The Silver School of Social Work at NYU is proud to announce the honorees of the second annual Student Awards. These individuals represent the ideals and mission of the School and we are honored to recognize their contributions.
Excellence in Leadership Award
The Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes the outstanding individual and collective achievements of the 2009 - 2010 Graduate Student Association: Bobby Casiano, Jennifer Dyer, Josetta Harris, Jeremy Schwartz, Christian Tamasco, and Maryam Toloui. Not only was each member an integral part of the School's elected MSW student government, they all pursued other projects to build NYU Silver's academic, professional, and social community. These projects included forming and leading student organizations; serving on academic committees; planning school-wide events, such as the Silver Ball; and facilitating the Racial Diversity Town Hall Meetings this spring. Each of these students displays remarkable commitment to NYU Silver, and we thank them for their hard work.
Silver Spirit Award for Outstanding Social Work Students
Kathleen Crehan is a graduating senior at NYU Silver and has been involved with the school's community since coming to NYU as a freshman. Her involvement with the Silver School of Social Work, the NYU community, and New York City at large is best expressed in the words of President Barack Obama, who said "we have a stake in one another, and that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and that if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done." Through her service as President of the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA), the organization has worked tirelessly to have a meaningful presence in the school and the city through our involvement with organizations like the Starlight Foundation, Publicolor, and Relay for Life at NYU.
Kathleen's field placement is at Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), where she works to advocate for children in the foster care system ensuring that they receive proper services and care. She is also working as the Director of Operations for Powerhouse (formerly Baby's First Home), a student-led not-for-profit dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness and welfare dependency for teenage mothers outside of the foster care system.
Janet-Michelle Cuevas is a graduating MSW student at NYU's Silver School of Social Work's 16-Month Accelerated Program. Ms. Cuevas feels that her MSW degree compliments her background and studies in international development and administration, women's human rights, government, non-profit administration, and client advocacy. Ms. Cuevas received a B.A. degree in international relations from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an M.P.A. degree from the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and a J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law. As an attorney, Ms. Cuevas represents and advises physicians, nonprofit organizations, elderly, women and low-income clients. She also serves as a guardian ad litem to the Civil Court of the City of New York and is a certified arbitrator and mediator. Ms. Cuevas serves as a current board member and member of the Legislative Committee of the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work. She is excited about joining a profession that is dedicated to making the world a more compassionate, humane and just place.
Social Justice Award
Shane Crary-Ross is a junior at the Silver School of Social Work, double-majoring in Social Work and Economics. She is interested in how public policy can promote a just society, healthy planet, and strong economy. Shane is the NYU Program Coordinator of Project HEALTH, an organization that seeks to break the link between poverty and poor health, and the co-chair of RISE, a grassroots collective of NYC social workers committed to social action through political education. She also works in the NYU Sustainability Office, and does her field placement at FEGS Center for Women and Families, which provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence. In addition, Shane has contributed to the intellectual community at NYU Silver by founding a student organization called Sustainable Silver and serving as an official Student Blogger for the past two years. Her favorite activities are gardening and eating samosas.
Josetta "Josie" Harris is a graduating MSW student at NYU Silver. Her social work interests include clinical practice with substance abusers and contemporary issues with LGBT and transgender communities. Her drive for social justice is visible through her community organizing and service to the NYU Silver and greater New York City community. Ms. Harris has a keen ability to engage her peers by her mobilization and contributions to social justice principles. Ms. Harris was the Administrative Liaison and Venue Coordinator for RISE: Social Work in an Era of Change, a student organized social justice conference. She is also a reproductive rights leader with her organizing and advocacy work with the New York Coalition for Abortion Clinic Defense. She also serves as Secretary of the NYU Silver Graduate Student Association where she organized several educational social justice program and efforts. In addition, Ms. Harris celebrates her academic excellence as a member of the Phi Alpha National Honor Society, an academic society for social work students.
Dean's Award for Innovation in Social Work Practice
Shalyse Henderson is a graduating senior at NYU Silver. She was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Although she began her undergraduate study at New York University in 2006, she did not transfer into the Silver School of Social Work until 2008. It was at that time that she truly began to believe that she had found her niche. While she enjoys working with a variety of vulnerable populations, her passion lies in providing services and support to children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. In May of 2009, she was admitted into the Child Welfare Scholarship Program, which has given her the opportunity to spend the last two semesters interning with the Administration for Children's Services. She will be obtaining her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work in May of 2010 and as she has been admitted to the Advanced Standing Master's Program at the Silver School of Social Work, she looks forward to beginning her graduate studies in the Fall of 2010.
Amanda Raposo is a junior at the NYU Silver School of Social Work with two minors - one in Public Health and Policy and the other in Social Entrepreneurship. As a previous intern at both Momma's House and at Housing Works, she has had extensive experience studying and working around issues involving homelessness in NY. She is employed at the Educational Alliance as a mentor for inner-city youth and as a teaching assistant for NYU's Advanced Course in Social Entrepreneurship. Amanda has been chosen to be a Youth Venture Ambassador where she serves as a spokesperson for the idea that young people can identify problems and create their own powerful and lasting solutions. Her volunteer experience with Project Health at Bellevue Hospital inspired her to found a 2-year supportive housing program for homeless teenage mothers - Baby's First Home. Her lessons learned from the innovative and social entrepreneurial model at the Mah Fah Luang foundation in Thailand helped to inspire the model for Baby's First Home and bring the idea to life.
Lauren Tetenbaum is a dual degree student at the NYU Silver School of Social Work and Cardozo School of Law. As a native New Yorker and daughter of a Cuban immigrant (and NYU SSW Alum), she has always had the desire to help the underserved. Since beginning her JD/MSW, Lauren has focused on reproductive rights and relationship abuse. She leads Cardozo's Law Students for Reproductive Justice chapter and Advocates for Battered Women club. She has interned for an employment discrimination firm, DoSomething.org, NARAL Pro-Choice NY, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and SAFER (Students Active For Ending Rape). In 2009, she won the NASW Political Action for Candidate Election scholarship. Throughout Lauren's yearlong field placement at the Children's Aid Society, she provided clients with therapeutic counseling, advocacy, and group and individual psycho-education. She also ran the 2009 Coalition on Working with Abusive Partners' Conference, for which she wins this Award.
Outstanding Student Program
RISE: Social Work in an Era of Change Conference is an annual interdisciplinary conference intended to empower students and recent professionals to become effective agents of social change. It focuses on creating strong coalitions, increasing interdisciplinary dialogue, and developing our skills in order to transform institutional social problems. RISE is grounded in a 21st century approach to social justice work, which focuses on the challenges of intersectionality and institutional oppression. In its inaugural year, the planning and execution of the event was supported by several NYU Silver students and student groups: Shane Crary-Ross (Conference Co-Chair), Josetta Harris (Venue Coordinator), Sustainable Silver, and the Graduate Student Association. The conference consisted of eighteen separate workshops, lectures, and trainings and was attended by about 150 participants.
Dianne Greenstein Memorial Fellowship
Sara Kahn is a doctoral candidate at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. She is currently a trauma therapist and staff wellness consultant for international humanitarian organizations. She has been deployed to Liberia, Afghanistan, Jordan, Uganda, Tanzania, and Northern Iraq to provide psychological support to national and international staff in the aftermath of traumatic events. On the domestic front, Sara serves as an expert witness on behalf of asylum seekers, immigrant survivors of domestic violence, and families threatened with deportation. In the 1990's, during the conflict in the Balkans, she helped establish a local Bosnian NGO. As a consultant with Physicians for Human Rights, Sara developed community-based projects in Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, and Greece during exhumations of mass graves. From 1999-2008, she directed psychosocial programs at the International Institute of New Jersey, where she helped launch their Program for Survivors of Torture. Sara has been an adjunct professor at Hunter and NYU Schools of Social Work and has served as Teaching Assistant to Dr. Deborah Padgett in the Global Public Health Program at NYU.
Robert Moore Award for Excellence in Scholarship
Jo Rees is a doctoral candidate at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. She is an independent social work consultant, researcher, and adjunct professor based in New York City. She holds a Masters in Social Work (eq.) from the University of Bristol (1995), and a Masters in Criminal Justice Policy from the London School of Economics (2000) in the United Kingdom. She has a specific interest in policy-responsive social work research, through the creation (and sustaining) of academic and community-agency collaborative relationships. Her dissertation research (titled: Experiences of Trans Youth involved in Sex Work in New York City) was conducted concurrent to the development of legislation transforming the response to commercially sexually exploited youth in New York. She is currently identifying and developing a range of communication strategies to disseminate the study results to trans youth, service providers, and state and city policy-makers.
Rebecca Rivera is a doctoral candidate at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. She received her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work. She has fifteen years experience practicing as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York City where she has worked in community-based outpatient mental health serving children, youth and families, juvenile justice, and higher education settings. She is currently employed as a Counselor and Instructor in the SEEK Department at the City University of New York (CUNY) at The City College of New York (CCNY). Her dissertation research (Title: Narratives of Relational Aggression and Violence Among Urban Adolescent Girls) was a qualitative study exploring girls' narratives of relational aggression as a precursor to violence in their peer relationships and friendships with other girls. Her research interests include qualitative methodologies, juvenile justice and genderspecific programs, and youth violence.