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September 19, 2015

Rutgers Field Education program turns students into practicing social work professionals

As a first-year MSW student, Lauren Wilson was assigned an internship by the School of Social Work Field Education Program. Although the internship at Trinity Counseling Service in Princeton wasn’t something Wilson had picked, she had a memorable experience and got hired for the summer as a development assistant.

“I love it at Trinity Counseling Service,” Wilson said. “Just that one placement set my roots and helped me make a lot of connections. I feel very lucky that I happened to be placed there.”

September 19, 2015

11 strategies for change in the war on drugs

We’re experiencing the worst drug problem the U.S. has seen in some time and quite possibly of all time, said Frank Greenagel, LCSW, LCADC, adjunct professor with the Rutgers School of Social Work and first lieutenant of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, to a packed session at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) in St. Louis one Sunday morning.

Edward Alessi

Associate Professor, and Chancellor’s Scholar of LGBTQ Mental Health, Trauma, and Resilience , MSW, Columbia; Ph.D., New York University

Dr. Alessi's research and scholarly interests include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) mental health issues and clinical social work practice. Download CV (PDF) (268.6 KB)

Dr. Alessi’s research aims to improve understanding of stress and trauma among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) populations and enhance clinical practice with LGBTQ and other marginalized populations. In June 2017, he was named Rutgers Chancellor’s Scholar, an award created to support faculty excellence at the Associate Professor level. His research has been published in journals such as Journal of Traumatic Stress, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and PolicyPsychotherapy, and Psychotherapy Research. Dr. Alessi’s current projects examine how stress and trauma shape the integration experiences of LGBTQ asylum seekers and refugees in the United States, Canada, and Europe. He served as guest editor for the Clinical Social Work Journal’s first special issue on Clinical Practice with LGBTQ Populations. Dr. Alessi has also been recognized for his teaching. He was awarded the Rutgers University Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 2017. In addition, he received the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award four years in a row (2013-16). A clinical social worker since 2001, he has worked primarily in outpatient mental health and has been an independent practitioner since 2004.

Courses Taught: 

•    Clinical Social Work I
•    Clinical Social Work II
•    Psychopathology
•    LGBTQ Issues in Contemporary Society


Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., Woolner, L., & Van Der Horn, R (2018). Traumatic stress among sexual and gender minority refugees from the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia who fled to the European Union. Journal of Traumatic Stress. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1002/jts.22346

Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., Greenfield, B., Woolner, L., & Manning, D (in press). A qualitative exploration of the integration experiences of LGBTQ refugees who fled from the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and South Asia to Austria and the Netherlands. Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

Alessi, E. J., Dillon, F. R., & Van Der Horn, R (in press). The therapeutic relationship mediates the association between affirmative practice and psychological well-being among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer clients. Psychotherapy.

Kahn, S. & Alessi, E. J. (2018). Coming out under the gun: Exploring the psychological dimensions of seeking refugee status for LGBT claimants in Canada. Journal of Refugee Studies, 31, 22-41.

Kahn, S., Alessi, E. J., Kim, H., Olivieri, C., & Woolner, L. (2018). Facilitating mental health support for LGBT forced migrants in Canada: A qualitative inquiry. Journal of Counseling & Development, 96, 316-326.

Kahn, S., Alessi, E., Kim, H., Olivieri, C., & Woolner, L. (2017). Promoting the wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender forced migrants in Canada: Providers’ perspectives. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 19, 1165-1179.

Alessi, E. J., & Kahn, S. (2017). Using psychodynamic interventions to engage in trauma-informed practice. Journal of Social Work Practice. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1080/02650533.2017.1400959

Alessi, E. J. (2016). Resilience in sexual and gender minority forced migrants: A qualitative analysis. Traumatology, 22, 203-213.

Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., & Chatterji, S. (2016). 'The darkest times of my life': Recollections of child abuse among forced migrants persecuted because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Child Abuse & Neglect, 51, 93-105.

Alessi, E. J., Dillon, F. R., & Kim, H. M. (2016). Therapist correlates of attitudes toward sexual minority individuals, affirmative counseling self-efficacy, and beliefs about affirmative practice. Psychotherapy Research, 26, 446-458.

Alessi, E. J., Dillon, F. R., & Kim, H. M. (2015). Determinants of lesbian and gay affirmative practice among heterosexual therapists. Psychotherapy, 52, 298-307.

Alessi, E. J. (2014). A framework for incorporating minority stress theory into treatment with sexual minority clients. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 18, 47-66.

Alessi, E. J., Martin, J. I., Gyamerah, A., & Meyer, I. H. (2013). Prejudice events and traumatic stress among heterosexuals and lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 22, 510-526.

Alessi, E. J., Meyer, I. H., & Martin, J. I. (2013). PTSD and sexual orientation: An examination of criterion A1 and non-Criterion A1 events. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5, 149-157.

Ayse Akincigil

Associate Professor, Ph.D., Rutgers University, Department of Economics

Dr. Akincigil's current research interests include aging, mental health, and economics. Download CV (PDF) (306.99 KB)

Ayse Akincigil is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work and Health Economist at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research. Her research addresses the problems that lead to inadequate access to health care as well as inferior care quality for traditionally vulnerable populations, including the elderly and individuals with mental illness. She has extensive experience in developing utilization, performance, and quality measures from administrative health care data; analyzing health care systems, with the objective to inform policy and creating incentives to improve health care quality and access. She focuses on the conditions that have the largest burden of disease and societal costs, such as mental illness and addiction. She is experienced in working with large administrative data from Medicare, Medicaid, commercial health plans, and national longitudinal surveys.

Her publications have appeared in journals from various disciplines, including the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Medical Care, Psychiatric Services, and Journal of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Akincigil teaches research design, measurement, and econometrics at the graduate level. Her professional service includes contributing to the peer-review process for federal and state funding agencies, ad-hoc review for academic journals as well as mentoring doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers.

September 14, 2015

Good News: SSW Faculty and Staff Bulletin

Ericka Deglau reports that the Intensive Weekend program held its annual Field Day on August 27th, bringing together new and continuing students.  In the morning, current students had the opportunity to discuss licensing and post-graduation plans with Doug Behan, director of the School’s Continuing Education department, and learned about trauma-informed practice from practitioners in the field - Debbie Ruisard, Timothy Vermillion, and Kim Stolow, all recent graduates of the DSW program.

September 9, 2015

Faculty Profile- Edward Alessi

When Robin Bernstein thinks back to her entire education, the first name that comes to mind is Edward Alessi. She is reminded not only of his commitment to teaching, but also of the passion and sense of humor he brought to his classes. Bernstein is not the only one who regards Alessi as their favorite.

Alessi, assistant professor at Rutgers University School of Social Work, has been awarded “Professor of the Year” through students’ votes, not once but three times in academic years 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15.


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