International Military Social Work Conference Participant Biographies

International Military Social Work Conference Participant Biographies

David L. Albright, Ph.D., MSW (USA)
Faculty Member and Researcher, University of Alabama School of Social Work
Dr. Albright is the Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health and Director of the Office for Military Families and Veterans at the University of Alabama. His research and scholarship are largely focused on implementation and translation so that it is practically useful for communities, Veterans Service Organizations, health care providers and policy-makers as they work to promote and address health- and well-being-related determinants and outcomes among military personnel, veterans, and their families and communities.

Antoine Altouriste, Ph.D., RSW (Haiti)
University Professor and Independent Advisor for Social Work and National Security
Professeur Antoine ATOURISTE, est un Colonel Retraite & Ex Assistant- Chef d'Etat Major (G3) des Forces Armées d'Haïti, diplôme de l’Académie Militaire d’Haïti et d’autres Académies Militaires de Nations Sœurs, notamment les Etats Unis d’Amérique et l’Egypte/Caire …etc.) De 1974 a 1995.
Economiste- Diplôme respectivement a la FDSE de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti (1989) et a la Florida International University (FIU-1998), il est détenteur d'une Maitrise en Travail Social a Barry University (2001), et d’un Doctorat en Education / Higher Educational Leadership de Nova South Eastern University de la Floride (2012). Il compte 30 ans d'expérience en Éducation , Investigation de la Criminalité Transnationale Organisée , Leadership Organisationnel et Management , tant au niveau des Forces Armées d’Haïti, du Ministère de l'Intérieur et de la Défense Nationale , du Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances /Unité de Lutte contre la Corruption ( ULCC) , Lutte Anti Drogue, Blanchiment des Capitaux et Financement du Terrorisme a la CONALD & La Commission Nationale de Lutte Contre le Blanchiment des Capitaux et le Financement du Terrorisme , Cabinet du Premier Ministre, celui du Ministre de l’Economie et des Finances (MEF) , qu’a l' Université d’Etat d’Haïti (2006-2017) , l’Université Notre Dame d'Haïti (2010-2017 & l’Université Quisqueya (2017a date).

Suzanne Bailey, Lt. Col., MSW (Canada)
Senior CAF Social Work Officer, Canadian Armed Forces
Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne Bailey joined the Canadian Forces in 1986, beginning her career at the Royal Military College of Canada, and then worked as a Military Police Officer. In 1996 she completed her MSW and provided clinical services until her posting to HQ in 2005. Since 2008 Lt. Col Bailey has led the Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) mental health and resilience training program. In August 2011, Lt. Col Bailey was appointed National Practice Leader for Social Work in DND, and Military Occupation Advisor for Social Work, and continues to lead the R2MR program.

Annamaria Campanini, Ph.D. (Italy)
President of IASSW, Professor, Milano Bicocca University
Dr. Campanini is a social worker and family therapist. In addition, she is a Ph.D. professor at Milano Bicocca University. Prior to her current roles, Dr. Campanini was a coordinator of the Thematic network EUSW-European Social Work and President of EASSW. Dr. Campanini has taught in many countries in the world (especially Europe and China); has served as an international examiner for M.A. and Ph.D. programs, as well as curriculum development expert in Portugal and for European ESCO projects. She has authored many publications in several languages, and she serves as an editorial board member of many international social work journals. Social work education at the international level. is, at present, a great area of research and interest.

Henriette Dueholm Christensen (Denmark)
Social Advisor, Veteran Center
Henriette Dueholm Christensen has worked as a social adviser since 1994. Prior to this she has worked in a commune and in a hospital. For the last 10 years, she has worked in the Danish Defence; Veteran center. The social advisers work with veterans; employees; former employees and relatives.

Colin Fallon MSW (Ireland)
Principal Social Worker, Irish Defense Forces
Colin Fallon’s social work background is in the Probation Service, Medical Social Work (Hospitals), and An Post (Irish post service). He developed an interest in mediation and internal mediation provision in organizations and completed the requisite post-graduate courses for same.

Kari L. Fletcher, Ph.D. LCSW (USA)
Associate Professor and MSW Program Director, Area of Emphasis in Military Practice (AEMP) Coordinator, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota (USA), Co-Chair of the Military Track for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
Dr. Fletcher’s military social work practice/supervision/consultant experience spans 20 years. Her scholarship examines strength and vulnerability among military-connected populations (especially children, students, women, and older veterans) and considers health behaviors, mental health, spirituality/religion, and promotion of well-being in health within military-connected communities. During her fall 2017/winter 2018 sabbatical, Dr. Fletcher was a Visiting Scholar for the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Research (CIMVHR) at Queen's College in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Currently, Dr. Fletcher serves as Co-Chair of the Military Track for the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting.

Mary Ann Forgey Ph.D., LCSW (USA)
Professor of Social Work, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, New York (USA) Dr. Forgey developed the first course at Fordham in social work practice with the military. Her research interests include military social work, evidence-based assessment of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), international social work education and distance education. She has been the Principal Investigator on two research projects related to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) within the military. As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Forgey taught and conducted research on IPV assessment practices at the University College Dublin, Ireland. Currently, she is serving as Principal Investigator for an international comparative study of military social work practices in all countries that have professional social work. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Forgey served as a civilian military social worker for the US Army Family Advocacy Program (FAP) and Director of Army Community Services (ACS) in Wiesbaden, Germany. Earlier in her career, she worked in child welfare as a social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Services.

Karen Green-Hurdle MPH, MHSW (Australia)
Assistant Director Clinical Coordination, Department of Veterans Affairs Consultant – International Military Social Work Comparison Study Karen Green is an accredited Australian Mental Health Social Work professional with almost 30 years of experience in clinical, organizational, supervisory & executive leadership roles. For the majority of her career, she has specialized in the provision, development, and coordination of evidence-informed, recovery-oriented, mental health services for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, veterans, families & Defence communities across the nation. She holds postgraduate qualifications in couple therapy, research methods, public sector management, and a Masters of Public Health. Whilst undertaking her 3-month Endeavour Executive Fellowship with Fordham University, sponsored by Professor Mary Ann Forgey, Karen was invited to become a research consultant on the IMilSW research project. She is keen to see how the results and connections made at the conference will lead to the development of a global military social work community.

Natalia Gusak, Ph.D., MSW (Ukraine)
Head of the School of Social Work at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Dr. Gusak is an Associate professor and the Head of the School of Social Work Department at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine). She is also a member of the Methodical Commission on Social Welfare curriculum and standards development (Ministry of Ukraine on Education and Science, Ukraine); the Mykola Kravets laureate for practical contribution to the development of Ukraine (scientific, public activity and entrepreneurship). Dr. Gusak has 10 years of experience in teaching social work and social research related courses; experience in providing trainings, organization development and supervision for social agencies staff. She was involved as an expert and consultant in international projects aimed at strengthening social work and services in Ukraine, performed by international (IMC, UNDP, UNODC, UNICEF, WHO, IOM, World Bank, Embassy of Switzerland etc.) and Ukrainian government (including Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine). Dr. Gusak’s research interest areas include methodology of social work researches, military social work, resilience and trauma, migration and human trafficking.

Michelle Eastman-Jarrott, Chief Petty Officer (Trinidad and Tobago)
Welfare Senior Enlisted, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard
Michelle Eastman-Jarrott, Chief Petty Officer, has been a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) for 20 years. For the past 9 years, Chief Petty Officer Jarrot has been working within the Welfare Department of the TTCG. She is married and is the mother of one a son. Her goals and aspirations are to develop her competency in the sphere of Social Work and to get involved in charitable organizations.

Audrey Hudon, Major, MSW (Canada)
Mental Health Manager, Canadian Armed Forces
Major Audrey Hudon, is currently a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, employed as a Mental Health Manager in the Petawawa Base in Canada. Major Hudon holds a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in Social Work from University of Ottawa, and a Masters Certificate in Healthcare Management. She has 25 years of experience in the Social Work Profession and has worked in different areas as a clinician, in Policies and Standards, and in Program Development to name a few. Having worked in Cyprus, Poland, Spain, Bosnia, and Ukraine, she has gained a considerable experience as a team leader in the Road to Mental Readiness. Upon promotion this summer, she will be the National Practice Leader for Social Work for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Rob Hulskamp, Lt Cdr., MSW (The Netherlands)
Social worker Dutch Military Forces, liaison for the Dutch Navy regarding social matters
Lieutenant Commander Rob Hulskamp is a military social worker at the Dutch Military Forces. In his current profession, he is also a liaison officer for the Dutch Navy for social matters regarding navy personnel. He began his military career as a helicopter mechanic in the Royal Dutch Navy. In 2001, he studied social work and proceeded his career as a military social worker, mostly for the Dutch Navy. In 2016 he graduated with a Master in Social Work. During his master study, he did research on how to promote and strengthen the social support of family social networks of military personnel. In his spare time, he swims, jogs and plays guitar in a jazz big band and a soul/funk band.

Hannu Maijanen, M.Sc. (Finland)
Social Chief, Defence Command
Hannu Maijanen is a social chief in the Finnish Defence Forces. He graduated as a Licentiate in Social Sciences and Social Work. His responsibilities include support for the social capacity of employed staff and conscripts, guiding the development of service conditions for conscripts, and equality and diversity issues. He has been in the military for 20 years.

James Martin, Ph.D., LICSW, Colonel, US Army, Ret. (USA)

Professor of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania (USA)
James (Jim) Martin is a tenured Professor of Social Work and Social Research and a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with forty-nine years of social work practice. His scholarship, teaching, and public service focus on the well-being of individuals, families and communities, and his research and civic engagement address military and Veteran populations. Jim is currently engaged in scholarship intended to enhance community-based behavioral health and reintegration services for military and Veteran-connected populations, as well as initiatives promoting the well-being of survivors of military and other types of violent death.

Kazushige Nakano (Japan)
Associate Professor, Kogakkan University, Japan
Kazushige Nakano’s special branch of study is Social Work.

Antonia (Toni) Nicholson (New Zealand)
Lead Social Service Manager, Defense Ministry, New Zealand
Antonia Nicholson’s background is as a registered Social Worker with undergraduate degree in Psychology. She has worked for New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) for the last 6 years as the lead manager for NZDF social services. Toni has most recently been heading the implementation of the NZDF social work service having previously delivered front line social work services for the Royal New Zealand Air Force located at Ohakea. Prior to this Toni worked at a regional hospital providing front line social work services in the emergency department and for haematology patients and their families. Toni’s interests include learning more about military family and community wellness needs and protective factors to develop early intervention and prevention programmes, together with military community development. Toni’s social work interests include empowering NZDF people through integrated wellness programmes utilizing holistic assessments and planning, brief counselling intervention, and culturally safe practice. In New Zealand a key asset for social work is the ability to draw on indigenous models of practice that support our bi-cultural partnership with Maori. Toni is supporting the evolving NZDF social work service which is still at an early stage of maturity. The full team has been in place for just under one year. The service provides client advocacy, clinical support, crisis intervention, and a range of programme work. Toni is active in ensuring that the service provides robust advice and support for commanders and managers on a range of social issues.

Daniel F Perkins, Ph.D. (USA)
Professor and Principal Scientist, Pennsylvania State University
Daniel F. Perkins is a Professor of Family and Youth Resiliency and Policy at the Pennsylvania State University. He is Principal Scientist and Founder of an applied research center, the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness ( He has been designing and evaluating strengths-based family and youth development programs in Cooperative Extension and leading complex projects for 25 plus years. Within the field of prevention science, he examines Type II Translational research. He is a co-principal investigator on The Veteran Metrics Initiative. He is serving on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families.

Rene Robichaux, Ph.D., MSW, Colonel, Ret. (USA)
Social Work Programs Consultant
Dr. Robichaux was commissioned as a Social Work Officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps in 1979. His doctoral work was completed at The Catholic University of America. He retired in 2004 from uniform service at the rank of Colonel. In 2005, he returned to the Army Medical Command as the civilian Program Manager for all Social Work Programs to include the Family Advocacy Clinical Program. He retired from civilian Federal Service at the start of 2017. He was recognized in 2015 as a Pioneer in Social Work, by the National Association of Social Workers.

Eric Schnell (Germany)
Head of Unit P III 1 in the German Federal Ministry of Defense
Eric Schnell graduated from the Military Service Law School (University of Mainz, Germany) in 1995 and since then has served in the following positions: Legal Expert with the regional parliament of Hesse, Wiesbaden, Germany; Personal Assistant to the Federal Minister of Defense, Berlin, Germany; Special Representative for Recruitment & Marketing for technical personnel at the Federal Ministry of Defense, Bonn, Germany; Project Manager, Task Force for the Structural Reform of the Bundeswehr; Managing Official at the Organizational and Audit Office, Federal Ministry of Defense, Bonn; Chief of Division V 1 at the Federal Office of the Bundeswehr for Personnel Management, Sankt Augustin (Fundamental aspects of civilian human resources management. Since April 2018 he has served as the Head of unit P III 1 (Social policy matters, Social Work in the Bundeswehr, apartment caring, subsidy, care matters) in the Federal Ministry of Defense, Bonn.

Kari Seppanen, M.Sc. (Finland)
Chief of Social Welfare Branch, Defense Force
Kari Seppanen has been working for Finnish Defence Forces as a social chief for more than 20 years. His university degree is a Master of Social Science and Social Work.

Eugenia Snowy Moremi, Brig. General, Ret. (South Africa)
Veteran Social Worker
Brig. Gen. (Ret) Snowy Moremi recently retired as the Director of Social Work in the Department of Defence, South Africa. Her experience involves issues around children, the UNSCR 1325 on peace and security, human rights, etc. Her interests also cover substance abuse, transformation, veterans, occupational social work, training on Child Protection for peacekeeping missions.

Marcia Ann Stewart, B.Sc.S.W., M.S.W., M.H.R.D. (Trinidad)
Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Counsellor/Social Worker (Trinidad and Tobago)
Marcia Ann Stewart is a Warrant Officer Class One (retired) who joined the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment in 1980, which makes her one of the female pioneers of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. During her military career, she worked assiduously in various departments and in 1991 joined the Defence Force Welfare department where she served in various positions including the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Welfare Officer during the period 2005 – 2007 before proceeding on resettlement training. After retiring in January 2010, she took the position of the Defence Force Counsellor in July of the same year a position she currently holds.

Vlad Svetlitzky, Ph.D., Lt. Col., Ret. (Israel)
Postdoctoral Fellow at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
Dr. Vlad Svetlitzky is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Enabling Capabilities of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. From 1998 to 2018 he served as a Mental Health Officer at Israel Defense Forces. Dr. Svetlitzky is a retired Lieutenant Colonel with 20 years of experience in providing clinical support to soldiers during basic combat training, deployments and in garrison, supervising mental health providers, developing and implementing training curricula for providers and soldiers, as well as taking a significant role in a determining of a policy for mental health services in Israel Defense Forces. Currently, he is conducting research on Combat Stress Reaction and a novel peer-based rapid intervention for acute stress on the battlefield.

Kengo Tanaka, Ph.D. (Japan)
Professor, St. Catherine University, Japan
Professor Tanaka teaches social work at the University level. His thesis was entitled “A Study on Military Social Work in the United States: The Significance of Military Social Work and the Professional Development of Military Social Workers". He has presented several papers and a conference report on this topic, which have not been reported on in Japan since 2008. Currently, his research focuses on the development of a MilSW system based on Japan’s Self Defense Force’s current situation and a Japanese version of the SW training program.

Adrian van Breda, Ph.D. (South Africa)
Professor, University of Johannesburg (IMilSW Conference Keynote Speaker)
Prof. Rev’d Adrian van Breda is a full Professor of Social Work at the University of Johannesburg, where he has taught since 2007. He began his social work career in the South African military as a unit social worker, mostly with Naval personnel in Simonstown. After seven years he took up a position to start the Social Work Research & Development department, which rapidly grew to five full-time social work researchers, and then to start the Military Health Research Centre. During his military career, he worked on developing a theory of and practice for deployment resilience, the design and validation of quantitative and qualitative measures of military social health and family resilience, theory of organizational resilience, a practice model of military social work, a multilevel HIV educational-prevention programme, M&E of HIV services (including a nationally representative HIV KAP survey), gender-based violence, women in combat and gender mainstreaming. Since leaving the military, his attention has focused on developing ecological and interactional resilience theory and studying and promoting the resilience of young people in transition from care into young adulthood (i.e., youth transitions). He is the president of ASASWEI (Association of South African Social Work Education Institutions), Editor of the Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development, and Vice President of the international resilience association called Resilio. He also has two degrees in theology, is an external examiner at the Theological Education by Extension College, and is an ordained minister in the Anglican Church. He is the husband to Trina, a physiotherapist, and father of a 20-year-old son, Erin, who is studying graphic design and tattooing. In his spare time, he plays the piano and sings. He can be emailed at [email protected].

Lene Westergaard Birk (Denmark)
Social Adviser, Veteran Center (Denmark)
Lene Westergaard Birk has worked as a social adviser since 1999. Prior to this, she worked in a commune and in an Insurance company. For the last 4 years, she has worked in the Danish Defence, Veteran Center. The social advisers work with veterans; employees: former employees and relatives.

Nadine Willer (Germany)
Social Worker, Federal Ministry of Defense
Nadine Willer was born in Germany in 1976. After many different jobs, she studied social pedagogy at the Dortmund University of Applied Science in 2000. After graduation, she started working at CPS in Germany. Nadine has been with the German armed forces as a social worker since 2012. She has been at Holloman AFB, New Mexico since November 2015. She advises soldiers and their families of the German Air Force to find solutions to any kind of personal difficulties.

Jeffrey Scott Yarvis, Colonel, Ph.D. L.C.S.W., B.C.D. (USA)
Medical Service Corps, US Army, Commanding Officer, 21st Combat Support Hospital, Ft. Hood, TX (USA)
COL Jeffrey S. Yarvis, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., B.C.D. is a 35-year veteran leader in executive medicine, clinician, educator, and well-published social work and military scholar in the field of psychological trauma. He has practiced internationally with disaster, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, accident, and war-induced trauma across many different cultures and populations. He has conducted international research and partnerships in Canada, Iraq, Germany, Ukraine, and Romania on issues related to PTSD and presented his work to over 100 national and international conferences. COL Yarvis earned a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, MSW - Boston College, M.Ed. - Cambridge College, MSEL - Norwich University, MSS - US Army War College, and BA - Indiana University. He is currently faculty for the University of Southern California.

IMilSW Research Assistants, Fordham University

Yafei Cai, L.M.S.W.
Yafei Cai is a social worker with a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University and serves as a social worker in a nursing home & rehabilitation center in Brooklyn, New York. She provides service on professional clinic assessment and admission & discharging planning for residential patients with years of experience in the fields of mental health and teenagers' development. She participates in several types of research on the topics of services for geriatric in community, military social work, and comparison of social welfare system between China and the US.

Kundong He, L.M.S.W.
Kundong He is a social worker with Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University, and serves as a social worker in a Managed Long-Term Care program in New York. He provides professional social work services for patients within Medicaid service system and clinic assessments with years' experiences in the fields of mental health and employment assistance program. He also participates in several researches on the topics of services for Chinese geriatric in community, military social work, and comparison of social welfare system between China and the US.

Erica Ponteen, LMSW, Ph.D. Candidate, Fordham University GSS, New York (USA)
Erica Ponteen received her Master of Social Work from New York University Silver School of Social Work. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service and adjunct faculty instructor at New York University and Fordham University. Her academic, research and professional interests include the bio-psycho-social adjustment of United States military service members, child welfare issues, and women and youth crisis intervention. She has worked as a clinical social worker in varied settings and Field Education Director at Nyack College School of Social Work. Her unique clinical approach is recognized as innovative. Consequently, she has presented and consulted on research projects. Currently, she continues to practice as a trauma therapist at the Safe Horizon Counseling Center.

Lashawn Smith, M.S.W.
Lashawn Smith is a doctoral student at Fordham University's Graduate School of Social Service. She is also a licensed social worker at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.