Who's Who at the Ravazzin Center
Janna Heyman, PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Henry C. Ravazzin Center at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service. Dr. Heyman received both her PhD and MSW from Fordham University. She teaches social work research, advanced research design, advanced research analysis, program evaluation and social policy. Dr. Heyman has received numerous aging grants to enhance the lives of older adults, children and families. She is Co-Director of the Palliative Care Fellowship Program with Dr. Cathy Berkman. This program supports and trains MSW students in palliative care and aging through New York City. Dr. Heyman is also working with colleges and universities in the tri-state area to expand aging educational information to graduate and undergraduate students.
Dr. Heyman was awarded an intergenerational research grant to assess whether an intergenerational program makes a difference in children’s attitudes toward older adults. She is also Director of Fordham’s Children and Families Institute where she oversees a number of federal, state, and local grants. One of these initiatives is collaborating with the Westchester County Department of Social Services on a federal grant to address systemwide changes in the foster care system, including expanding services for youth, parents, and grandparents. Dr. Heyman is the university Community Engagement Chair for the Bronx Science Consortium, a partnership with Fordham University, Montefiore Medical Center, NY Botanical Gardens, Bronx Zoo, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 2013, Dr. Heyman was appointed as Fellow at the New York Academy of Medicine. She was President of the State Society on Aging (SSA) of New York and currently serves on the Board. Recently, Dr. Heyman was awarded the 2015 Academic Excellence Award by the American Public Human Service Association for outstanding education and training in the field of human services.
Karen Dybing, MA, 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, PhD, LMSW, RN, CASAC, is Research Associate at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Assistant Dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. She received both her doctoral and master's degree in social work from Fordham's Graduate School of Social Service. Dr. 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. Dr. 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 Berkman, PhD, ACSW, is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Intergenerational Studies and Associate Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service and Director of the Palliative Care Fellowship. Her research are in aging and palliative care. Her current research examines the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of older adults in relation to treatment for life-limiting illness and advance directives, and communication preferences regarding life-sustaining treatment. She is also examines the role of adult children and the role of culture in each of these areas.
Martha C. Bial, PhD, 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 BA from Harvard, her MSW from Columbia and her PhD 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.
Amy Horowitz, PhD, is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Before joining the Fordham faculty in 2010, Dr. Horowitz was director of the Research Institute on Aging of Jewish Home Lifecare and held the Anna A. Greenwall Chair in the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine (2006-2010). Previously, Dr. Horowitz was at Lighthouse International as senior vice president for research and evaluation, and director of the Arlene R. Gordon Research Institute (1984-2006).
Ji Seon Lee, PhD, 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, PhD, 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.
Manoj Pardasani, PhD, LCSW, ACSW, 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 (PhD) 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.
Judith R. Smith, LMSW, PhD, is Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging and 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.”