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Professor of Professional Practice Elsa Candelario Named LISTA Certificate Program Director
June 23, 2021

Professor of Professional Practice Elsa Candelario has been named director of the LISTA Certificate Program at Rutgers School of Social Work. Elsa Candelario

"Professor Candelario has extensive experience and expertise in social service provision within the Latinx community, and she is an excellent fit for this role," said Cathryn C. Potter, Dean and Distinguished Professor. "We are excited to have her leadership in this signature program of the School, alongside her strong presence in our MAP curriculum. I would like to thank Dr. Ray Sanchez Mayers, who conceived LISTA and led it to certificate status in our School. He will be greatly missed as he transitions to retirement. We have been fortunate to have his leadership in our school over the years and are fortunate to have Professor Candelario’s leadership going forward."

Elsa Candelario received her MSSW from Columbia University School of Social Work. Her teaching and professional experiences largely focus on macro social work practice, nonprofit leadership and social determinants of health issues, though she also has strong clinical experience. She served as part-time lecturer with the School of Social Work for more than a decade before becoming a full-time faculty member. 

Prior to joining the faculty, she served a distinguished career as a nonprofit administrator in New York and New Jersey for more than 25 years. Professor Candelario led the Hispanic Family Center, located in Camden, for over 20 years, building it from a small local agency to a large, complex, regional non-profit institution. As an organizational leader, she was responsible for: strategic organizational direction; maintenance of donor, governmental and governance relationships; promotion of sound external affairs; and design, implementation and monitoring of health and human services programs. Her innovative and impactful work as a macro social work practitioner yielded scores of prestigious awards, honors, and recognitions during her tenure. 

She has served as a respected voice within the areas of nonprofit leadership and health/human services through her participation in a wide range of activities. In addition, her expertise has resulted in her participation on a number of prominent and influential advisory boards and task forces. She was the founding chairperson of the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma from 2005-2009 and was a member of the New Jersey Governor’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Integration from 2007-2009 and the New Jersey Commission on the Status of Women from 2004-2007. From 1998-2002 she also served as Chairperson of the NJ Latino Health Advisory Committee. She is an LCSW who clinically supervises social work professionals and students and provides clinical interventions to individuals. 

"I’d like to thank Dr. Potter for this opportunity. I am honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading the LISTA Certificate Program," said Professor Candelario. "LISTA fills a critical gap between the social service needs in the community and the professionals available to serve. I look forward to partnering with the Program’s founder, Dr. Sanchez Mayers, the School’s faculty and staff, and the LISTA Advisory Board to build upon the foundation that has been created as we develop rich courses, field placements, and mentoring opportunities for LISTA students who are ready to work with Latino/a/x communities."

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