Sometimes, it helps to understand where a person comes from in order to help them persevere. GSSW Class of 2012 grad Cheryl Bogdan’s father was a factory worker, and money was scarce in their rent-stabilized Queens residence. The warmth and togetherness of a loving home and connected community was essential to her nurturing. Those values as Cheryl remembers, “Got me interested in housing issues and advocacy work.” After becoming the first person in her family to graduate high school, she was determined to “give back to the communities that gave so much to me.”
A small town on the coast of Columbia, Palomino suffers greatly from its close proximity to Venezuela and deteriorating border conditions. Veronica Olivares, a second year student at the Graduate School of Social Work, went there this summer as part of an art therapy internship to work with the children and young adults.
Alicia Regans has always been one with her city. The GSSW Class of ’14 alum jogs across Manhattan’s West Side or alongside the scenic Cross Island Parkway daily. It’s how she gathers her thoughts and finds peace and relaxation. That lifelong connection to New York also explains why her most painful memory was running toward the Twin Towers on 9/11 as a first-responder NYPD officer.
At 37, second-year Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) student Carla Giglio has only begun her journey. Going forward, a huge part of that will involve helping individuals who are finally coming home from tours of duty overseas. Last spring, the lifelong Queens resident took a several-months break from school and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, completing boot camp shortly thereafter. This fall, she’ll be among the lucky few GSSW participants in a new Touro scholarship initiative that offers hands-on experience rehabilitating returned combat soldiers. It will be plenty to juggle for the active Naval Reservist and part-time student (Giglio completes reserve training one weekend a month while taking classes) but it also presents a singular opportunity to advance her qualifications as a social worker looking to heal veterans.
Over 200 family and friends came to honor the achievements of this year’s 94 graduates of Touro’s Graduate School of Social Work. All students were recognized for outstanding achievements, and some called out for special attention.
GSSW Class of 2012 alum Malka Korbman was a nurse for 30 years, a manifestation of her exceptional empathy for those in pain. And that’s why, after three decades, she made the transition to social work. Korbman wanted to work one-on-one with patients and move away from what she calls “the hurried pace of bedside nursing.”
Sharing stories of a little girl who lost her leg, a tragic car accident and more, Zehava Farbman, Director of Trauma and Bereavement at Chai Lifeline, illustrates what it's like to treat individuals, families and communities dealing with tragedy and crisis, marking the Graduate School of Social Work's inaugural alumni event.
New Yorkers require more than 2,200 units of blood every day for transfusions throughout New York Hospitals. A need that is not being met. Dr. Richard Ancona MD, adjunct professor at School of Health Sciences (SHS) Manhattan Campus Physician Assistant Program, started his Hematology lecture to the Class of 2015 by impressing upon the class about the need for blood donations. He lamented that the United States of America is one of the stingiest countries with regards to blood donations.
“With age comes wisdom, and length of days brings understanding.” - Job 12:12
“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.” - Robert Browning
This April, the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work brought together faculty, staff and students for its spring “Community Day,” which focused on providing services to a diverse society.
Larry Davis, MA, MSW, Ph.D., dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, spoke on “Delivering Services in an Increasingly Racially and Economically Diverse Society.” Other speakers included Robert. S. Schachter, DSW, LMSW, executive director of the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), who talked about mobilizing those in the profession to recognize and address structural racism, and David Mandel, MA, MBA, CEO of Ohel Children's Home and Family Services. Attendees also heard inspiring stories from alumni of GSW who have experienced valuable cross-cultural exchanges.