Lawrence Aber is Distinguished Professor of Applied Psychology and Public Policy at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, where he also serves as Board Chair of its Institute for Human Development and Social Change. Dr. Aber earned his Ph.D. from Yale University and an A.B. from Harvard University. He previously taught at Barnard College, Columbia University, and at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, where he also directed the National Center for Children in Poverty. He is an internationally recognized expert in child development and social policy and has co-edited Neighborhood Poverty: Context and Consequences for Children (1997, Russell Sage Foundation), Assessing the Impact of September 11th 2001 on Children Youth and Parents: Lessons for Applied Developmental Science (2004, Erlbaum) and Child Development and Social Policy: Knowledge for Action (2007, APA Publications). His basic research examines the influence of poverty and violence, at the family and community levels, on the social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive and academic development of children and youth. Dr. Aber also designs and conducts rigorous evaluations of innovative programs and policies for children, youth and families, such as violence prevention, literacy development, antipoverty initiatives and comprehensive services initiatives.
He has been a recipient of a William T. Grant Faculty Scholar award as well as a Visiting Scholar award from the Russell Sage Foundation. Dr. Aber testifies frequently before Congress, state legislatures and other deliberative policy forums. The media, public officials, private foundations and leading non-profit organizations also frequently seek his opinion or advice about pressing matters concerning child and family well-being. In 2006, Dr. Aber was appointed by the Mayor of New York City to the Commission for Economic Opportunity, an initiative to help reduce poverty and increase economic opportunity in New York City. In 2007, Dr. Aber served as the Nannerl O. Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2008 and 2009, he served part-time as Visiting Research Professor in Evidence-based Social Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford. He is also Chair of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa; and of the Forum for Youth Investment in Washington, D.C. Currently, he conducts research on the impact of poverty and HIV/AIDS on children's development in South Africa (in collaboration with the Human Sciences Research Council) and on school- and community-based interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee).
Phyllis Putter Barasch is a Trustee of New York University and serves on the Finance, Academic Affairs, Development, and Student Life/Alumni Relations Committees. She is on the Advisory Committee of the NYU/Langone Medical Center's Cancer Institute. She is also a Vice President of the NYU Alumni Association. In addition, she is on the Board of Town Hall of New York and the National Aphasia Association. Mrs. Barasch is President of PPB Associates, a consulting firm. She was a Vice President in the Multi-National Lending and Commodities Lending Groups of the International Division of The Bank of New York before joining the Personal Trust and Investment Division. Prior to her career in banking and finance, Mrs. Barasch was a speech pathologist at NYU’s Rusk Institute and at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. She is a graduate of Boston University, and received her MA in Speech Pathology at CUNY and her MBA in Finance at NYU Stern.
Dr. Alma J. Carten earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio University, her Master of Social Work degree from the Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work, and her Doctorate in Social Welfare from Hunter College School of Social Work of the City University of New York. At NYU, Dr. Carten is former chair of the social welfare programs and policies area, and teaches in the social welfare policies and human behavior curricula sequences in the MSW program and social policy analysis in the doctoral program. Dr. Carten is also a consultant reviewer for the US Department of Juvenile Justice, Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families, helping to shape the national standards for child welfare outcomes. She has held a number of faculty appointments, including director and chair of the Westchester Social Work Education Consortium, and has taught at Hunter College School of Social Work and and the Behavioral Science Department at the New York City Policy Academy. Additionally, she was a member of the Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner’s Task Force on Minority Agencies. She served as president of the New York City Chapter of the National Association for Social Workers from 2000-2002.
Dr. Carten has professional experience in the private and public sectors. She served on the United Way of New York City agency membership Review Panel, and is a board member and consultant for a number of New York City voluntary social welfare agencies, the Administration for Children and Families, and the Children's Bureau at the federal level. Her work in government includes director of the Office of Adolescent Services for the New York City Human Resources Administration with responsibility for policy development and the design and implementation of citywide services for pregnant and parenting teens, interim commissioner of the Child Welfare Administration, special advisor to the HRA commissioner/administrator during the Dinkins administration, and appointed member of the Mayor's Commission on the Foster Care of Children. She has conducted research and published on family preservation programs, maternal substance abuse, child survivors of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, independent living services for adolescents, dimensions of abuse and neglect among Caribbean families, and neighborhood-based services and mental health services and the African American community.
Dr. Carten’s professional interests focus on child welfare, and the delivery of culturally competent services to children and families. She has conducted extensive research studying the Caribbean and African immigrant communities in the New York metropolitan area.
Among her recent publications is a book co-edited with Dr. James R. Dumpson, entitled Removing Risk from Children: Shifting the Paradigm, and a chapter titled "Family Preservation, Neighborhood Based Services," in Child Welfare Services: An Africentric Perspective, Everett & Leashore, co-editors. She is currently preparing a manuscript for publication by the NASW Press, entitled “Reflections on the American Social Welfare State: The Collected Papers of James R. Dumpson.”
Philip Coltoff, a national leader and innovator in the field of social service and youth development, led the Children's Aid Society, one of the largest and oldest social agencies in the United States from 1980 to 2005. During this period of leadership the budget of the Society grew from $10 million to $85 million annually and developed trailblazing programs in teen pregnancy prevention, public school reform, and the reintegration of juvenile offenders. These programs have been replicated in 13,000 sites, nationally and internationally.
He currently is the Katherine W. and Howard Aibel Visiting Professor and executive-in-residence at New York University Silver School of Social Work. Coltoff is the recipient of numerous leadership awards, including the prestigious William S. White award from the United States Department of Education.
Mr. Coltoff currently teaches Executive Leadership in the Not-for-Profit Sector, a six-part seminar series. Mr. Coltoff is the author of four books, including At the Crossroads: Not-for-Profit Leadership Strategies for Executives and Boards and The Challenge of Change: Leadership Strategies for Not-for-Profit Executives and Boards.
Mary Pender Greene (MSW '74) is an Assistant Executive Director at the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services (JBFCS), the largest voluntary mental health and social services agency in the country. The JBFCS serves 70,000 families of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds each year in 160 programs with a staff of 3,400. She joined the JBFCS in 1984 and has been Chief of Social Work Services and the Director of Group Treatment since 1993. She was appointed Assistant Executive Director and a member of the Executive Management Team in 2007.
Ms. Pender Greene is the co-editor of Racism and Racial Identity: Reflections on Urban Practice in Mental Health and Social Services (Dec. 2006) and the author of Beyond Diversity and Multiculturalism: Towards the Development of Anti-racist Institutions and Leaders, article in The Journal of Non-Profit Management (2008).
Robert L. Hawkins is the McSilver Associate Professor in Poverty Studies at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. He received his PhD in social policy with an emphasis on low-income families and children from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in 2002. Dr. Hawkins has expertise in poverty and welfare, social capital use and development, race and social policy, community participatory research with mixed methodologies, and social policy analysis. He also has extensive programming, research, and teaching expertise in race and racism, gender studies, diversity, oppression, and privilege. Dr. Hawkins has approached the study and understanding of poverty from many perspectives. He conducted research with low-income families in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, engaged in in-depth studies with single mother-led households, and led international work in poor communities in the Philippines. Dr. Hawkins' current research focuses on the idea of poverty as trauma, and addresses the link between social position, negative life events, and social capital usage among low-income people and families. He is particularly interested in the structural, sociological, and psychological barriers faced by low-income people trying to make a successful transition from poverty and welfare to positions of economic sustainability.
Dr. Hawkins came to NYU from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development and Department of Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts University. He also has consulted and served on the social work faculties of numerous colleges and universities, including Boston College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He has teaching and research experience at Brandeis University, Duke University, and the Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Hawkins has been an administrator and trainer in agencies addressing family needs for both children and older adults. He has worked with the Family & Children's Resource Center and the Center for Aging Research and Educational Services in North Carolina, the American Geriatrics Society in New York City, People for the American Way, and the University College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. He served as an ethnographic researcher with Welfare, Children, and Families, a three-city longitudinal study lead by researchers from Harvard University, University of Texas-Austin, Penn State University, and Brandeis University. This study examined in detail the lives of low-income single mothers, their neighborhood and community networks, and how the women survive under welfare reform. In addition, Dr. Hawkins has served as an adviser and consultant for numerous other community, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. He speaks, writes, and presents nationally and internationally on a range of related topics.
In addition to his doctorate, Dr. Hawkins holds a master's degree in social policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, a Master's in Public Administration from the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
Linda G. Mills is Professor of Social Work, Public Policy, and Law. She also serves as Executive Director of NYU's Center on Violence and Recovery. In addition, she is NYU's Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduates in the Global Network University and Associate Vice Chancellor for Admissions and Financial Support for NYU Abu Dhabi.
In her books, Violent Partners: A Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Abuse (Basic Books, 2008) and Insult to Injury: Rethinking Our Response to Intimate Abuse (Princeton University, 2003), Mills challenges current paradigms of domestic abuse and develops a new theory and practice based on empirical research, for rethinking how we respond to violence in intimate relationships.
Mills has recently completed a National Science Foundation (NSF) study in Nogales, AZ that compares a batterer's treatment program to a restorative justice approach to recovery called Circles of Peace. Mills has just received another NSF grant to study this and other alternative treatment models in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Nancy Morawetz ’81 joined the NYU School of Law faculty in 1987. Morawetz teaches the Immigrant Rights Clinic, an innovative program that combines litigation and non-litigation work on behalf of individual immigrants and community-based organizations. Clinic students appear in immigration court, federal district court, and the federal courts of appeals, and they assist in Supreme Court briefs. They also work on community-based advocacy with agencies and legislative bodies at the city, state, and national levels. In addition to her teaching, Morawetz engages in scholarship focused on detention, deportation, and judicial review. Prior to joining the Law School faculty, Morawetz clerked for Judge Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and served as a staff attorney with the Civil Appeals Unit of the Legal Aid Society of New York for five years. Morawetz is an active participant in pro bono activities concerning immigration law, including serving as the chair of the Supreme Court Immigration Law Working Group and participating in pro bono litigation. She received the 2007 Daniel Levy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Immigration Law and the 2009 Albert Podell Distinguished Teaching Award.
Katherine O'Regan is Associate Professor of Public Policy, and Director of the Public and Nonprofit Management and Analysis Program (PNP) at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and spent ten years teaching at the Yale School of Management prior to joining the Wagner faculty in 2000. She teaches courses in microeconomics, poverty, program evaluation, and urban economics, and has received teaching awards from Berkeley, Yale, and NYU Wagner.
Her research focuses on issues and programs affecting the urban poor and the neighborhoods in which they live, including transportation problems and access to employment, concentrated poverty and social networks, and affordable housing. She is currently working on a large project (with Ingrid Gould Ellen) examining neighborhood transitions over the past few decades, including possible broad causes (changes in federal housing policy, and changes in crime, in particular), and outcomes (including possible displacement, and improvements in neighborhood conditions). Among others, she serves on the board of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, the Nonprofit Association for Academic Centers, the editorial board for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and the research advisory board for The Reinvestment Fund.
Dr. Deborah Padgett has a doctoral degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and post-doctoral training in public health and psychiatric epidemiology at Columbia University and Duke University, respectively. She is nationally known for her advocacy and practice of qualitative and mixed methods in research. She is the editor of The Handbook of Ethnicity, Aging, and Mental Health (1995) and The Qualitative Research Experience (2004), author ofQualitative Methods in Social Work Research (2008, 2nd ed.) and Qualitative and Mixed Methods in Public Health (2012), and co-author of Program Evaluation (5th ed., 2009). Dr. Padgett has published extensively on mental health needs and service use of homeless mentally ill adults, older women, ethnic groups, and children/adolescents.
Before 2004, Dr. Padgett was co-principal investigator on two NIMH-funded grants and an NCI-funded mixed methods study of African-American women and breast cancer screening; she was also national co-director of the Screening Adherence Follow-up (SAFe) project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1997-2001). Beginning in 2004, she became principal investigator of two R01 qualitative methods studies funded by NIMH. The first, The New York Services Study (2004-2008), was a $1.4 million study of service engagement among dual diagnosed homeless adults in New York City. The NYSS was designed to elicit consumer perspectives on recovery and services for homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse. The second, The New York Recovery Study (2010-2015; $1.9 million) uses ethnographic methods and in-depth interviews to examine the role of housing in mental health recovery among formerly homeless adults.
Dr. Padgett’s international expertise in qualitative methods has led to invitations to speak at NIH-sponsored training institutes as well as to audiences in England, Germany, and India. Dr. Padgett has also been an active mentor of other researchers and has served on numerous journal editorial boards. Since 2006, she has taught courses on socio-behavioral health and qualitative/field methods in NYU’s Master’s of Public Health program, where she received the Excellence in Teaching Award (2010) and was interim director (2011-2012).
Dr. Padgett has been active in the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) since its inception and served as a board member (2002-2007) and president (2004-2006). She received an unprecedented honor in 2006 when SSWR announced the Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Fellowship in recognition of her contributions. In 2012, she received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Silver School.
After earning her MSW, Constance began counseling in private practice, focusing on death and dying; in 1983, she earned a PhD from the Union Institute and University and received psychoanalytic certification from the Training Institute for Mental Health. When AIDS began to ravage the city’s gay community in the 1980s, Constance was a friend and counselor to its early victims. Citing her efforts and compassion, in 1993 the NASW presented Constance with the Diego Lopez Award for Private Practitioners for her work with AIDS patients.
At the School of Social Work, Constance taught Practice I and II, as well as Individual and Family Therapy. Currently, she teaches a course in diagnostics at one of the School’s placement sites.
In the late 1990s, after 15 years of private practice, she took additional classes at the SSW and became certified in forensics. After moving to south Florida, she began work- ing pro bono for the Indian Creek Village Public Service Department in forensic mental health and social work, train- ing police officers in areas including hostage negotiation, the dynamics of stalkers, and police suicide.
Constance Silver joined the NYU Board of Trustees in 2003.
Dr. Lynn Videka joined the Silver School of Social Work as dean in September 2009. Since that time she has led the School in advancing its reputation for strong preparation for clinical social work practice; in broadening the mission of the School to embrace social justice, human diversity, and global social work; and in strong engagement with the School’s local and global communities.
Dr. Videka came to NYU from the State University of New York (SUNY) - Albany, where she served as Distinguished Service Professor, dean of the School of Social Welfare, and vice president for research. Her tenure was notable for its many successes, including establishing new dual-degree programs in social work and sociology, as well as in social work and human development. As vice president for research she led the University at Albany to achieve more than $300 million in research expenditures.
Her research interests include peer-helping models for people managing life crises or disabilities; the effectiveness of social work practice; and the intersection of family life and mental health, especially among vulnerable populations. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration in 1981, and her AM from there in 1976. She received her BSN with honors from the University of Illinois’ College of Nursing in 1972.
She has held many leadership roles in social work education, including president of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work and the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research, vice president of the Society for Social Work and Research, and commissioner of accreditation and treasurer of the Council on Social Work Education, among others.
Dr. Videka is a widely published author; among her publications are research on self-help groups for bereavement and loss focusing on widowhood and the death of a child, the first social work meta-analysis of mental health practice effectiveness (in 1986) with a subsequent book (Advances in Clinical Social Work Research), and ongoing works the effectiveness of social work practice. In recent years her work has focused on recovery approaches for persons diagnosed with mental health disabilities and child maltreatment. She has joined these two interests in her work on parenting support needs for mothers diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities.
Dr. Videka was selected as a visiting scholar to several institutions, including Hallym University in Chun Cheon, South Korea, and a Fulbright Fellow to Bulgaria.
Nancy Wackstein has been Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses of New York (UNH) since 2002. Prior to her UNH appointment, she was the Executive Director at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a settlement house on Manhattan’s East side, for eleven years. Ms. Wackstein served as Director of the Mayor’s Office on Homelessness and SRO Housing from 1990-1991 under Mayor David N. Dinkins. She was Senior Policy Advisor for Human Services in Manhattan Borough David Dinkins’ Office from 1986-1989, where she was also Staff Director for the Task Force on Housing for Homeless Families.
A lifelong New Yorker raised in Queens, Ms. Wackstein has been a resident of the Upper West Side since 1973. She received a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Binghamton, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work. Ms. Wackstein currently serves on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations: United Neighborhood Centers of America, a national organization; United Way of NYC; and is the Immediate Past Board Chair of the Human Services Council of New York. In 2003, she was appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to the New York City Youth Board and the Citywide Coordinating Committee to End Chronic Homelessness; in 2006, she was appointed by the Mayor to the New York City Commission for Economic Opportunity and in 2010 to the NYC Commission for LGBT Homeless and Runaway Youth.