Name: Jackie F. Stanmyre
Research interest: Addiction and its co-occurrence with mental health disorders and/or criminal justice system involvement
Degrees: B.S. Journalism, B.S. Sport Management (Syracuse University); M.S.W. (Rutgers University)
Courses taught (will be teaching): Clinical Social Work I: ACT; Clinical Social Work II: ACT
Tell us three interesting things about yourself that most people don’t know.
- In my first career as a journalist, I won national awards for work produced at The Star-Ledger as a sports enterprise reporter. The most in-depth story I wrote had me embedding with an elite team of youth cheerleaders for nine months.
- My parents' high school graduation present was for me to go skydiving.
- I officiated both my brother's and my cousin's weddings.
What were the driving factors in your decision to join the Rutgers SSW faculty?
The experience I had as a Rutgers MSW/ACT student so greatly prepared me to excel in the field first as a counselor and later as a clinical supervisor. Concurrently, the more time I spent in the field, the more I considered the small gaps in my education experience that I thought I could contribute to addressing, with the support of the phenomenal, forward-thinking Rutgers faculty. Additionally, I worked as a research assistant for Dr. Lia Nower during my time as a student in the MSW program; having the chance to work under her tutelage once again, I knew, would open up immense opportunities in the worlds of social work, addiction, research and academia.
What drew you to the field of social work?
As a journalist, I wrote a story about a 16-year-old girl whose life had been ravaged after sustaining 11 concussions as a youth and high school basketball player. Throughout the reporting process I felt honored to be able to share her travails with the reading world, but I was also left with a slight feeling of helplessness. On a macro level, I knew that getting her story published could (and did) lead to changes across the state regarding the handling of youth concussions. But on a micro level, I knew she personally needed more – help, support, advocacy, guidance. The moments I spent sharing in her desperation led to me considering alternative ways I could give back to society and improve the lives of those whose struggles threatened to swallow them whole.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not teaching?
Spend time outside with my beautiful family, including my husband Matt and our two sons, Jay (two and a half years old) and Kai (four months).
What advice do you have for those just starting their careers in the field of social work?
This fact stuck with me when I learned it as a student, and it guided my practice through the years: The quality of the therapeutic alliance is more predictive of a positive clinical outcome than the type of intervention or the theoretical foundation with which a clinician is practicing. In short: Be human. Connect with others. Listen. Be present. These are the true keys to success.