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(Updated 8/15/18)

​​​​​​The Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work  at Florida Atlantic University extends congratulations to its class of 2018 BSW and MSW graduates! To our returning students, enjoy the summer and we look forward to welcoming you and all our new students in the fall term.

Professional Development Courses

The Office of Professional Development is offering the following professional development workshop with CE credits:

  • LCSW Exam Prep Course, David Landsman-Wohlsifer, LCSW, PhD, November 3, 2018, April 13, 2019, or May 11, 2019 from 9 AM to 4 PM.
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Gus Castellanos, MD, Sept. 13 to Nov. 15 (10 days)
  • The New NASW Code of Ethics: Are you ready? Allan Barsky, PhD, JD, November 2, 2018 (9 to noon)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Michelle Quilter, PsyD, November 9, 2018 (9 AM to 5 PM)
  • Building your Social Service Administrator’s Toolkit, Janine Ribeiro Chow-Quan, Robin Molan, Stephanie Scott, January 18, 2019 (9 to noon)
  • Loving with the Brain in Mind, Mona Fishbane, PhD, February 11-12 (9 to 5 PM)
  • Interpersonal Mindfulness, Phyllis Hicks, DMin, March 8-10
  • Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy,  Andrew Tatarsky, April 5-7, 9 AM to 4 PM
  • CBT Certificate Course, David Landsman-Wohlsifer, LCSW, PhD, and Jeff Shearer, LCSW, May 6-10 (9 AM to 4 PM) 

For further information and registration, please see

Student Achievements and Honors 

One of our international BSW students, Nassiba Adamou, had a wonderful field experience this past summer as a volunteer with EngenderHealth in Niger and UNICEF in Togo. Nassiba worked with children in orphanages and also conducted research. (Please see below for more details about Nassiba's experience.)

Social work students Talia Lewis and Keren Gonzalez represented FAU students well with their poster presentation, “Dialogues on Racism and Religious Bigotry,” at the NASW FL Conference in June.

DSW students Bridget Schneiderman and Rocio Lopez were awarded presidential fellowships. 

Congratulations to MSW students Dre Johnson, Drew Ohleyer, Olga Ordonez, and Ananda Waddell Nelson on receiving Provost Fellowships for the 2018-19 academic year.

Faculty Appointments 

Please join us in welcoming three new faculty members, Dr. Morgan Cooley, Dr. Christine Spadola, and Prof. Laurie Suttenberg

Sara Dochterman was appointed Assistant Director of Operations and Finance.  She will oversee the School’s special programs, budget, academic scheduling, and professional development schedule. 

Kudos to Dr. Heather Thompson, who has been appointed to be our BSW Program Coordinator. Many thanks to Dr. Ellen Ryan for all her years of service in this important role.

Faculty Research and Publications 

Congratulations to Dr. Juyoung Park and her students for the following publications: 

  • Mendy, A., Park, J., & Vieira, E. Osteoarthritis and risk of mortality in the United States: A population-based cohort study. International Journal of Epidemiology
  • Park, J., & Cohen, I. Effects of exercise interventions in older adults with various types of dementia: Systematic review. Activities, Adaption & Aging.  

Dr. Allan Barsky’s article, “Serious imminent harm to non-identifiable others: Updated exceptions to confidentiality” was accepted for publication in the Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work.

Faculty Conference Presentations 

Dr. Allan Barsky presented an NASW webinar (with Dr. Rick Reamer) on May 15 on the “New Practice Standards on Social Work and Technology” (available to members at

Congratulations to Dr. Juyoung Park and her students for the following conference presentations: 

  • Tolea, M., Park, J., Rosenfeld, A., Lopes, Y., Karson, J., Arcay, V., Small, K., Galvin, J. (2018, November).  Non-pharmacological interventions to manage dementia symptoms: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Poster session will be presented at the meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA. 
  • Park, J., Tolea, M., Rosenfeld, A., Arcay, V., Karson, J., Lopes, Y., Small, K., & Galvin, J. (2018, November).  Feasibility and effects of chair yoga to manage dementia symptoms in older adults. Poster session will be presented at the meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA. 

Faculty Grants and Awards 

Dr. Naelys Luna received a $113,000 grant from the Quantum Foundation in collaboration with the FAU Resident Clinic, College of Medicine, to integrate behavioral healthcare services at the FAU Medicine Clinic. The study is projected to start in January 2019. 

Congratulations to Dr. Marianna Colvin for winning the NASW-Florida Social Work Educator of the Year Award! We appreciate all you do for our students and for the profession of social work. 

Dr. Heather Thompson and Dr. Marianna Colvin received a planning stage grant ($55,000) from the Florida Institute for Child Welfare for a long-term evaluation projection of curriculum development for investigators and case managers in the child welfare system, specifically focusing on working with mandated clients and collaboratively across organizations.

New Initiatives and Partnerships 

We are very pleased to announce that Prof. Kathryn McCormic and her team have developed an Addictions Certificate, meeting the educational requirements for master level students seeking to acquire a CAP (Certified Addictions Professional) or an MCAP (Master's level Certified Addiction Professional).  Students seeking this certificate will complete a specific set of courses focusing on assessing, developing, and providing substance abuse treatment services and plans. In addition, students will complete an internship in a substance abuse related field placement. This certificate is open to concentration year and advanced-standing MSW students. 

As part of the national effort to increase the number of degreed social workers in child welfare agencies, the Phyllis and Harvey School of Social Work collaborated with the Racial Equity Task Force of Broward County and the Broward Sherriff’s Office Child Protective Investigations Office (BSO CPIS) to teach a child welfare specific field seminar onsite at BSO during the Summer 2018 semester. Bachelor’s level social work students interning across Broward County in child welfare settings met at BSO CPIS for bi-weekly seminars designed to increase their awareness of and interest in working in the child welfare system after graduation. 

As part of the Community Alliance of Palm Beach County, the Phyllis and Harvey School of Social Work partnered with Children’s Home Society to develop and open a new supervised visitation center in West Palm Beach to serve the dependency system in a family friendly environment. Bachelor’s and master’s level interns will provide supervision and interventions to those requiring supervised visits with their children as they work towards reunification. Thanks to Prof. Joy McLellan for all her work on these projects.

Summer 2018 Internship Experience 

During this summer I got the opportunity to learn more about UNICEF Togo and intern with some of their partners, primarily with a clinical social worker that works in a hospital setting at Clinic BIASA Togo and a not-for-profit organization called Kailend. Kailend is an organization that strives to engage, empower, and educate impoverished communities in Togo. They also work on improving the living conditions of children in orphanages. Some of my duties were to write grant proposals, organize fundraising activities, teach English, ensure that the well-being and needs of each children are being met, and most importantly make the orphans feel loved, appreciated, and valued. At first, I found these duties a little challenging because it was my first time working in the field. However, I was able to overcome my challenges and become more successful at my roles by mainly putting into practice what I have learned from my social work classes and referring back to my textbooks.

Overall, working with children, especially at the orphanage has been a very incredible and humbling experience. Seeing children who have next to nothing, smile as if they have the world is amazing to witness. Their positive energy, despite their heartbreaking stories of loss, despair, and trauma, has taught me to be strong and stay positive, no matter what the circumstance or challenge may be. The love, laughter, and cuddles that these children were able to give and receive was nothing like I have ever experienced, and this goes to show that happiness is not always something we get through material items. I went there thinking I would put a smile on their faces and bring happiness into their lives, but they were the real heroes who put a smile on my face and taught me the greatest life lessons.