DSW Student Profiles
Get to know more about Rutgers School of Social Work's current Doctor of Social Work (DSW) students.
Sharon Bale-Pena is an LCSW and a certified school social worker in the state of New Jersey. She received her MSW from Fordham University in New York and her BSW with a minor in family studies from James Madison University in Virginia. She currently works as a mental health clinician for a School Based Youth Services Program providing individual, group and school wide services for high school students.
Erin began her career as a children’s social worker after graduating with an MSW from New York University and a BA in Social Work from Rutgers University, and she previously served as director of development for The Andrew Goodman Foundation and executive director of Overcoming Obstacles, two nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing social justice through the development of critical life skills in today's youth.
Michelle Brown Dodge, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College and dual degrees, in law and social work, from The Catholic University of America. Michelle is a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor and owner of JMD Counseling.
Amy Geller is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New Jersey where she has maintained a private practice since 2011. Amy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The George Washington University and a Masters in Social Work from NYU Silver School of Social Work. She went on to complete the Foundations in Family Therapy course at Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City.
Zan Haggerty is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New Jersey. They earned a BA in Human Rights & Development from George Washington University and a Master’s in Social work from the Rutgers School of Social Work. Zan’s professional experience began through community-based education and advocacy programs internationally and in the US. Their clinical career began in an intensive outpatient setting where they provided Dialectical Behavior Therapy to adolescents in acute distress with an emphasis on the LGBTQ+ community.
Tanora is a Licensed Social Worker in New Jersey. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, and Master of Arts in Psychology at Kean University. Upon graduating from Kean, Tanora went on to pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at Rutgers University. She earned her MSW in 2019, as well as a certificate in Addiction Counselor Training.
Crystal Mathews, LCSW, is a mental health clinician at Southern State Correctional Facility with Rutgers University Correctional Health Care. She also provides individual therapy to older adults at an assisted living home, contracted by Senior Care Therapy. Prior to that, Crystal served Cape May County residents through various positions held at Cape Counseling Services, including ICMS, PACT, IIC, Screening, and served as Director of their Adolescent Psychiatric Community Home.
Scarlett is a bilingual Spanish-speaking, duly licensed professional as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Addiction & Drug Counselor, who earned her graduate degree in Social Work from Columbia University in 2009, and is a proud alumna from Rutgers University where she double-majored in Political Science and Criminal Justice.
Jenna Paparozzi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New Jersey and currently works at CarePlus NJ (CPNJ) as the Director of Addiction Recovery Grant Programming, a Clinician, and a Clinical Supervisor. Jenna began her career at CPNJ in the Residential Services Department, where she worked with the Severe and Persistent Mental Illness population after receiving a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Ramapo College.
Queenie Reda is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) in New Jersey. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University and returned to Rutgers for her Master of Social Work. Queenie is passionate in helping those impacted by addiction and has dedicated many years working with adolescents, adults, and families struggling with substance abuse and recovery.
Tempestt Williams is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New Jersey and Virginia. Tempestt earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Denison University, and her Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University. Tempestt specialized in substance abuse treatment while at Rutgers and continued in the path after graduation.
Lizet is a bilingual (Spanish) Licensed Social Worker and a Certified School Social Worker in New Jersey. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University, was a member of the Phi Alpha National Honor Society and graduated with distinction.
Christine Chapais is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Certified School Social Worker in New Jersey. Christine earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance with a concentration in Classical Voice. She received her Masters in Social Work from Kean University. Christine’s professional areas of interest include the effects and ethical implications of paternalism in psychiatric hospital settings.
Khalid Godfrey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New Jersey. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2012 from Rutgers University, and his Masters in Social Work from Seton Hall University in 2019. Khalid has worked with at risk teens and youth since graduating in 2012. Khalid has worked in residential setting, partial hospital program, crisis outreach response teams as well as psychiatric community home setting.
Agyaaku Kyei is a Licensed Social Worker in New Jersey and Ohio. He earned both his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Psychology in 2012 and his Master of Social Work in 2015 from Rutgers University. Agyaaku has extensive experience working with socially and culturally diverse populations in various school, hospital, and outpatient settings with a focus on but not limited to, trauma, psychotherapy, advocacy, and crisis intervention.
Rachael Miller, LCSW, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice. Rachael works as a Research Social Worker at the Department of Veteran Affairs, NJ Health Care System. In this role, she develops and delivers targeted, evidence-based treatment programs via telehealth to Veterans throughout the United States.
Dominique is a Licensed Social Worker in New Jersey. She earned her both her BSW and MSW at Rutgers University—New Brunswick with a certificate in Violence Against Women and Children. During her undergraduate and graduate experiences, Dominique immersed herself in the community, forming valuable connections with her peers/colleagues, bringing awareness to, and supporting vital social justice issues.
Michael A. Pino is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Clinical Addiction & Drug Counselor (LCADC) in New Jersey. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College and a Master’s of Social Work from the Rutgers School of Social Work. He also has a Gambling Counselor Training certificate and is working on the Certified Tobacco treatment specialist certification.
Mayte Garcia was born in Guatemala. Mayte currently serves as a Behavioral Health Officer with the rank of Captain in the New Jersey Army National Guard. Mayte is a doctoral student in the DSW program at Rutgers University. Her research is focused on Opioid Use disorders. Mayte is bilingual, fluent in English and Spanish, dual Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC).
Venessa Samuel-Steinmetz, LCSW is a graduate of Fordham University Graduate School of Social work, where she received her Master of Social work with a clinical concentration. She currently works as a clinical director for a behavioral health agency. Venessa specializes in the treatment of complex trauma and problem sexual behavior in school age children.
Hema Shamnarine is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of New York. Hema has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Human Services from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Social Work with a clinical concentration and emphasis in children, youth, and families from Rutgers University School of Social Work.
Rachael Shuster is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the State of New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Social Work in 2011 and Master of Social Work in 2012 from Monmouth University. She has extensive experience providing social support and services in a variety of settings, though is most passionate about medical social work.
Simone Snyder is a Senior Program Coordinator at the Rutgers School of Social Work’s Center for Research on Ending Violence. In this position she manages the “Enhancing Victim Services Throughout Rutgers University” project. Simone is also a Part-Time Lecturer, Doula and Homebirth Midwifery Assistant. Simone began her journey to social work as a dating violence prevention educator and has also worked as a hospital domestic violence response team coordinator.
Jacqueline Y. Adams is a licensed clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of New Jersey. Jacqueline earned a MSW with a concentration in Administration, Policy and Planning from Rutgers University. She has achieved the following extensive leadership positions as: Program Coordinator, Senior Clinician, Research Assistant and Adjunct Professor addressing some of the most pressing issues in the areas of housing, health care and education
Margarita Baldeo, LCSW is a bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides therapeutic services in English and Spanish. Margarita graduated from Rutgers University, Livingston campus, in 2005 with a B.A. in Social Work. She continued her education at Rutgers University’s School of Social Work in New Brunswick, NJ. where she received her Masters in Social Work in 2006.
Melanie Bennett is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New Jersey. Her unique background includes earning a B.S. degree in Advertising Marketing Communications from F.I.T, which led to a ten-year business career, and an MSW from Touro College. She has worked in numerous challenging mental health settings for more than 13 years. She was inspired to pursue a social work career by her mother, who also worked in mental health, and her father’s experiences with PTSD as a U.S. Marine and Vietnam veteran.
Jeremy Brinsdon, LSW is a Licensed Social Worker in New Jersey. He completed his MSW at Hunter College, where his education centered on clinical practice with a focus on health and mental health. He has attended post-graduate studies at New York University, with certifications in Clinical Approaches to the Addictions, Advanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Trauma-Informed Clinical Practice.
Kristin Brown is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Kristin received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Pennsylvania in 2000, and received her Masters in Social Welfare (MSW) from the University of California at Berkeley in 2004. Kristin started as a Readjustment Counselor at the Ventnor Vet Center in August 2010 and was promoted to Director in August 2015.
Katherine Epps, LMSW is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the state of Virginia. She is currently nearing the end of her supervision and is on track to test for her clinical licensure. Katherine earned her MSW at Rutgers University and earned her BA in Communications through the University of Maryland Global Campus
Natalie Fisher received her MSW from Rutgers University in 2008. She began her social work career at Planned Parenthood in Camden NJ supporting ob/gyn patients. In her South Jersey practice Natalie specializes in working with women of child-bearing age and with all issues surrounding pregnancy, particularly post-partum depression as well as serving the LGBTQ community.
AJ Fresco (they/them) is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of New Jersey. They earned Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and English Literature at Binghamton University, and they are a graduate of the Rutgers - New Brunswick MSW program, where they completed the certificate program in Child and Adolescent Well-Being, and an Area of Emphasis in Gender and Sexuality. AJ is a certified school social worker, and a former high school teacher.
Bing Ji is a licensed clinical social worker in New Jersey and New York. She earned her MSW from Fordham University. Bing started her career as a program coordinator and a psychotherapist, then carried different roles, exploring multiple aspects supporting aging in place. Currently, Bing is a senior director at a community-based organization in Lower Manhattan in New York City, overseeing the agency’s aging portfolio.
Jillian Kane is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in New Jersey and a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) in Massachusetts. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in gender studies from Mount Holyoke College and obtained her Master of Social Work from Fordham University. She has also received training in dialectical behavior therapy through Behavioral Tech.
Margaret Maghan earned her master’s in social work from Rutgers University with a Phi Alpha membership. She also earned a PhD in educational psychology from Fordham University and a master’s degree in counseling from Northeastern University.
Margaret is a licensed social worker in New Jersey and possesses a New Jersey school social work license. She works as a private intensive inpatient provider for youth and young adults.
Victoria Miller-Butcher is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and currently works at Rutgers University as an Assistant Dean of Students. In this role, Victoria works with students, faculty, and campus partners to support students in addressing numerous psychosocial barriers that impacts students’ academic and personal success.
Temi Oluguna, LCSW, LCADC, CCS is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and a Certified Clinical Supervisor in the state of New Jersey. She received her master’s degree in social work from Rutgers the State University of New Jersey. She earned her bachelor’s degree in project management from the Federal University of Technology, in Nigeria. She is alumnae of the Rutgers School of Social Work.
Patricia Palmer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of New Jersey. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree as a double major in Psychology & Family Science from the University of Maryland in College Park. Patricia then earned her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Children and Families from Rutgers University.
Dai Phan is a licensed clinical social worker in New Jersey. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers College and a Master of Social Work from Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work. She has worked in the mental health and co-occurring field for over twenty years in various contexts such as victim services, partial care, assertive community treatment, outpatient services and quality improvement.
Wil is a descendant of the Philippine diaspora who uses they or siya pronouns. “Siya” is the gender-neutral pronoun used in the Tagalog language from the Philippines when referring to all individuals. As a Rutgers double graduate of Douglass College and the School of Social Work, Wil has returned for their triple! They are passionate about holistic, empowering, and liberatory healing that follows the needs of the person, groups, and communities served.