Class of 2016 Alumni
Barbara Baker is embarking on her third academic journey with Rutgers over the past thirty years, after receiving her BA in Sociology and Spanish and her MSW. She is a licensed clinical social worker in both New Jersey and New York. Barbara has a diverse clinical background, having worked with geriatric, child, adolescent, adult, family and HIV/AIDS populations in medical, mental health and community settings. She ultimately focused her career in working with adolescents and their families and is particularly interested in the identification of traits in emerging personality disorders. In 2004, Barbara joined The Summit School and Children’s Residence Center, a residential facility in Nyack, New York for adolescents with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Currently Barbara serves as Summit’s Director of Clinical Services.
Kara Beckett Coleman
Kara Beckett Coleman, BS in Family Studies (University of Maryland at College Park), and MSW (Howard University), is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Georgia. As the Child & Youth Services Director for the Georgia National Guard, she develops and implements programming for military youth. In addition, Kara maintains a part-time private practice where her areas of specialization include treatment for children and adolescent victims of commercial sexual exploitation, trauma, mood disorders, crisis counseling, stress management, parent training, and veteran services. Her previous experiences range from working with severely emotionally disturbed children and adults in a community-based setting to working with individuals and families in a therapeutic setting. She has conducted Biopsychosocial assessments on children that were placed in the care of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS); served as an advocate for victims; and worked in a consultative capacity with local and state law enforcement agencies. Kara’s therapeutic approach is eclectic and includes utilizing treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. Kara is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia Chapter and has presented at their yearly state conference on resilience in military families as well as the unique challenges of women in the military. She is also a member of the Continuing Education Committee as well as a mentor with the newly implemented Mentorship Program. As a member of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Task Force, she serves on the Youth Connected and Supported Work Group and provides training for clinicians focusing on the identification and treatment of victims. Her professional interests include attaining a DSW at Rutgers University that will strengthen her ability to approach practice problems more logically and systematically by partnering with others for engaged scholarship.
Rebecca Margolis DeRaud
Rebecca Margolis DeRaud, MS in Speech-Language Pathology (Miami University) and MSW (Case Western Reserve University) is the Social Work and Bereavement Manager at Angela Hospice, a non-profit organization in Livonia, MI. In addition to supervising a team of clinical social workers and graduate students, Rebecca provides bereavement counseling to individuals experiencing complicated grief. Rebecca’s specialties include working with survivors of suicide loss and trauma. Rebecca serves as a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan, School of Social work, where she teaches classes and mini-courses on topics related to grief and loss. Rebecca recently completed a twenty month certificate program in Sexual Health Therapy and Education at the University of Michigan. Rebecca looks forward to expanding her clinical and leadership skills through completion of the DSW.
Michelle Dillard, QCSW, LCSW-C earned her Master’s in Social Work from Howard University and a Bachelor’s in Community and Human Services from the SUNY Empire State College. She is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and has been an active member of the National Association of Social Workers since 2000. Michelle was a recipient of a Soros Justice Post Graduate Fellowship by the Open Society Institute of the George Soros Foundation. She has a wide range of experience in the human service field, which includes clinical practice, clinical supervision and program administration. Michelle currently serves as Director of a private outpatient mental health clinic providing administrative and clinical oversight for multiple programs. Her clinical interests broadly include the psychosocial risk factors of reentry and other barriers to prisoner reentry, women ex-offenders histories of incarceration and reentry, and psychosocial factors associated with positive outcomes among women reintegrating.
Gladys S. Fernández
Gladys S. Fernández, MSW, LCSW is a School Social Worker in Northern New Jersey. Gladys has over a dozen years experience as a School Social Worker working with children with special needs ages three through 21. She also works as a consultant performing private school based evaluations, and as a clinician providing therapeutic supports to children and adolescents in both English and Spanish. Gladys has a BSW and BA in Psychology from Rutgers University and completed her MSW at Columbia University. In addition to her Master’s degree, she completed a post-graduate certificate in Child and Adolescent Therapy at Fordham University. Gladys’ professional interests include child and adolescent mental health issues, clinical techniques and theories in working with the developmentally disabled population, and Latino mental health issues with a particular interest in families with children/adolescents with special needs and mental health concerns.
Florence Francis, MSW, LCSW, holds an Associate’s Degree in Applied Art from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Thomas A. Edison State College, in addition to her MSW from Rutgers University. Florence is known to say, “Social work is my vocation, art is my soul.” She approaches clinical work with knowledge, creativity and passion, ever seeking to help her clients find healing and dignity despite pain. Florence is an avid traveler and a student of human nature across cultures, having partnered with The Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur to provide emergency community service relief in northern Peru. She has worked for over 25 years in the public sector for New Jersey, starting in child protection before teaching parenting and providing counsel to dually diagnosed mothers in the innovative CARRI Family Center Program of UMDNJ (now Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare).
Florence has spent the past decade in the mental health inpatient unit of one of New Jersey’s state prisons and also does multilingual outpatient counseling across the age spectrum at a public hospital. She feels blessed in her career which brings her so close to the essence of the human condition. She is very excited to be working on her Doctorate in Social Work and hopes to use it to raise awareness of the humanity and vitality of the mentally ill, particularly incarcerated mentally ill.
Eric Hartman, BSW (Rutgers), MSW (New York University) is a licensed clinical social worker in full-time private practice in New York City. He recently completed a seven-year post-graduate training program at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center in New York City and will receive his certification in the fall of 2013. His post-graduate experience includes six years working with homeless LGBTQ youth in an innovative community-based shelter program called the Ali Forney Center (AFC). Eric fulfilled a variety of roles at AFC, beginning as a clinician before becoming director of AFC’s Day Center and eventually the deputy executive director, where he led all of the agency’s programming for two years before transitioning to private practice. He was trained as an NYU field instructor and provided formal supervision of social work interns in field placement for four academic years. In addition, Eric worked in professional organizing roles on the Board of Directors for the New York State Coalition of Social Workers and as a committee member of the Alliance of Psychotherapy Training Institutes, each for two years to resolve the legal crisis that resulted from the implementation of New York State’s social work licensing laws. As a clinician, Eric has a keen interest in the phenomenon of dissociation and its role in personality functioning and interpersonal relating, especially as it relates to developmental trauma. He is interested in advancing research about human subjectivity and the hermeneutic nature of clinical work, while also studying the overlap and utility of manualized therapies and the misuse of statistical research in the field of mental health.
Russell Healy, MSW, LCSW earned a BA in Behavioral Science from Drew University and received his MSW from Rutgers. An LCSW with over 25 years of clinical experience, he has worked along the continuum of care from in-patient treatment to outpatient counseling. Currently, he maintains a private practice and teaches for the Rutgers School of Social Work’s Office of Continuing Education. Russ recently completed 18 credits towards a Doctorate in Medical Humanities at Drew University. This introduction to doctoral level scholarship will allow him to bring to the DSW program his interest in narrative and curiosity about what bio-medical ethics and philosophical inquiry have to offer to clinical social work. His hypothesis is that a deeper understanding of ethics will create more possibilities for clinical work and also decrease the stigma that many mental or behavioral health clients experience as a result of their contact with mental health systems.
Michael Jarrette-Kenny, BA Psychology (State University of New York at New Paltz) MSW (Rutgers University) is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist. He is currently employed as a clinician at the Christian Healthcare Center in Wyckoff, NJ providing individual and group counseling services for adults, couples, children and families. He started his social work career in 1998 as a support counselor for developmentally disabled adults at The Arc of Bergen and Passaic counties. Upon completing his MSW in 2004, he began working on an acute inpatient psychiatric unit at Bergen Regional Medical Center and as a screener for Care Plus NJ’s Psychiatric Emergency Screening Program. He has completed advanced training in hypnosis at the New York Milton H. Erickson Society for Psychotherapy and Hypnosis (NYSEPH) and in EMDR. His areas of interest include the integration of hypnosis and mindfulness approaches with cognitive behavioral therapy.
Brandi Kohr, MSSA (Case Western Reserve University) is a dually-licensed clinical social worker and clinical addiction specialist. In private practice since 2008, Brandi recently completed the conversion of her mental health and substance abuse practice to a non-profit agency and presides as Clinical Director of Paradigm Counseling NC, with two North Carolina locations and seven clinicians. Her agency provides invaluable services to all patients, many of which would be financially unable to obtain care otherwise. Brandi has extensive experience working with military service members and their families in addition to civilian adolescents, adults, families and couples. While her expertise is varied, she specializes in substance abuse, crisis intervention, personality disorders, GLBT issues, marital concerns and post-traumatic stress disorder employing an eclectic array of modalities and techniques. She actively participates in Give An Hour, the Wounded Warrior Project, and sits on the editorial board for Free Spirit Publishing. Prior her career in private practice, Brandi was a clinician for the State of Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH), providing services to forensic mental health patients. At ODMH, she was highly involved in program development and sat on the committees for Safety, Substance Abuse and Mental Illness and Behavioral Therapy. She also led the Assaulted Staff Action Program (ASAP) and initiated a family support program. Brandi has also traveled extensively as a defense subcontractor to varying national and international U.S. military bases providing clinical expertise and serving as a team leader of fellow clinicians.
Marie McCabe, LCSW has been practicing clinical social work, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis for over 25 years in New York City and Northern New Jersey. Her years in the field include working in school systems, hospitals, community mental health centers, and private practice. She has treated countless individuals, couples, families and groups. She has been the Director of a Community Mental Health Clinic in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, as well as, Director of a School Based Mental Health Center in two High Schools. In addition, she is the co-founder of the first and only school of acupuncture in the state of New Jersey. Ms. McCabe completed her undergraduate degree in European History at Drew University and went on to complete her Masters in Social Work at New York University. She studied Modern Psychoanalysis at the Mid-Manhattan Institute in New York City. She also completed the graduate program for Educational Leadership at New Jersey City University. She is bilingual and bicultural in Spanish and English. She is currently in full time private practice in Hoboken, NJ.
Sarah B. Michalowski
Sarah B. Michalowski, LCSW, received her BSW from Seton Hall University and her MSW from Columbia University. She began her social work career as the Program Coordinator/ Family Worker/Parent Educator for Harrison, New Jersey’s Even Start Family Literacy Program. Since 2007, she has been employed at the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House, the Northern Regional Diagnostic and Treatment Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. She is the Program Coordinator for Child First/Finding Words – New Jersey, a national program that encompasses a week long multi-disciplinary training on child sexual abuse and forensic interviewing. As a clinical social worker, she conducts psychosocial trauma evaluations and forensic interviews of abused and neglected children. She provides individual, family and group therapy to children and their families. She is trained in EMDR and TF-CBT. She participated in the New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Case Consultation Project. She holds her School Social Work Certificate for the state of New Jersey. She is a member of The National Association for Social Workers and The Association for Play Therapy. Since 2005, she has volunteered with a Church Youth Group and participates in the yearly mission trip to help build and repair homes in Kentucky, New Orleans, and New Jersey.
Widian Nicola is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Part Time Lecturer at Rutgers University. She received her BA in Political Science from Western Washington University and MSW from Eastern Washington University. Widian began her social work career as a drug and alcohol counselor and clinical services manager in Seattle, WA at an inpatient treatment center for individuals with co-occurring disorders. In 2007, Widian relocated to NJ to complete a year of voluntary service with the Center for FaithJustice, then based in Princeton and later as Program Coordinator. Thereafter, she worked at St. John’s University in Queens, NY as a campus minister for social justice. In those positions, Widian planned and provided oversight to a wide range of youth and young adult service and social justice programs. Most recently, she served as a geriatric social worker in Trenton, NJ. She currently sits on the NJ-NASW Legislative Action and Social Advocacy committee and maintains an interest in social policy, with a particular focus on immigration reform.
Joan Ordille, LCSW received her MSW from Rutgers University. Her work for various non-profit agencies has exposed her to a variety of settings, including policy, leadership, education and health care. She has experience in social work supervision, program development and administration and has served as a field instructor for Rutgers students. Ordille, who has practice experience with client populations across the life span, from early childhood through geriatrics, returned full time to the direct service arena eight years ago as a hospice social worker. She has extensive experience in group work as well as work with individuals and families, with much of her clinical work in the home visiting arena. Ordille contributed to an award winning primary prevention program and has designed and delivered training sessions on a variety of topics. She remains active in her local community on peace and social justice issues. Her clinical interests include trauma and end of life care, care of the practitioner, and expanding holistic approaches to health and wellbeing. She is a certified yoga teacher and Reiki Master.
Alan Oxman, BA in English (Amherst College), MFA (American Film Institute) and MSW (New York University), is a clinical social worker and documentary filmmaker. After completing his MSW Oxman worked as a child and family therapist at the Post Graduate Center Child Clinic where he worked with children and their families using trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy as well as working from psychodynamic and family systems perspectives. As a filmmaker Oxman specializes in making films that address social issues. He co-produced the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Children Underground” – an intimate portrait of homeless children living in a subway station in Bucharest, Romania. He produced “Assisted Living” a film about the residents and staff of an assisted living home which was the recipient of the Elderserve Award for Eldercare. Most recently he produced the Sundance Film Festival Official Selection “Hot Coffee” which explored the issues of citizen rights and tort reform by taking a closer look at the famous case in which a woman spilled hot coffee on herself at McDonald’s and sued.
Sarah Perkins, LCSW, NcPsyA, has a BA in Psychology and Spanish (Drew University) and an MSW (Fordham University). She is a licensed clinical social worker and nationally certified psychoanalyst. She maintains a private practice in both Ridgewood, NJ, and Atlantic Highlands, NJ. Before private practice, she was Treatment Service Coordinator at The NJ Center for Modern Psychoanalysis, staff therapist at the Psychological Group of New Jersey, and psychiatric social worker at Raritan Bay Mental Health Center. Last year she launched a counseling department within a pain management facility. Her specialties include working with severe mental illness, treating children, adults suffering from PTSD, patients in chronic pain, and providing treatment in Spanish. She facilitates groups for women-in-transition and for patients experiencing chronic pain. She volunteers as a clinical supervisor at Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, is a private clinical supervisor, and is on the faculty at the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis in Livingston, NJ. She organizes workshops on family issues for the community and presents periodically.
Bianca Ramos, BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies (Hampshire College) and MSW (Rutgers University) is a licensed clinical social worker in the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. She currently oversees and advocates for the special needs and mental health populations within the Juvenile Justice Commission secure care and residential facilities. In addition, Ramos provides intensive in-home therapy to adolescents with behavior disorders, fire setting behaviors and sexually aggressive or sexual offending behaviors. Her therapeutic approach incorporates a variety of cognitive behavioral, motivational interviewing and solution focused therapeutic techniques. Her past work experiences includes working within juvenile detention facilities, residential treatment homes, middle school, and in private practice at a health and wellness center. Professional interests include strength-based work with children and adolescents, substance abuse treatment, health and wellness counseling, art therapy as well as bilingual and bi-cultural mental health services for youth and their families.
Ruby Valles, LCSW, LCADC is currently a program Coordinator at Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare, Acute Services. She provides clinical supervision at the outpatient Crisis Clinic located in Newark. She is also a part-time psychotherapist at the Institute for Personal Growth, a private practice with offices in Northern, Central NJ and NYC. She provides individual, couple and family therapy utilizing effective therapeutic interventions and enjoys most of all her work with children, adolescents and their families. Her interest in working with this population began years ago, while providing in-home treatment through the New Jersey’s Children system of care. Other training and experience include work with the dually diagnosed and psychiatric emergency room screening. Ruby also finds much joy from working with Latin American immigrants and addressing their unique set of circumstances. She is especially fond of embracing challenges such as acculturation, monolingual parents/bilingual children and other family dynamics specific to this demographic. She plans to use what is learned through the DSW program to sharpen her clinical skills and to continue her growth, both professionally and personally.