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Upcoming Event: Successful Women in Social Work Share Their Stories


During their time at the Graduate School of Social Service (GSS), social work students prepare themselves to face long but rewarding hours serving others. What students don’t always prepare for is how they will sustain themselves emotionally and financially throughout their careers in the field.

GSS’s Institute for Women & Girls, however, is bringing those topics to light, kicking off the year with an open discussion on navigating the social work profession.

Telling Our Stories: Successful Women in Social Work Share Their Professional and Personal Journeys
Thursday, Oct. 4
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Room 713, Lowenstein Center, Lincoln Center Campus

A panel of four female social workers will share their unique experiences in the field, and tackle topics ranging from choosing a specialty to negotiating salaries and balancing family life.

“There are a lot of things these young women are thinking about,” said Rachelle Kammer, Ph.D., assistant professor at GSS and director of the Institute for Women & Girls. “I put myself in the mindset of an incoming student who has an interest in social work, but doesn’t really know what they can do with the degree, or what the field is about, or even how to make money and balance having children or a relationship.”

The panelists, who represent an array of field and life experiences, include:

  • Pearl Fiske, a social worker with the New York City Department of Education, specializing in children with special needs, and an adjunct professor of social work at GSS;
  • Lisa Haileselassie, domestic violence coordinator at the Crime Victims Treatment Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital;
  • Smita Ekka Dewan, Ph.D., Tk20 database manager and trainer, and an adjunct faculty member at GSS; and
  • Marciana Popescu, Ph.D., an associate professor at GSS specializing in social policy, international social work, and family violence, and a former UNICEF consultant in her native Romania.

A large group discussion will follow the panel presentation.

“I want to encourage our students—that’s the whole purpose. I want them to hear from successful and powerful women in the field and hopefully inspire them to do the same,” Kammer said.

The event will also provide students with information about the Institute for Women & Girls’ student organization.

All social work students are encouraged to attend, including members of the bachelor’s of social work program who are considering graduate study.

To RSVP for the event, contact [email protected].

— Joanna Klimaski


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