Praxis Forum in Action

Posted by Juan.Toribio on Wednesday April 6, 2016

Praxis Forums and Nyack College was pleased to have Jennifer Jones Austin and Romanita Hairston speak last month to leaders from across the city and engage in a meaningful dialogue about leadership, collaboration, and how we might more effectively reduce poverty & increase opportunity among our neighbors who live on the margins. First on March 16th we were blessed to have Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies President Jennifer Jones Austin speak at our Emerging Leader Dinner hosted in partnership with Nyack College. Jennifer described her call to change to reduce poverty and increase opportunity for those on the margins and challenged those there to consider working in government stating that creating systemic change requires understanding about how the system really works. In addition, she encouraged everyone to embrace reality, gain clarity by removing the clutter, and to stay true to and strengthen their core. The dialogue between Jennifer and the dinner participants was very enriching for everyone!
It's difficult to capture in a few paragraphs all of what both Jennifer & Romanita said. The responses from those who attended was extremely enthusiastic where some said "it changed my view of ministry," "life giving," and "very powerful." One of the greatest outcomes was the connections made between those who attended. We had a robust conversation at both Praxis Forums events. I'm thankful to both Jennifer Jones Austin and Romanita Hairston for taking the time out of their demanding schedules to to be with us!  A special thanks to our partner at Nyack College & Salvation Army for hosting Praxis Forums.

The School of Social Work Launches Juvenile Justice Fellowship Grant

Posted by Juan.Toribio on Tuesday March 29, 2016

Juvenile detention has devastating consequences on life outcomes for youth. In New York City alone, more than 141,400 adolescents and young adults were arrested in  2013; the majority for low-level offenses. The School of Social Work Juvenile Justice Fellowship Grant supports the work of a BSW or MSW fellow who is seeking to prevent and reduce justice involvement of youth through the profession of social work. With unprecedented numbers in the adult criminal justice system, youth must be diverted from the systems altogether and as early as possible. Nyack College School of Social Work believes resources must be realigned to prevent youth from entering the system and that new approaches and innovations are necessary to inform changes in social welfare policy and practice.

Alumni Update: Lebeka Shin

Posted by Juan.Toribio on Friday March 25, 2016

Lebeka Shin is a 2007 graduate of the School of Social Work, she is currently an individual and family therapist specializing anger, trauma, anxiety and mood disorders, attachment issues, and grief and loss.


I am currently working at Spofford Home, as an outpatient therapist providing trauma-informed play therapy for children and families. Sponsored Homes is an agency that works with mostly lower-income disenfranchised families in Kansas City. I am hoping to connect with an international adoption agency here in Kansas City and also provide post-adoption therapy services.

I love that social work is interdisciplinary in nature. We not only look at a client from an individual perspective, but critically think about the environmental factors that affect the individual. As I work with clients on an individual level, I am constantly thinking about the environmental factors and the role it plays in the client’s life.

The highlights of Nyack College's BSW program include the small class sizes, the accessibility of the professors and the fact that students and faculty alike are actively involved in bringing about social change even outside of the classroom setting. The small class sizes allowed me to develop close friendships with my fellow students, whom I still keep in touch with today.

Lobby Advocacy Day Experience by Belinda Lin

Posted by Juan.Toribio on Friday March 18, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr. believed that, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This quote caught my eye as I was leaving the New York State Capitol. Through studying the history of our country that is steeped in social oppression and systematic discrimination, I have become keenly aware of how the actions or inactions of each individual greatly effects the society as a whole. Problems that we believe aren’t worth a second of our time eventually catches our attention when it involves our children, our spouse, or our parents, simply speaking, when it hits close to home. The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies’ Advocacy Day brought policy to life for me, it was an invitation for me as an individual to get involved in something greater than myself. My revelation from this whole experience is that my minuscule contributions, my humble stories, and my ordinary words have the potential to change lives, both inside and outside of the government walls. Although advocates are just one piece of the puzzle, they play a significant role amplifying the voices of many. Advocacy day reminded me that those in the social services field need to work in unison in order to effectively bring about lasting change. Everyone has a role to play, whether it is becoming an advocate, initiating social justice campaigns, voting for government officials, writing letters to legislators, or simply speaking up for someone you see being treated unjustly. What are you waiting for? Act now.


Belinda Lin -- MSW Candidate Nyack College

Welcoming Professor Laura Summerhill

Posted by Juan.Toribio on Tuesday March 15, 2016

Dr. Laura Summerhill received her MSW from Columbia University and her MS Ed in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate (ABD), in Clinical Social Worker at New York University's Silver School of Social Work.

Her research interests include attitudes about inter-country adoption, ethnic identity in trans-racial adoptees, and clinical issues in adoption and social work education. Laura has provided social work services within many contexts, including: mental health clinics, correctional facilities, adoption agencies and private practice. She has taught as a social work educator for seven years in undergraduate and graduate programs. We proudly welcome her and pray her time with us will be enriching to both her and our MSW students.