WHO'S WHO AT THE RAVAZZIN CENTER
Ravazzin Center Staff
Ravazzin Center Faculty Research Scholars
Ravazzin Center Staff
Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W., is Director of the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Henry C. Ravazzin Professor of Gerontology at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Prior to coming to Fordham, Dr. Gutheil worked with older persons and their families in both institutional and community settings. Dr. Gutheil now focuses on research, teaching, and writing. She is the editor of Work With Older People: Challenges and Opportunities and author of articles on aging and social work. Her recent research focuses on social work and end-of-life planning. Dr. Gutheil led a research team that conducted a comprehensive needs assessment of older adults and their caregivers in Bermuda.
As Director of Fordham’s Ravazzin Center, Dr. Gutheil provides leadership to the School of Social Service's aging initiatives. The Ravazzin Center engages in a range of research activities and sponsors conferences on cutting-edge issues in the field of aging. In addition, the Center works to infuse aging into the MSW curriculum. Dr. Gutheil holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Columbia University, is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and has served on several community boards.
Janna Heyman, Ph.D., is Associate Director at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Associate Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Dr. Heyman received both her Ph.D. and M.S.W. from Fordham University. Dr. Heyman teaches social work research, advanced research design, advanced research analysis, program evaluation and social policy. In her position as the Center’s Associate Director, Dr. Heyman has developed a network of collaborative relationships with community organizations. Dr. Heyman has received grants for work with older adults and their families on end-of-life planning. She is also working with the Westchester Alliance of Academic Institutions for Aging Related Studies and Workforce Development on a number of projects throughout Westchester County to expand aging educational information to undergraduate colleges and universities. Through her work with the Ravazzin Center, Dr. Heyman was awarded an intergenerational research grant to assess whether an intergenerational program makes a difference in children’s attitudes toward older adults. Dr. Heyman has been active in the New York State Society on Aging for a number of years.
Nadia Cohen, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging. Dr. Cohen received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley. She was Associate Professor of Sociology and Assistant Training Director of the Ph.D. Training Program in Demography at the University of Southern California. Since then, Dr. Cohen has focused her professional career around policy-oriented research and policy and program planning, first as Research Director of the International Center for Research on Women (Washington D.C.); Senior Policy Specialist at UNICEF’s Policy and Program Planning Division; and Senior Demographer at the Center for Immigration and Population Studies at CUNY. Prior to joining the Ravazzin Center, she worked as a Consultant for the World Bank’s Eastern Europeand Central Asia Region, conducting project-related social research (Washington, D.C.).
Dr. Cohen’s current interest centers around the diversity of populations in New York City, specifically issues bearing on the socio-economic condition of older immigrant communities and US-born ethnic groups, with a view to bringing forth significant findings for policy consideration.
Karen Dybing, M.A., is Administrator at the Ravazzin Center on Aging. She has extensive experience in office administration, data analysis, budgeting and computerized modeling. She is responsible for day-to-day operations at the Center, liaison with University offices, maintaining and updating databases, and overseeing production of Center documents.
Linda White-Ryan, L.M.S.W., R.N., C.A.S.A.C., is Research Associate at the Ravazzin Center on Aging. She received her Masters of Social Work degree with a specialization in older adults and their families from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Ms. White-Ryan has 25 years of experience working in the psychiatric and substance abuse fields in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. She has developed alcohol and substance abuse prevention workshops and presented them in many school systems throughout Westchester County. Ms. White-Ryan’s research interests currently include older adults and alcoholism/substance abuse.
Ravazzin Center Faculty Research Scholars
Faculty research scholars are faculty members working on projects under the aegis of the Ravazzin Center.
Cathy S. Berkman, Ph.D., ACSW, is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Associate Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Her current research interests in aging include: health and mental health, minority populations, psychiatric epidemiology, end-of-life care (including advance directives, palliative care), physical restraint use in acute care settings, and the role of culture in each of these areas.
Martha C. Bial, Ph.D., is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, where she teaches social work practice with older adults and their families, social policy and supervision for field instructors. She was a practitioner, supervisor and consultant in the field of aging for 25 years and later served as Associate Director of Field Instruction at Fordham. She received her B.A. from Harvard, her MSW from Columbia and her Ph.D from Fordham. Her research and teaching interests include social work in long-term care, use of oral history and reminiscence, workforce development in aging and substance abuse in older adults.
Patricia Brownell, Ph.D., C.S.W., is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Assistant Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. She has a Master's of Social Work degree and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from Fordham University. She is a Hartford Foundation Geriatric Social Work Faculty Fellow, and is the United States Representative to the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA). She currently represents INPEA on the NGO Committee on Ageing of the United Nations. Her areas of interest are gerontology, elder abuse and domestic violence. Dr. Brownell has been active in the fields of domestic violence, aging and public welfare for over 30 years.
Roslyn Chernesky, D.S.W., is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. She received the University's award for twenty years of service to the University in March 2001 and was recipient of the Career Achievement Award of the Association of Community Organization and Social Administration in 2002. A Gerontological Society of America Post-Doctoral Fellow in 1989, Dr. Chernesky’s interests are in foundation funding, changing agency environments, case management, service delivery and agency administration.
Ji Seon Lee, Ph.D., is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Assistant Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. In 1999, Dr. Lee was named one of the first Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars, a program funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation and administered by the Gerontological Society of America.
Dr. Lee's interests are conducting outcomes research on how chronically ill elders fare in various long-term care settings (i.e. home health care), specifically examining the role of social work and its impact on patient outcomes.
Tina Maschi, Ph.D., LCSW, ACSW is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Assistant Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Dr. Maschi's research interests center around the impact of trauma across the life course, particularly among older adult offenders. She is the project director of the Baccalaureate Experiential Learning (BEL) Project, which is funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation through the Council on Social Work Education’s Gero-Ed Center. This experiential learning project partners BASW students with older adult volunteers to conduct oral history interviews about their personal or family histories of immigration. To find out more visit: http://www.fordham.edu/belproject
Manoj Pardasani, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., A.C.S.W., is a Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Social Work Research in Aging and Associate Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. He has a Master's of Social Work degree and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University. He is the recipient of the 2004 Outstanding Researcher Award from the National Council on Aging (NCOA). He serves as an Executive Board Member of the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) and chairs their Research Committee. He serves as a consultant to the Council of Senior Centers and Services (New York), California Commission on Aging, and the State Associations of Senior Centers in California, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee and Florida. His areas of interest are senior centers, community services for older adults, social service management and HIV/AIDS.
Cynthia Cannon Poindexter, MSW, Ph.D., is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Associate Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service where she teaches HIV policy, HIV practice, and supervision. She has been a practitioner in the human services field for 26 years, 16 of those years in the HIV field. She was a Hartford Foundation Geriatric Social Work Faculty Fellow. She received her B.A. from Duke University, her MSW from the University of South Carolina, and her Ph.D. from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research includes HIV education, older HIV-affected caregivers, and HIV service provision.
Judith R. Smith, LMSW, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Dr. Smith’s research interests in aging are centered on social work education and those experiences that support students’ interest and competence in servicing older adults. She recently completed a two year longitudinal study of novice social work students’ experiences in graduate school, all of whom were assigned to do their first year field placement in community based agencies servicing seniors. This data collection was videotaped and has been edited into a series of educational films for use in undergraduate and graduate schools of social work. The two-volume series is entitled “Becoming a social worker with older adults: real students, real clients, real growth” (www.becomingasocialworker.org).