Wurzweiler Faculty

Our Tested Faculty Know The Field

Take Their Lead Toward Social Work Success

Charles Auerbach, Ph.D.

Professor Auerbach has 30 years of service to Wurzweiler. His competence and expertise are in qualitative and quantitative research, child welfare, child welfare practice and clinical social work. He chairs the curriculum committee and research sequence. He teaches methods of social work research, and applied methods, and has taught generalist practice. His book, co-authored with Wendy Zeitlin, SSD for R: An R Package for Analyzing Single-Subject Data, has been widely disseminated as a major system for analyzing single-subject research. He has been a research consultant for Long island Jewish Medical Center since 1999 and a research consultant for SUNY Research foundation since 2001. He was a visiting professor of medicine at Yeshiva University's Einstein College of Medicine from 2005 to 2007.

Nancy Beckerman, Ph.D., DSW

Professor Beckerman has 26 years of service to the school, and has served as interim dean. She chairs and teaches advanced clinical practice, family systems, trauma informed therapy, and field advisement. Her expertise is in trauma-informed therapy, medical social work, HIV-AIDS and family therapy, and she publishes extensively on these subjects. She came to the faculty with 15 years of clinical experience at Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Gay Men's Health Center.

Joan Beder, Ph.D., DSW

Professor Beder has 25 years of service to the school. She chairs and teaches generalist practice and also teaches clinical practice, social work with the military and social work with trauma. Her expertise is social work with the military, clinical practice with victims of trauma and oncology social work. Prior to joining the faculty, she had 20 years of clinical experience as a social worker at Peninsula Counseling Center and director of the Adelphi SSW Breast Cancer Center. Her publications on military social work are widely known.

Susan Mason, Ph.D.

Professor Mason has 22 years of service to the school. After earning a sociology doctorate, she earned a Master of Science in Social Work at Columbia University in 1987. She was a clinical social worker and researcher at Long Island Jewish Medical Center for eight years before joining the faculty at Wurzweiler. Her expertise is with chronic mental illness and child welfare. Her book, coauthored with Rachel Miller, Diagnosis Schizophrenia: A Comprehensive Resource, has been widely disseminated. She has been editor-in-chief of Families in Society and Journal of Contemporary Social Services, and has served on other editorial boards. She has been involved in several grants and sits on the CSWE Commission on Educational Policy.

Jay Sweifach, Ph.D., DSW

Professor Sweifach has 20 years of service to Wurzweiler. Until Fall 2017, he has continuously taught advanced group work, Jewish Social Philosophy and Values and Ethics. He chaired the curriculum committee, and is the sequence chair of group work. His practice background is in the Jewish communal services field at the Y of Metrowest in New Jersey, and clinically at the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. His publications focus on group work, Jewish communal services, social work values and ethics. He is on the Board of the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG). He now is associate dean and chair of the doctoral program.

Richard Caputo, M.A., MSW, Ph.D.

Professor Caputo has 19 years of service to Wurzweiler. In the 40 years since earning his Master of Social Work, he has worked in social policy, research and administration. He came to Wurzweiler after being faculty at Barry University and the University of Pennsylvania, and as director of the department of research and information systems at United Charities of Chicago. He publishes and presents on policy analysis, social welfare reform, and social justice. His vast background contributes to his teaching of social welfare organization, social policy, methods of social work research and applied methods. He was chair of the doctoral program.

Gary Stein, MSW, J.D.

Professor Stein has 12 years of service to the school. His background is in medical social work, bioethics, social work and the law, and he publishes in these areas. He teaches social welfare organization and social policy, gerontology, and palliative care. He chairs the certificate program in Gerontology. He is vice chair of the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network and has co-directed their first two conferences. He has been recipient of the Rose Dobrof Award from the National Association of Social Workers.

Lynn Levy, Ph.D.

Professor Levy is Assistant Clinical Professor with 12 years of service to WSSW. Prior to joining the full-time faculty, she was an adjunct teacher in the Jewish Communal Certificate program. She presently teaches generalist practice, Jewish social philosophy, social work values and ethics, social work with people with disabilities, and current Issues in the Jewish family. She is advisor to the student government, and to the student peer mentoring program. Her practice background is extensive in the Jewish communal services field and she has conducted groups and worked with individuals and families on issues of interreligious marriage.

Jill Becker-Feigeles, Ph.D.

Professor Becker-Feigeles is a licensed clinical social worker with four years of service as a full-time faculty member and eight more as an adjunct faculty member. She teaches generalist practice, social welfare organization, human behavior and the social environment, and is sequence chair. Her responsibilities include work in the field office to place students at field settings and to review and assess potential field placement sites. She is field coordinator for the federal Health Resources and Services Administration grant(s) awarded to Wurzweiler.

Matthew Cuellar, MSW, Ph.D.

Professor Cuellar joined Wurzweiler in 2016. He teaches methods of social work research and applied methods, and is assistant chair of the doctoral program. He has been awarded a grant for $1.2 million by the U.S. Department of Justice to oversee and conduct research on the impact on students of varied security measures utilized in high schools. He has a gift for social work research and upon earning his PhD he was recruited by faculty to join our school.

Sari Skolnik, Ph.D.

Dr. Skolnik is a clinical assistant professor at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Her teaching areas include advanced clinical practice, social work practice theories and group work. Dr. Skolnik's clinical experience extends more than 20 years with a focus on interpersonal trauma, domestic violence and group work. Additionally, she is a certified psychodramatist and facilitates psychodrama groups for victims of domestic violence. She has presented both nationally and internationally on topics related to group work, psychodrama and teaching social work practice.

Laurie Blackman, MS, MSW, Ph.D.

Professor Blackman is a clinical assistant professor in the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She has specialized and trained in the area of gerontology for the last 20 years and her areas of interest focus around caregiving issues and health disparities among older adults. Prior to arriving at Yeshiva University in August 2018, she served as the assistant director of the Howard University Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center where she worked to develop and implement programs for older adults. Her work with senior programs focused around fitness, socialization, in-home care, job re-entry, and learning in retirement. Most recently, she completed her certification as an Aging-in-Place Specialist.

Timothy B. Conley, MSW, Ph.D.

Professor Conley was first certified as an addiction specialist by the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders in 1991 and has held that designation ever since. He taught graduate-level courses in both clinical practice and research for 11 years at the University of Montana, attaining the rank of tenured associate professor before leaving to start his own company. He has published 16 journal articles and contributed 22 technical papers (and over 20 conference presentations) to the professional literature, most concerning substance use disorders, including DUI. His current research and practice continues to focus on both substance and behavioral addictions and their underlying causes.

Hanni Flaherty, Ph.D.

Professor Flaherty has practiced clinical social work for over 10 years, specializing in adolescent high-risk behaviors. Her research interests are in the areas of clinical social work practice with a focus on innovation implementation and social work education with a focus on the transition to online education. Her dissertation research focused on examining factors that may facilitate the adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices for mental health clinics serving youths. Her academic training, research and years of clinical social work experience have uniquely positioned her to be an effective teacher of social work education and a researcher informed by her rich clinical experience.

Daniel Pollack, JD, MSSA (MSW)

Professor Pollack has been an expert witness for lawyers in more than 30 states serving plaintiffs and defendants. He has also provided litigation support and been a consultant to many attorneys. Since 1980, he has held executive, management and policy-making positions in social welfare agencies in Maryland and Ohio, including deputy executive director for Maryland's Social Services Administration and principal advisor for health and human services to Ohio's governor. His experience includes liability of agencies and workers in child protection and foster care, licensing of public and private facilities, record management, confidentiality and ethics.

Mary B. White, MSW, LCSW

Professor White has 2.5 years of service to Wurzweiler. Over the course of her social work tenure, she has worked primarily serving people with major mental illness. She has held her clinical license in social work since 1997 and has worked as a therapist, supervisor, and social work administrator. She came to social work academia from the University of New England and has a total of 10 years of teaching online primarily in field education. She serves in the capacity as the Associate Director of Field Education and works with students and the field department to help secure academically sound field internships.
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