Raised in Wakefield Mass, a scenic town located ten miles from Boston, former Corporal Matthew Mackay always knew that he wanted to serve his country after earning his bachelor’s degree in social work at Sacred Heart University. As a third generation veteran whose father and grandfather were both Marines, while his other grandfather served in the Navy, Mackay chose an important path similar to the one followed by members of his family.
September heralds fall, back-to-school, the beginning of a new year and is not usually the height of graduation season. Yet, this week a group of unusual women experienced a commencement that is sure to be the start of new initiatives and inspiration for themselves and the thousands they serve. They celebrated the completion of the Chesed Leadership Program, a fellowship designed to nurture and advance Orthodox Jewish women leading nonprofit and social service organization. This program was a partnership between UJA-Federation of New York, Lander College for Women and the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work.
Although Dr. Jennifer Zelnick now spends most of her time back in the States, she still returns to South Africa for research projects. Most recently, she has traveled there to train social workers as part of an initiative to improve outcomes for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV. According to Zelnick, social work values, centered in social justice and the dignity and worth of all people, are critical for diseases that have social as well as biological determinants.
In the classic The Wizard of Oz, a tornado tears through Kansas, and Dorothy and her dog, Toto, end up in the Land of Oz where she meets a witch who tells her to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. There she will find a Wizard who will help her get home.
Dr. Steven Krantz has been a full-time clinical professor with the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work since its inception in 2006. He was a member of the founding team and likes to state that he remembers when the entire school was a cubicle. Though those days are long since gone, Dr. Krantz still maintains the same level of enthusiasm for each of his classes.
"There's something exhilarating about being a meaningful factor in a student's growth," Dr. Krantz stated. "It gives you a sense of enacting positive change in the world. It's a beautiful process."
A Q&A with Miriam Klein.
On Jan. 22, Touro’s Graduate School of Social Work welcomed the school’s 24th cohort. Hailing from various states and countries, the newest members of the school discussed what attracted them to the social work profession. “I always wanted to work with people who needed help,” explained Olga Smirnova.
Volunteering for New York City’s Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) on Jan. 22 had a personal dimension for Touro’s Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) student Veronique Green. After a disagreement with her mother, Green was homeless for half-a-year as a teenager.
Touro’s Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) was a key sponsor of the 21st annual NEFESH International Mental Health Conference held in Hauppauge, NY over the weekend of Dec. 21. NEFESH International—a network and training association of Orthodox mental health professionals, rabbis and educators—brought together hundreds of practitioners from around the world for the conference.
How would you define social work?
Social work is a field that focuses on improving people’s lives.