As the Director of Clinical Services, Dr. David Rosen’s primary responsibilities include clinical oversight of HPCC programming, clinical supervision of HPCC staff and social work/counseling interns, crisis intervention counseling, HIV treatment adherence counseling, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) patient education, program development, grant writing, quality management and community and professional training. He also serves as a part-time lecturer for the MSW Program at Rutgers School of Social Work, where he teaches graduate courses on HIV/AIDS care, LGBTQ sensitivity, and human development across the lifespan, and he delivers continuing education trainings in these areas to social workers and other health professionals throughout the country. Dr. Rosen’s professional interests include HIV treatment adherence, adolescent substance abuse counseling, LGBTQ social justice, and healthcare policy. He received his Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University in 1996, his doctorate in Behavioral Health from Arizona State University in 2012, and has been a licensed New Jersey clinical social worker since 1998.
He currently lives in Jersey City with his husband and two rather destructive (but lovable) cats (he notes that the irony of a trained behavioral health provider being unable to keep two cats from continuously wreaking havoc on household furniture has not gone unnoticed by his husband - or the cats).
Tell us three interesting things about yourself that most people don’t know.
I play trombone in a swing band, symphonic band and marching band, I have a collection of more than 1,000 gay-themed sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and romance novels (and have read nearly all of them), and I have worked as a marine mammal keeper at the NY Aquarium during HS and college and was present for the first live beluga whale birth to occur at a U.S. aquarium.
Why were you interested in teaching for the Rutgers School of Social Work?
I wanted to help instill the passion I have for HIV/AIDS social work in the next generation of social work students.
What drew you to the field of social work?
I was interested in assisting people living with HIV at a time when there were no treatments, high death rates, and significant discrimination, especially for gay men.
Please provide any anecdotal evidence you feel contributed to this desire.
I came of age during the beginnings of the HIV epidemic and personally witnessed both the physical and the psychological decimation of the gay male community as a result of unchecked stigma, shaming, homophobia and social injustice perpetuated by the heterosexual majority in this country. It informed my coming out process during college and motivated me to enter social work upon graduation in order to do something to enact change rather than simply stew in my anger or continue to feel ineffective and hopeless.
What do you do when you’re not teaching (i.e. other jobs, volunteer work, etc.)?
Clinical Director at Hudson Pride Connections Center in Jersey City
Deliver professional development trainings on HIV and LGBT issues to health and social service providers as a consultant
Serve as volunteer Chair of the Hudson County HIV Planning Council’s Education Committee
Serve as volunteer member of student dissertation committees for ASU’s DBH program
What’s your teaching philosophy?
Be authentic as a person and passionate about the ideas you are trying to convey.
How do you see your role on campus, outside of teaching?
I see myself as advocate for the LGBTQ community.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not teaching?
Reading gay fiction, attending theater (especially musicals), going antiquing and to wineries, and cooking for friends.
What do you love most about your teaching at Rutgers SSW or the students you meet?
Knowing that the knowledge and skills I impart to my students will result in improved health outcomes for the clients they encounter both in field and in their future jobs.
What advice do you have for those just starting their careers in the field of social work?
Own your newness to the field – don’t pretend to know everything but instead use this time to absorb all the wealth of knowledge and experience your clients and colleagues are bringing every encounter you have with them. It is so much easier to learn new things and accept difference at the start of your career than later on so embrace this time while you can.