An MSW Student Shares on the Importance of Supervision

Posted by on Tuesday May 23, 2017

Recent MSW grad Vernell Lewis (pictured left) shared some thoughts with us on the importance of her relationship with her field placement supervisor (pictured right).

This last year I served as an intern for the Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP), which is a part of 'Steps to End Family violence' domestic violence agency. My placement was at a high school in Manhattan. My experience with my supervisor, Vileti, was such an amazing experience. Vileti  gave me impeccable clinical guidance beyond my expectations. There are several scenarios I can share to demonstrate or describe the guidance I received. One of the several examples relates to how we discuss my therapeutic process with clients, and how we talk about the thoughts and feelings I experience when working with clients. Many times a client may say something and I will have a reaction to what the client has said: a thought or feeling, but I may move past it without exploring my experience. Vileti pushed me to explore those thoughts and feelings to understand what triggered those thoughts and to identify our own feelings. This process tremendously added to my self-awareness in my work, which is something I will forever carry with me. My experience with my supervisor was filled with transparency, professional growth, and insight. She definitely pushed me beyond my comfort zone, which was great, as I experience the most growth when I am out of my comfort. I am grateful that I was blessed with the opportunity to intern for the RAPP program and to learn from Vileti who had so much to share. As an MSW graduate, I'm at the beginning of my clinical career, and with the guidance received from my supervisor this past year,  I know I am off to a tremendous start. 

Together, Rising.

Posted by on Thursday February 23, 2017

Becky Grodzki (LMSW, class of 2016) was among the first graduating cohort of MSWs from Nyack's School of Social Work. Today Becky is a child-parent psychotherapist at Association to Benefit Children in NYC. Becky is involved in prevention work as she conducts in-home therapy and case management with families.  We caught up with Becky to see how she's doing now that grad school is behind her.

Nyack School of Social Work: Becky, tell us about the work you're doing and how your MSW prepared you for the field.

Becky: "Child Parent Psychotherapy works to address trauma and relationship building within families. The MSW degree prepared me logistically and emotionally. The program gave me the tools to get my license and understand systems and theories in ways that I'd never even imagined."

Nyack School of Social Work: What brought you to social work in the first place?

Becky: I knew that I wanted to be a person that helped.  Actively choosing social work came after I realized that everyone is broken in some way or another; everyone has gone through a hard time or has experienced something that changed their perspective, but not everyone has someone to help them through that time.

Nyack School of Social Work: And now you're a Licensed Master Social Worker!

Becky: On top of that, the MSW program at Nyack prepared me for the hard work, day in and day out, so even on the toughest days, I can go back to saying, "I know why I do this."

Nyack School of Social Work: How would you sum up what you do for someone who is new to social work?

Becky: For me, social work is summed up in Zig Ziglar's quote, "A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else someone else thought they could." Social work is not standing at the edge of a valley shouting instructions to those stuck in the depths, it's walking with people out of the valley together.

Nyack MSW Making an Impact in Pacific Northwest

Posted by on Tuesday January 31, 2017

Ryan Walters was among the first cohort of MSW graduates at Nyack's School of Social Work in May 2016. Today, he's living and working in the Pacific Northwest as a Recruitment and Marketing Specialist at Serve Seattle.  We recently caught up with Ryan to see how he's doing.

Ryan, tell us what you're doing at Serve Seattle.  I am personally responsible for creating and executing effective recruiting/marketing strategies. I am in charge of developing local and nationwide college and church partnerships. And I oversee and maintain all our social media sites, as well as our website and other networking sites.
Tell us a little bit about why you're passionate about social work.
I'm an advocate for social work because within the realm of social services are policies and acts of service that can either harm or heal people in need.  I believe that HSO's (Health Service Organizations) and policies inform how people are treated. And I believe that people matter. Thus, I am passionate about enhancing people's live through the lens of social work. 
How did the MSW program at Nyack prepare you for what you're doing now?
Although I am not currently utilizing my MSW degree in the traditional sense, I still bring a level of understanding of substance use and mental illness that directly correlates with those served through my organization. The degree has equipped me to be knowledgeable in better caring for our interns at Serve Seattle as well. Ultimately, I am hoping to begin working towards my CDP (Chemical Dependency Professional) certificate in the state of Washington so I can continue to keep my foot in the door with group therapy in recovery.


Follow Your Heart :: A MSW Student Shares Her Thoughts

Posted by on Tuesday October 18, 2016


As a single parent, working a full-time job and having limited educational experience, Apryll Campbell never thought it was possible to obtain a higher level of education. She notes that the  notion changed in 2005 when she received Christ as my personal savior.  Apryll writes, "In 2006, God called me into the profession of Social Work, and in 2015, God miraculously opened the doors for me to obtain my graduate degree at Nyack College, becoming a part of the first cohort to start the new MSW program.   

Nyack College has given me the opportunity to become a part-time employee at the campus while giving me the flexibility to take courses in the evening. The professors and other faculty members have recognized my natural ability to help others and are cultivating it to prepare me for leadership outside the community. I am happy to say I am receiving more of a mentorship experience at Nyack College.

In life, I was persuaded to follow a different path, but I chose to follow my heart. You never know where your passion will lead you because opportunities have already been predestined for you."

New Director, MSW Program

Posted by percelene.mclain on Wednesday August 10, 2016

The School of Social Work is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Janet E. Furness as the new Director of our Masters in Social Work (MSW) program.

Dr. Janet E. Furness,  a native of Newark, NJ, states that her motivation for the social work profession derives from Isaiah’s words: “Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (1:17).

Dr. Furness has directed MSW programs at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, NY, Union University in Jackson, TN, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Carver School of Church Social Work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Currently engaged in several writing pursuits, she sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Social Work & Christianity and is a site visitor for the Council on Social Work Education. She served as adjunct faculty in the first year of Nyack’s MSW program. While teaching at Roberts Wesleyan, she participated in developing curriculum dedicated to educating social workers for practice with congregations and communities. She is currently involved in congregational social work practice in Passaic County, NJ.

Prior to entering higher education fulltime, Dr. Furness directed child placement services at Goodwill Home and Rescue Mission, Newark, and Christian Homes for Children, Hackensack, NJ. Later she was Statewide Director of Volunteer Programs and Children’s Mental Health Advocate at the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. There she facilitated parents whose children languished in the state’s mental health system to develop a parent-driven Statewide Parents Advocacy Network (SPAN).

Dr. Furness received her BS in Bible Social Work from Cairn University (then Philadelphia College of Bible), her MSW from Rutgers University, and her EdD from the University of Rochester, NY. Her doctoral dissertation discusses social work education as innovation in evangelical institutions between 1960 and 1985 using three case studies: Philadelphia College of Bible, Eastern University, and Carver School of Church Social Work.