Community-Based Advisory Council
The Rutgers School of Social Work maintains a community-based advisory council for its Programs on Aging. Agency leaders on the council play a critical role in ensuring that the School's aging-focused curriculum reflects the dynamic needs of older adults and their caregivers in New Jersey and beyond. Rutgers faculty members on the Council are Doug Behan, Patricia Findley, Emily Greenfield, Lauren Snedeker, Bill Waldman, and Karen Zurlo.
If you are a member of the aging and health professional community and would like to attend an advisory council meeting or connect, please email Lauren Snedeker at email@example.com.
Founder/CEO of Private Care Management, LLC.
Provides services to children and family, Intensive in-home services, support coordination services for DDD eligible adults age 21+, outpatient services and home healthcare firm.
Rebecca Abenante, MA, MSW, LSW, ASW-G
Healthy Aging Coordinator at Atlantic Health System
Rebecca has been working with seniors and their families for more than 15 years in a variety of settings, including senior affordable housing, assisted living, skilled nursing and acute care. Rebecca is also an adjunct professor at William Paterson University in the Department of Public Health and teaches undergraduate students about social gerontology. She is a 2012 Rutgers alumna of the MSW and Aging Certificate Program and her passion is assisting older adults and family caregivers in navigating the eldercare maze.
Margaret Church, LSW
Director of Senior Services and Lifelong Montclair, Township of Montclair
Margaret is a licensed social worker with over fifteen years of experience in the field of aging, and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Fordham University. Prior to her current role in Montclair, she worked in Elizabeth, NJ as part of the Lifelong Elizabeth coalition in roles at the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth and Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey. She is a member of the North Jersey Alliance of Age Friendly Communities and has served on the Board of Trustees for the Montclair Shared Housing Association. Margaret works to share her passion for age-friendly practices, connecting generations, and supporting aging in place with social work students and fellow aging advocates.
Kimberly Convery has worked for over 20 years in the area of aging and disabilities. Kimberly currently works as the Project Director of Nursing Research for the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. She formerly worked as a Research Project Coordinator at the Rutgers Institute for Health and as a Senior Geriatric Specialist for the Edison Township Department of Health and Human Services.
Maria Di Maggio is a Social Services Administrator with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). Since 1989, she has been the administrator of the NJHMFA’s Services for Independent Living (SIL) program and is responsible for training onsite service coordinators in NJHMFA-funded senior buildings. In addition, she is responsible for the review, approval and monitoring of services for residents in special needs housing.
Vice President, Assisted Living
Kathy has worked in the area of aging since 1987 and is currently the Vice President of Assisted Living at the Health Care Association of New Jersey. This association monitors legislation and regulation that pertains to long-term care and seniors. In addition to participating in professional groups that focus on senior issues, Kathy leads trainings for administrators and those studying to become administrators.
Lori Friedman is the Vice President of the NJ Division, Goodwill Industries of Greater NY and NJ, Inc. She has been involved with the development, management and evaluation of programs for older adults and individuals with disadvantages and disabilities for over 15 years. She has developed two Naturally Occuring Retirement Community (NORC) programs and numerous community outreach and marketing programs.
Helen Hunter is an independent Geriatric Social Work Consultant and Trainer and a Field Instructor for the Rutgers School of Social Work.
Program Coordinator for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Rutgers University (OLLI-RU)
Rajini Kurian began her career in fundraising at Rutgers and then transitioned to the field of social work, specifically to work with the aging community. She has experience working in assisted living and long term care residences in addition to having provided individual therapy in outpatient counseling settings as a licensed clinical social worker. Currently, Rajini serves as a Program Coordinator for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Rutgers University (OLLI-RU), which offers non-credit educational programming to adults ages 50 years and older. She holds two degrees from Rutgers, including an MSW and a Certificate in Aging.
Louise Layton has had an extensive career in human service programming, training, marketing/managing health care services and developing funding partners. She is currently an adjunct professor at Essex County College in the Division of Social Sciences. She also serves on the community advisory board of the African-American Brain Health Initiative at Rutgers University-Newark.
Andrea Mancini has over 25 years of experience in the fields of healthcare and aging services. She is presently employed by the NJ Department of Human Services (DHS) – Division of Aging Services as a Program Specialist . She was employed for many years in various health care settings including nursing homes, assisted living, home care, geriatric care management, and hospital-based health and wellness programs for older adults.
Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Hudson County Community College
Lori Margolin is the Dean for Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Hudson County Community College where she oversees innovation for continuing education, industry-recognized credential training programs as well as workforce talent and training solutions for business. She has created programs for older adults and individuals with disabilities throughout her career, including two Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) in northern NJ.
Jeanne is the former Executive Director of Meals on Wheels North Jersey and President of Meals on Wheels for the state of NJ. She is also on the founding board for NJ Recovery Advocates. Jeanne began her work in the non-profit world as the administrator for Christian Overcomers, a disability ministry offering respite care and social opportunities for disabled youth and adults.
Jeri Middlebrook is the Lead Social Worker at LIFE at Lourdes and also serves as a Field Instructor and Field Liaison for Rutgers School of Social Work.
Laura Montenegro is a social worker for Atlantic Health . Previously she had been the team lead social worker for RWJ Barnabas Health, ACO (Accountable Care Organization). She is a graduate of Rutgers School of Social Work and now enjoys working as a Field Instructor for MSW students. Her passion is working with older adults due to the broad scope of clinical and macro-level challenges that face this growing population.
Director of Community Outreach and Volunteer Engagement for AARP New Jersey
Christine works to advance AARP’s core social mission areas of: supporting and advocating for NJ family caregivers, fraud prevention for the 50+, and the creation and support of livable, age friendly communities across NJ. Christine has an extensive background in the long-term care sector; having been an Executive Director of several long-term care communities across the state. She is a Rutgers alumnus who earned her MSW from the Rutgers School of Social work.
Myrtha Nicolas is retired after serving as a Supervising Program Development Specialist for the Hudson County Office on Aging for many years. Ms. Nicolas developed and carried out procedures necessary to maintain social and home-based services in the community. She supervised a team of case managers while evaluating and recommending policies con
Nydia Ortiz is a Case Manager for the Urban League of Hudson County.
Judith Parnes is responsible for the development and implementation of four model programs in the State of NJ : Protective Services for the Elderly, the Office of Public Guardian, Elder Life Management, Inc., and the Family Safe Home Program for Abused and Neglected Elderly. Judith serves as Chairperson of the Bioethics Case Consultation Committee for Long Term Care Facilities in Monmouth County and is a member of the State Long Term Care Advisory Ethics Consortium to the Office of the State Ombudsman.
Jackie Pinkowitz, M. Ed.
Co-Founder of and Board Chair of Dementia Action Alliance
Jackie has been involved in advancing and bridging person-centered and relationship-based research, policy and practice in the aging sector for many years. She also co-authors training materials and conducts Caring Community Conversations and sessions at national and state conferences on aging.
Stephen Sidorsky has been in the social work field for nearly 40 years and has worked with older adults and their families throughout that period. In addition to providing care management and counseling services, he is especially interested in the ethical issues involved in senior services and the area of loss, grief and bereavement teaching these topics in senior facilities in New Jersey and at Rutgers University School of Social Work as a Part-Time Lecturer.
Bill Waldman retired in 2019 after many years of service as a distingushed instructor at Rutgers School of Social Work. Prior to his work at Rutgers he was the Commissioner of the NJ Department of Human Services, the largest public agency in the state. Bill served under three governors and oversaw multiple programs including Medicaid, mental health services, and youth and family services.