Class of 2019
Doug Behan, ACSW, LCSW, has been on the faculty at the Rutgers School of Social Work since 2007 where he is the Director of Continuing Education and an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice. Doug Behan’s areas of practice include individual, family and group psychotherapy, treatment of domestic violence perpetrators and working with medically ill patients. He is the co-lead teacher of the Human Behavior in the Social Environment course and also teaches Clinical Social Work II. The Office of Continuing Education is the largest university-based continuing education program for social workers in the United States; delivering over 400 workshops a year for human service professionals in New Jersey, other states, as well as multiple programs in India and China. The program offers over a dozen certificate programs and develops customized training programs for organizations ranging from small nonprofits to large state programs. Mr. Behan has over 25 years of experience in a variety of social work settings. He has worked extensively in the mental health field as a clinician, supervisor, trainer, and outpatient department director. In his career, he has developed and led programs in areas such as adult education, disability employment, domestic violence, mental health, gerontology, and addictions treatment. He has presented at numerous international, national and regional conferences on the topics of adult continuing education, human rights, medical social work, domestic violence and training program development.
Kristin Biri, LCSW, received her Bachelors in Social Work (BSW) with minors in Psychology and Sociology from Marist College and her Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Adelphi University’s Advanced Standing Program where she received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. Furthermore, Kristin has a School Social Work Certification and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Kristin has worked in a variety of clinical settings including a substance abuse clinic providing intensive outpatient services to adult men, a partial hospitalization program for adolescents, and an out-of-district school for K-12 students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Currently, Kristin is a member of the Child Study Team at East Brunswick Vocational and Technical School of Career Development, providing services as a School Social Worker and is an intensive in-home therapist for Caring Family Community Services; additionally, Kristin owns a clinical practice in Shrewsbury, NJ, specializing in outpatient psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and young adults. Passionate for helping her students and clients implement strategies that will foster personal growth, Kristin leads a Self-Improvement Group for teenage girls, a Social Skills Group for adolescents classified with learning or behavioral disabilities, and offers parent workshops to the community throughout the year that focus on prevalent issues that teenagers face in today’s society. Kristin’sprimary practice modality is Cognitive-Behavioral, while utilizing a Strengths-Based Approach, however, aware that every client’s personality is unique, she adapts to each individual’s needs to ensure the most beneficial course of treatment. By attending Rutgers’ DSW program, Kristin hopes to continue to acquire specialized knowledge in clinical leadership and innovative approaches to therapy.
Kim Casarona is a dually licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and clinical alcohol and drug counselor (LCADC) with over 25 years of clinical experience. Her breadth of experience spans from young children and their families to older adults. Kim has worked in a variety of settings including both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings as well as school systems and senior resource services. Currently, Kim is the Associate Executive Director of Trinity Counseling Service in Princeton NJ. Trinity is a non-profit, community based, counseling agency providing psychotherapy and wellness services to children and adults. Kim provides clinical supervision and leadership as well as program development and oversite to their Childhood Intervention Initiative; Bereavement and Caregivers Program; community based outreach efforts and in-service training program for clinical staff. Additionally, she maintains a private practice in Princeton where she works with adults and pre-school/school age children and their parents.
Kim graduated from Drew University with a BA in psychology in 1985 and with a Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University in 1987. She has received intensive family therapy training both in family systems from the Family Therapy Institute of UMDNJ as well as structural family therapy while at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. She has extensively trained in both solution-focused therapy and addiction with an emphasis on the effects of addiction on children and family members. Kim looks forward to the opportunity to integrate her many years of clinical experience with research into effective ways to best empower parents to support the social and emotional development of their children.
Gila Cohen Davidovsky
Gila Cohen Davidovsky is a licensed clinical social worker in New York and New Jersey. She received her BA from California State University in Long Beach and her Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University in New York. Gila earned a Post Masters in Family Therapy from Hunter University School of Social Work and a Certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy in Manhattan. Her early career involved working in the AIDS community. Gila then transitioned to the field of women’s mental health, which included pregnancy-related issues, couples and family therapy, and later a specialty in eating disorders. In agency work, Gila was an adjunct field supervisor both for Columbia University and Rutgers University. Gila started Bergen Center for Eating Disorders where she sees many clients with eating disorders, especially in the orthodox Jewish community. She also has a general private practice of children and adults; supervises therapists for LCSW licensing hours; and presents clinical trainings at community clinics, schools and conferences.
Katherine De Vito
Katherine De Vito, LCSW, received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Journalism/Mass Media from Rutgers University. She had a career as an editor in magazine and children’s book publishing prior to entering the field of Social Work. She then received her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work. Katherine has worked as a School Social Worker for the past ten years at Rahway Board of Education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Currently she is working at Rahway 7th and 8th Grade Academy on the Child Study Team, arranging and providing training for staff and students, crisis intervention, case management services to special education students, counseling to both general and special education students, and working closely with parents and staff. She also is the advisor of the student newspaper, The Academy Times. Prior to her work at the Rahway Board of Education, Katherine worked at the Mental Health Association in Essex County providing needs assessments, individual counseling for children, adolescents, and their families, as well as individual and group school-based counseling at elementary and middle schools in Montclair. She also provided group counseling at schools in Newark and East Orange. Her interests include interventions in schools for students who self-harm and gang prevention/intervention.
Alexis Dragun, MSW, LCSW, earned a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and a MSW from Hawaii Pacific University. While earning her master’s degree, she worked as a case manager and counselor with the City & County of Honolulu Youth Services Center and a research assistant for a project entitled, “Promoting Social Competence and Resilience of Native Hawaiian Youth.” Post master’s degree, Alexis served as the Vice President of Curriculum and Evaluation for a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Hawaii where her responsibilities included youth mentoring and counseling, curriculum training, program evaluation, reporting, data collection, research, and grant writing. Through these experiences, Alexis realized a passion for working with with youth and adolescents. Alexis is currently a high school social worker in Jersey City, NJ. As a school social worker, Alexis provides individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, mediation, and acts as a conduit between students, teachers, administration, and families. Alexis also functions as a member of the child study team where she manages a caseload of students receiving special education and related services. Additionally, Alexis holds a certificate in Modern Psychoanalytic Studies from the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis in Livingston, NJ. As a part time psychotherapist, Alexis completes intake, evaluation, and therapy sessions with adolescent and young adult patients.
Alba C. Lopez
Alba C. Lopez, LCSW, is a first generation American, born of Colombian parents who was raised in New York City. She started her studies at New York University and transferred to Texas when she followed her active duty spouse to Fort Bliss, Texas. Upon graduation from the University of Texas at El Paso, Alba served as a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Alba started her graduate studies in Social Work at the University of Oklahoma and then transferred to Rutgers University where she completed her studies and was awarded a Masters in Social Work in 1994. She has worked in a variety of settings across New Jersey and New York including community mental health, an inpatient psychiatric unit for adults, a subsidized senior building with supportive programing, long term and sub-acute care setting which included ventilator management services, hospice care, and in-home counseling with families. Alba currently works for the Veteran’s Administration and is currently at the Lyons, New Jersey Campus where she serves as the Homeless Outreach Coordinator and Intensive Case Management Services Coordinator in the HUD VASH (Veteran Administration Supportive Housing Program).
Phil Miller LCSW, BA in psychology (Greenville College, Greenville Illinois), MSW (Washington University in St. Louis, concentration in mental health and specialization in family therapy), is a licensed clinical social worker in North Carolina. He is currently employed by Elon University as a Lecturer and Field Coordinator for the Human Service Studies department. Prior to entering academia, he worked direct practice for 15 years with varied client groups ranging from children to the senior adults as well as living and working in unique settings such as rural Appalachia and the military. Mr. Miller spent eight years (2000-2008) as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force while functioning as a clinical social worker. He is passionate about improving marriages and achieved the status of a certified Gottman marital therapist from the internationally acclaimed Gottman Institute in Seattle, WA. Areas of interest include premarital preparation and the experiences of military mental health providers in deployed settings.
Bridget McGuire Nash
Bridget McGuire Nash graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Columbia University, earned her Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University in 2006, and is also a certified Hypnotherapist with the National Guild of Hypnotherapists. Bridget is a clinically trained medical-psychiatric social worker in hospital systems. Since 2014, she has worked as a part-time lecturer teaching Psychopathology in the MSW program at the Rutgers School of Social Work. Bridget has been married for 20 years and has 2 children. In her private practice, Bridget brings her extensive personal and professional experience to facilitate lasting personal transformations in the individual, couple, family, and group counseling she provides in her private practice in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Kanako Okuda is a licensed clinical social worker and a social work educator. She has been actively involved with social work education for many years having served as an education coordinator, field instructor, and lecturer at Columbia University and at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Currently, she serves as the Director of Field Education at Silberman. Prior to joining Silberman, Okuda specialized in Pediatric Oncology at a major teaching hospital in New York City, and she has held lectures and workshops addressing multicultural practice in the United States. In her early career, Okuda worked with multi-stressed families in the child welfare system in New York City, as well as Japanese-speaking children and their family through New York City Department of Education to address cultural and language barriers. Her work also extends to East Africa, Kenya, working with a community of tea farmers for sustainable economic empowerment. Okuda received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Social Work from Lehman College, City University of New York, her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work, and her Post-Master’s Certificate in Palliative and End-of-Life Care from NYU Silver School of Social Work.
Gwilym N. H. Roddick
Gwilym N. H. Roddick, LCSW, is a practicing Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapist and Addiction Specialist in Manhattan. He is passionate about helping adults, adolescents, and their families persevere through life’s challenges. He employs many specific methods of psychotherapy that align with Cognitive Behavioral philosophy (CBT), are Evidence-informed, but have different objectives. These include Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) with the amended concepts of Inhibitory Learning, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), and Biofeedback. A native New Yorker, Mr. Roddick holds an MSSW from Columbia University’s School of Social Work. He received his clinical training and supervision at Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, the Human Resource Development Group, Psychological Services, P.C., and at Montefiore Hospital. He is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), and the New York City Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Association (NYC-CBT). He is also certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) by the EMDR International Association. He has trained and supervised Social Workers and Psychologists in CBT for Addictions and Anxiety disorders.
Roxanne Ruiz-Adams MSW, LCSW completed her BA in family and child studies from Montclair State University later to attend Fordham University to complete her Master’s in Social Work. While earning her degrees she became very involved with two non profits organization, Future Project and Project Cope. At both agencies Roxanne provided services to families with adolescents who were at risk for gang affiliation by providing mentorship, conflict mediation, parent education and crisis intervention. Roxanne later went on to become a manager for the American Cancer Society, where she provided emotional support to newly diagnosed patients as well as linking them to resources and advocating for the access to needed healthcare. After five years at the American Cancer Society, and completion of her MSW degree, she moved on to the Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center. There Roxanne provides specialized one on one therapy, coordination of services between the hospital and community agencies, as well as crisis intervention. In working with the oncology population at Trinitas, Roxanne helps many patients understand the nature of their illness while working on coping with loss, co morbidities and possible death. Simultaneous to working for Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center, she volunteers for the Family Service League providing individual, couple and family therapy. The Family Service League provides therapy not only to the insured but also low cost services to those who are uninsured/underinsured. Roxanne is able to provide services both in English and Spanish to families experiencing challenges in the transitions of life. Roxanne’s clinical interests and training have been centered in structural family therapy as well as end of life care.
Sandra Van Nest
Sandra Van Nest has a private practice in Mountain Lakes, NJ. There, she provides psychotherapy to children and adults. While she specializes in children and families experiencing autism, ADHD and sensory processing disorder, she treats a wide variety of child and family circumstances. In this practice, the whole family is involved in the therapeutic process and finding solutions one piece at a time. After completing a BA in psychology at Ferrum College with concentration on human development, Sandra moved on to a MSW at Radford University, which focused on clinical practice in a rural area. She began her career in nonprofit agencies serving child victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and later, therapeutic foster care. After moving to New Jersey, Sandra began her work in the Early Intervention system with developmentally delayed children less than three years old. Spending time with young children has influenced Sandra’s view on the importance of being in the moment and mindfulness, as well as the mind and body connection that influences behaviors and emotional coping. Combine these elements with a focus on human development and ability to grow and you will find a practitioner that uses experiential and play therapy with an ongoing interest in how childhood experiences influence adult perspectives.
Kimberly Waibogha received her BSW and MSW from West Virginia University. Ms. Waibogha is a licensed independent clinical social worker in the state of West Virginia. Ms. Waibogha is an Assistant Professor/Clinical Therapist with the School of Medicine’s Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University. Ms. Waibogha has over twenty years post master experience providing social work. She began her social work career in medical social work, and has since provided maternal-child services and clinical social work. She has provided clinical social work in the in-home setting, inpatient setting, partial inpatient setting and outpatient setting. Ms. Waibogha currently provides outpatient individual and group therapy to primarily children and adolescents. She as well currently provides services in an addictions clinic and a thought disorders clinic. Additionally, Ms. Waibogha delivers clinical lectures to psychiatry residents and graduate students throughout the school year. Ms. Waibogha supervises graduate students and clinical therapists. She has presented clinical workshops and presentations within her home state of West Virginia. Ms. Waibogha has special interest in trauma and expressive modalities. She holds a certificate in Advanced Trauma Treatment, from the Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education. Ms. Waibogha as well holds a certificate in Online Faculty Training Methods.
Robin C. Wiley
Robin C. Wiley is a licensed clinical social worker who received her BA in Social Work from Virginia State University and her MSW from Rutgers, The State University. Robin has a private practice as well as consulting contracts with various agencies throughout the state of New Jersey. In addition, Robin is a part-time lecturer in the Rutgers’ School of Social work and a Field Instructor. Her practice specialties include, but are not limited to, working with the elderly, individuals with ADHD, Depression, Anxiety and acute stress. Robin has a special interest in empowering others through improving their ability to cope adequately with the challenges faced in daily life. She acknowledges and appreciates the cultural, experiential, and environmental factors that play a major part in one’s life. Embracing such factors helps to guide her practice. Robin also facilitates trainings for community-based agencies on numerous topics related to creating overall balance in life, reducing stress, creating motivation. Through her experiences in the DSW program, Robin seeks to further enhance her clinical skills and create new opportunities to make greater contributions to the social work field.
Emily Zimmerman holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Fordham University Lincoln Center and a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Georgian Court University. Emily has been licensed in New Jersey as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) by the Board of Social Work Examiners, and Licensed as a Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) by the NJ Board of Marriage and Family Therapy. Emily is also licensed in New York as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Certified Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). Emily was awarded The Baccalaureate Child Welfare Education Program, (BCWEP Grant) a consortium of undergraduate social work programs in New Jersey working in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Division of Child Protection & Permanency during her senior year at Georgian Court University. Upon graduation, Emily remained employed in the public sector, serving the State of New Jersey as an investigator and permanency worker for the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) assisting families affected by abuse, trauma, poverty, stigma and New Jersey’s Family Court System providing case management, assessment, treatment referrals, and advocacy. Emily has since worked along the continuum of care from in-patient treatment to outpatient counseling. Currently, Emily maintains a part-time private practice in Red Bank, NJ and supervises a Co-Occurring Disorders outpatient program.Emily brings with her a broad range of experience drawn from mental health practices in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. Emily’s professional interests include attaining a DSW at Rutgers University that will enhance her ability to provide the most innovative, up-to-date, clinical interventions in her daily practice through ongoing engaged scholarship.