggling with addiction; defendants in the federal and state criminal justice system; and children facing learning, emotional, behavioral, and psychological difficulties in school. She has provided technical assistance to other advocates who provide services to these clients by conducting training in mental health, self-awareness, diversity, motivation, and behavior management.

She earned her MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work in 2008, and her JD from Albany Law School in 2002.

LAURA ILOWITE ‘15
Community Engagement Director, Arthritis Foundation

Laura Ilowite, LMSW, is the Community Engagement Director at the Arthritis Foundation. She received her Master of Social Work from Columbia University where she was awarded the Mae L. Wien Prize. She specialized in AGPP with a Health, Mental Health, and Disabilities field of practice. Laura has worked at nonprofits such as Active Minds, National Eating Disorders Association, and Spence-Chapin doing advocacy, program management, community outreach, and community education. She’s passionate about healthcare, women’s issues, families and working for mission focused organization.

KASIA MALINOWSKA-SEMPRUCH
Director, Global Drug Policy Program, Open Society Foundations

Kasia Malinowska is the director of the Global Drug Policy Program at the Open Society Foundations, which promotes drug policies rooted in human rights, social justice, and public health. She previously led the Open Society’s International Harm Reduction Development program, which supports the health and human rights of people who use drugs. Before joining the Open Society Foundations, she worked for the United Nations Development Program in New York and Warsaw, leading capacity building and drug and HIV policy reform in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Kasia publishes regularly on drug policy as it relates to women, social justice, health, human rights, civil society, and governance. Her academic publications include works in the Lancet, the British Medical Journal, and the International Journal on Drug Policy. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on “HIV among Drug Users in Poland: The Paradoxes of an Epidemic.”

Kasia co-authored Poland’s first National AIDS program; helped formulate policy at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the World Health Organization; and the Millennium Project Task Force on HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Kasia holds an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and a DrPH from Columbia University.

CHRISTELLE N. ONWU ‘15
Lead Advisor for African Communities and an Equal Employment Opportunity Recruitment Strategist at the New York City Commission on Human Rights

Christelle Onwu is 2017 graduate of the Coro Immigrant Civic Leadership Program (ICLP), and serves as an Adjunct Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she teaches a course on Justice in the Africana World in the Africana Department. She is a fierce advocate for under-served populations with a focus on African communities in New York City. In her role at the Commission, Christelle advocates and mobilizes the African community throughout the five boroughs, and has given an unprecedented voice to the fastest growing immigrant group in New York City, while also championing the causes of other communities.

Prior to the Commission, Christelle served as a Social Worker Supervisor at Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Families. There she provided bilingual (French and English) counseling and case management to survivors of gender-based violence. She also served as a Policy Analyst at Safe Passage Project, New York Law School, where she worked with an interdisciplinary team of people to analyze quantitative and qualitative research data on immigration policies within New York City and State. Furthermore, Christelle interned at Families for Freedom as a Policy Analyst, where she drafted policy memos on how to handle diverse foreign nationals who are facing deportations with criminal convictions. She earned her Bachelor degree at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Master of Science in Social Work Policy at Columbia University School of School Work, where her article titled “Understanding Female Genital Cutting in the United Kingdom within Immigrant Communities” was published in the Social Work Review. She is a proud New Yorker, lives in the Bronx with her family, and hails from Cameroon. She is fluent in French, pidgin, and Eton.