Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 



Alumni Interview: Stephen Oreski
 
 
 
   


    

STEPHEN ORESKI (GSS 2008)

Why did you choose to attend Fordham for your M.S.W.?

Fordham has a great reputation as a school of social work.  Along with it’s ranking as one of the top 20 schools for social work education, many of my friends and colleagues had attended Fordham and had nothing but accolades for the educational experience.  The M.S.W. program offers a great amount of flexibility for the working student and since I was working full-time and attending classes, this was an important factor in my decision.  Fordham was my first and only choice.

What was the Fordham experience like for you?

It was life-changing and had a significant impact on my life.  Fordham presented a comprehensive educational experience, which benefited me greatly in my career.  It allowed for an exploration of knowledge in a supportive environment.  I met great students and professors with varied perspectives and cultural backgrounds.  Many have become life-long friends.  I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Which Fordham professors had the greatest impact on you?

I took Social Work Policy with Dr. Gregory Acevedo.  Though the class was challenging, it opened my eyes to the larger cultural and political influences that influence social work practice.  That knowledge still impacts by work today.  Dr. Jana Heyman made research both interesting and relevant.  As I moved through my career, I was able to use the skills she taught to inform my work as a clinician.

How did you get started in your career?

Social work was not my first career.  In fact, my social work career started as a volunteer for a community agency.  I would help with events and some local outreach.  I soon realized that helping others and working towards the betterment of society was my calling.  An opportunity presented itself working for the agency that I was volunteering for, and I decided to take it and work towards my M.S.W at Fordham University.  It was challenging working full-time and pursuing a degree, but it was worth it!

How has Fordham helped you get to where you are today?

My Fordham education has proved invaluable.  Besides the quality of the knowledge, the practical field placement experience provided by Fordham continues to influence my practice.  The education I received has allowed me to develop into a successful social worker and clinician with the ability to impact both individuals and societal change.  I have been able to utilize the skills I learned at Fordham to work on both the clinical and policy level, working with others to write social service policy for the State of New Jersey.  I attribute my success to my hard work and dedication, but also to Fordham who provided a sound educational background, which allowed me to pursue my dreams.

What are you currently involved in?

I have a busy private practice located in Paramus, New Jersey, focused on working with individuals impacted by trauma, and I facilitate a group for male survivors of sexual violence.  I also provide a clinical consultant for a large community based social service organization.

I am working towards my doctorate in clinical social work at Rutgers University, and I volunteer my time reviewing continuing education courses for social workers as a member of NASW-NJ.  I also serve on the board of trustees for The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

What do you do in your free time?

I am working on a book based on my clinical experiences.  I enjoy the outdoors and staying physically fit, spending time with friends and family, and experiencing all that the tri-state area has to offer.

  • All GSS alumni interested in being interviewed are invited to contact Priscilla Dyer at dyer@fordham.edu.



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