Skip to Content


Welcome, New Faculty
July 1, 2020

Rutgers School of Social Work is pleased to announce the hiring of four new faculty members: Professor of Professional Practice Elsa Candelario, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice & Coordinator for the Certificate on Child Well Being Program Margaret O'Donoghue, Assistant Professor of Teaching & Coordinator for the Aging and Health Certificate Program Lauren Snedeker, and Assistant Professor Hannah Szlyk.

Elsa Candelario, MSW, LCSW, served as the Executive Director of the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, Inc. for more than 20 years. In her role, she was responsible for the overall administration and growth of the nonprofit. She is a voice for the community through her participation in a wide range of activities, including her current service as an advisory board member of the Rutgers University Camden School of Nursing and member of the Camden County Human Services Advisory Council. Further she is a former board member and executive committee member of the Centers for Nonprofits and the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), past president of the New Jersey Hispanic Directors Association, past vice-president of the Latino Action Network and past president of the Council of United Way of Camden County Partner Agencies. She is also a past member of the boards of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Camden, United Way of Camden County and the Community Planning and Advocacy Council.

​She is also a well-known expert on health and human services issues, participating 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. Candelario earned a Master of Science in social work from Columbia University’s School of Social Work and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and communications from Rutgers University. In 2010, she completed the Leadership New Jersey program. She is also currently a LCSW in New Jersey and provides clinical supervision to social work students and social work professionals. She further continues direct clinical social work practice with individuals. In addition, since 2007, she has served as a part-time lecturer for the Rutgers SSW.

Dr. Margaret O'Donoghue has been a social worker all of her professional life. After emigrating from Ireland in her twenties, she earned an MSW at Hunter College and a Ph.D. in clinical social work from New York University. She holds certification as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified School Social Worker, a Social Work Supervisor and an Educational Supervisor. Before joining Rutgers University, Dr. O’Donoghue was an adjunct professor in the Graduate Department at NYU School of Social Work for over twenty years, teaching clinical and macro practice classes. Additionally, she worked in Newark Public Schools as an administrator and social worker and as a field instructor for Rutgers and NYU. She is a passionate advocate for children, adolescents, and families. Her dissertation and publications have focused on mothering with a particular interest in how White mothers negotiate race and ethnicity in the parenting of Biracial children and adolescents. She has been a presenter and trainer for many agencies, including NASW, NASA, and CASA (court appointed special advocates). Dr. O’Donoghue’s work as a professor and a social worker in the community has been driven by the belief that social workers must maintain a focus on social justice, and it is necessary to do so with a guiding clinical lens.

Lauren Snedeker's areas of practice and scholarly interest focus on the aging experience, mental health during older adulthood, and caregiving. Educating and encouraging MSW students about the rich, clinical experiences that exist in gerontological social work is her passion. Snedeker’s research focuses on debunking dominant narratives of the aging experience through qualitative inquiry. Most recently, she conducted an explorative study with older women aging alone without readily available caregivers in New York City and the ways they channel their own resiliency. She hopes her research will contribute to better program and policy development for the aging population. She holds a Master’s degree in social work from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University and will receive her Doctorate in Social Work from Rutgers School of Social Work in May 2020. Over the course of her career, Snedeker has worked in diverse settings serving the older adult population, such as hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers and privately by conducting home visits. She has experience working with individuals, families and caregivers. Additionally, Snedeker has developed trainings, graduate-level curricula, content for continuing education events and professional conferences, and articles on age-related topics.

Hannah Szlyk completed a two-year NIMH T32 postdoctoral fellowship at The Brown School’s Center for Mental Health Services Research at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her doctoral degree in social work at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin and her MSSW at Columbia University School of Social Work. Dr. Szlyk studies suicidality among underserved youth populations, with a specific focus on psychosocial stressors and social determinants of suicidality. She is specifically interested in understanding how technology-enhanced interventions can be tailored, implemented, and tested via hotlines and social media platforms to address suicidality among highly vulnerable youth. Her emerging work is positioned at the intersections of suicidology, computational social science, and implementation science to address mental health and service disparities.

Please join us in welcoming them to the School of Social Work.

Back to top