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Good News: SSW Faculty and Staff Bulletin April 17, 2015
April 23, 2015

Edward Alessi was awarded a $6000 International Collaborative Research Grant for tenure-track faculty funded by Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA). His study, "Stress, Mental Health, and Resilience among LGBT Forced Migrants in the US and Canada" will be conducted with Sarilee Kahn, assistant professor of social work at McGill University.

Edward Alessi published two articles with a colleague from SUNY Albany and Hillary Mi-Sung Kim, a doctoral graduate of Rutgers University School of Social Work:


Alessi, E. J., Dillon, F. R., & Kim, H. M. (2015, February 23). Determinants of lesbian and gay affirmative practice among heterosexual therapists. Psychotherapy. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1037/a0038733.

Alessi, E. J., Dillon, F. R., & Kim, H. M. (2015, April 13). Therapist correlates of attitudes toward sexual minority individuals, affirmative counseling self-efficacy, and beliefs about affirmative practice. Psychotherapy Research. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1080/10503307.2015.1026422.


Jennifer Boiler co-authored an article, “A woman’s decision to choose bilateral mastectomy,” published in the Journal of Cancer Nursing with other collaborators.


Rebecca Davis has a new initiative between Center for International Social Work (CISW) and the School of Social Work Office of Field Education to strengthen the link between social work with immigrants and refugees and the field of international social work. A meeting of New Brunswick leaders working to advance access to services for immigrants and refugees in the New Brunswick area was convened as a forum to discuss potential linkages between field education, social work with immigrants and refugees, and international social work. Nancy Schley presented an overview of Rutgers School of Social Work and Rebecca Davis provided an overview of international social work. MSW intern Colin Liebtag presented information on the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance (GSSWA), a newly formed organization to advance the capacity of the social service workforce on a global scale. MSW intern, Laura Naughton, discussed the bridge between international social work and her field work with immigrant populations. Agencies represented included established public and private social service, faith-based and mental health agencies. Executive CEOs, immigration attorneys, immigration coordinators, mental health supervisors, clinical directors, homeless outreach staff, and clergy were in attendance. These agencies provide field education to 30 Rutgers SSW students, with eight students working directly with immigrants and refugees. To advance the work in this area of service, participants recommended that social work students receive specialized training in advocacy, interdisciplinary collaboration, family social work, and fundraising.


Patricia Findley is the co-investigator of an internal $10,000 grant that was awarded by Rutgers’ Center for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA). The title of the grant is “Global Urbanism & Youth/Young Adults: Built Environment & Social Factors Affect Public Health & Worker Safety.” The principle investigator is Derek Shendell and co-investigators are Patricia Findley, Mark Robson, and MaryAnn Allacci. The collaborating schools are School of Public Health, School of Social Work, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, and Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. It is a one and a half year project period of July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016.


Andy Germak was invited to join the editorial board of the journal, Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services.


Emily Greenfield had an article published in The Gerontologist. It was selected for inclusion as part

of the journal’s special issue in honor of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.


Greenfield, E. A., Oberlink, M., Scharlach, A. E., Neal, M., & Stafford, P. (2015). Community aging

initiatives: Conceptual issues and key questions for an emerging paradigm. The Gerontologist. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnv005


Sarah McMahon was quoted in an article entitled “N.J. colleges struggle to deal with issue of rape”

in the blog,

Sarah McMahon participated in a roundtable discussion on March 18 at the Statehouse with retired Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords to discuss the intersection of domestic violence and gun violence. Giffords, who was critically wounded by a gunshot to the head, will participate in the roundtable discussion with state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Bergen) and others about "the need for laws that protect women and families from gun violence," according to Giffords' non-profit, Americans for Responsible Solutions. Weinberg invited McMahon to participate in this forum.


Lenna Nepomnyaschy and Louis Donnelly, Ph.D. student, co-authored an article, “Father Involvement and Childhood Injuries” which was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.


La’Tesha Sampson facilitated a lunch and learn seminar for Easter Seals, Inc. and Mass Mutual entitled “Connecting Employers with Qualified Veterans,” on April 20, 2015 in Washington, DC.


Darcy Siebert, Carl Siebert and Elizabeth Donnelly, a former doctoral student, have a new publication.


Donnelly, E., Siebert, D. C., & Siebert, C. F. (2015). The emergency medical services role identity scale (EMS-RIS): A validation study. Social Work in Health Care, 54, 212-233.


Bill Waldman presented a workshop entitled “Organizational Leadership in Achieving Wellness” at the 2015 Annual Wellness Conference hosted by the Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey on March 26, 2015 at the Pines Manor in Edison, NJ.


Sara Munson has good news from the Institute for Families

· Staff & Community Outreach Updates

Nutan Robinson was honored at the YWCA of Union County volunteer recognition event on April 15 for her efforts on behalf of women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Lorin Mordecai is assisting in the launch of a startup agency called the 1 in 4 PROJECT which seeks to raise awareness of mental health in sports. Their kick-off event is being held on April 28 in Chicago, IL entitled “Behind the Jersey: Uncovering Mental Health in Sports” where she will attend to support conference facilitation.

Krystal Gold, research assistant for NJCWTP, has been appointed co-chair of NASW Middlesex. She was also nominated for 2015 Student Employee of the Year.

Sara Munson has been selected to sit on the NJ Task Force for Child Abuse and Neglect’s Staffing and Oversight Review Subcommittee.

Terri Fox has been asked to serve on National Steering Committee for HAB, the HIV/AIDS Bureau at the Human Resource Services Administration responsible for administering the Ryan White Program funding across the country.

Patriots Path Council Boy Scout Troop #68 conducted a food drive on behalf of the summer scholars at Walmart in Watchung, NJ on April 10, 2015. The boys greeted customers outside of the store, told them about the needs of youth who have aged out of foster care and asked them to buy one food staple listed on the flyer to donate to the SHIP program. The scouts filled three SUVs with food. As a result, program staff will be able to stock each food pantry for the 40 summer scholars.

· New Project Highlights

Coordination Center for Child Abuse & Neglect Forensic Evaluation & Treatment: In collaboration with GSAPP, IFH and UBHC, IFF will lead needs assessment, quality assurance, training and technical assistance activities designed to support effective child abuse and neglect forensic evaluation and treatment services throughout the state.

Protective Factors Evaluation: IFF is partnering with DCF and Casey Family Programs to evaluate an early childhood initiative in Newark that focuses on promoting protective factors with DCP&P-involved families.


“The Workforce Development Framework as a Tool for Growing and Retaining a Committed Staff” submission was selected for a presentation at the 2015 National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Professional Development Conference (October 4 -7, 2015 in Denver Colorado).

80 new workforce and leadership development resources were screened and added to MyNCWWI.

· New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership (NJWTP)

Tess McCutcheon led a project with the DCF Division of Family and Community Partnership to develop and deliver the 8-day conference-style training, “Bringing the Protective Factors to Life.” These four, 2-day sessions brought together 350 of Newark’s child welfare and early childhood professionals to explore how to work collaboratively across systems to build protective factors and reduce risks related the health and well-being of families of very young children. Pairs of more than 30 trainers representing various disciplines and organizations facilitated educational sessions.

Catherine Misner facilitated the intermediate Excel training for staff from both the DCF Office of Quality and Business Office units.

Lorin Mordecai facilitated a workshop on relationship violence for second year medical students at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson 2015 Human Sexuality Program.

Christine Allegra and Kareim Oliphant are starting work on a transfer of learning research project with the DCF Training Academy to examine trainees’ attitude changes before and after a case planning training as well as supervisors’ perceptions of worker job performance.

On March 31, Christine Allegra, Louis Donnelly, and Kristin Catena conducted "Developing Multiple-Choice Questions to Assess Knowledge Gain in Training Programs,” designed to present and improve strategies to develop clear and effective pre- and post-test questions with our University partners and consulting writers.

NJWTP implemented “Fostering Youth Participation in Court” to supplement the state’s initiative to ensure child welfare-involved youth have a voice in their court proceedings and decisions.

The team organized a second professional development workshop: “Creating Effective Training Presentations with Bob Hazlett” as part of a series of trainings for Office of Training and Professional Development staff trainers.

· NJ Child Support Institute (NJCSI)

NJCSI's workshop proposal titled “Building eLearning Interactions using Articulate Storyline” has been selected for a presentation at the 2015 National Staff Development and Training Association Professional Development Conference. The session will be delivered by Lauren Davis and Vicky Gerstorfer (October 4 -7, 2015) in Denver Colorado.

Two NJCSI workshop proposals have been selected for the 2015 Leadership Symposium Conference hosted by the National Child Support Enforcement Association. The first is titled "50 Shades of Gray: Understanding the challenges of workplace ethics" and will be presented by Alex Figueroa and Eileen Kelly-O'Brien. The second workshop is "Multidimensional Decision Making for Managers" and will be presented by Tony Mack and Danielle Francesconi (August 9-12, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

Sandra Moroso-Fela has been invited back by Professor David Aussicker at the College of Saint Elizabeth to be a guest speaker at his Justice Studies class. Sandra will focus her presentation on “Engaging Communities, Empowering Victims” which is the theme for this year’s National Crime Victims' Rights Week which will be observed on April 19-25, 2015.

NJCSI recently participated in the 33rd Annual New Jersey Child Support Training Event, sponsored by the New Jersey Child Support Council on March 4-6th at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. Over 950 people registered for this year’s event, along with 12 vendors including PNC Bank, Xerox, and LabCorp. NJCSI provided training for 9 of the 47 training sessions with panel discussions and traditional training, utilizing technology and group activities to reinforce learning. Training for the Family Division was conducted by Yolanda Glover and Lisa Bender, County Welfare Agency training was provided by Eileen Kelly-O’Brien and Danielle Francesconi. Training for the Financial Division was provided by Angela Lee and Norma Ketterer and Time Management training was provided by Sue Bhuyan and Danielle Francesconi. Lastly, Coaching to Empower Staff was performed by Alex Figueroa and Tony Mack.

Hope Miller, Danielle Franscesconi and Angela Lee have been invited to present on “Effective Management Strategies” and “Stress Management: so you had a bad day” at the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association Conference in Hershey, PA from April 26-30, 2015. Lisa Benderwill be serving as workshop moderator and as a member of the conference planning committee.

Deeanne V. Hackett, Chieh-Wen Liu, and Kate Pirozzolo Fay will be presenting: “Knowledge and Job Performance for Child Support Workers: Does Training Programs Help?” at the Network for Social Work Management’s 26th Annual Conference at Howard University in Washington, DC on June 4, 2015.

· Statewide Youth Advisory Boards (SYAB)

YAB hosted its 5th successful Statewide Youth Advisory Board Meeting on March 28, 2015 with 84 youth and 41 adult providers. 12 professional PowerPoints were created and presented by youth ages 14-23 about their concerns with the NJ child welfare system. Commissioner Allison Blake, OAS Director Jessica Trombetta, and Betsy Sunder and Michelle Adams of DCP&P were in attendance.


The Summer Housing and Internship Program (SHIP/SIP) received 107 applications, and 60 scholars were chosen to participate in the program, which runs May 26th through August 14th.

Adam Staats and Anita Wemple re-developed training materials for the Adolescent Training Initiative component of TFY, and successfully piloted a presentation of the Transitional Plan for YOUth Success. The series will be offered to DCP&P staff during May and June.

· Price Family Fellows

In collaboration with the Rutgers Learning Center, NJCSI began offering a research preparation course to prepare 6 first year Price Fellows for participation in research assistant programs throughout the University.

Two Fellows were accepted for Study Abroad programs in South Africa and the Dominican Republic. One Fellow is a finalist for the George H. Cook Honors Society, which recognizes the academic achievements of students who have achieved above a 3.0 GPA at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

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