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Annual Conference

Graduate School of Social Service Seal

A Time of Crisis: Health and Wellness Across all Generations

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Fordham University
Westchester Campus
400 Westchester Avenue
West Harrison, NY 10604

2 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs)* are available for LMSW/LCSW Licensing.

There is no charge for this conference.

Sponsored by

  • Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service
  • Fordham University Ravazzin Center on Aging and Intergenerational Studies
  • Children and Families Institute
  • Westchester County Livable Communities - Intergenerational Collaborative


Conference Schedule

10:30 a.m.: Welcome - Health and Wellness Across Generations
Debra M. McPhee, PhD
Janna C. Heyman, LMSW, PhD

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.: Keynote — Disparities and Inequity in America: An Opportunity for Change
Warren Kent, MSW

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.: Bravelife Intervention: A Foster Care Initiative
Alexis Santiago-Autar, LMSW

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Substance Abuse: Impacting Individuals, Families, and Communities
Linda White-Ryan, PhD, LCSW, RN

12:30 p.m.: Closing and Summary
Ji Seon Lee, PhD, MSSW, MPA

Fordham University Scholars

Jacquie Brecher
Dania Lerman
Jenny Maldonado
Elmer Malibrian
Robin Price
Katrina Scolavino

Fordham Scholars Program

Through this program, Fordham University supports MSW students who are entering their advanced year of study. Financial support and professional development opportunities are provided to students who are committed to working with children and families and the communities in Westchester County.


Janna Heyman, Ph.D., LMSW, is Professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, Chair of the school’s Henry C. Ravazzin Center on Aging and Intergenerational Studies, and Director of the Children and Families Institute. She has collaborated with national, state and local agencies on intergenerational issues. Dr. Heyman has conducted extensive research and published numerous scholarly articles. She received co-authored a textbook, Health and Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research with Dr. Elaine Congress. She received an award from the American Public Health Association and is a Fellow at the Gerontological Association Society.  Dr. Heyman is a Fellow at the New York Academy of Medicine.

Warren Kent, MSW, Vice President for Community-Based Services, The Children’s Village. Mr. Warren Kent has a longstanding career in the field of child welfare and with special needs youth since 1993. He began his career as a special education teacher's assistant and eventually transitioned to an extensive stretch of employment at the Children’s Village agency where he was recently promoted to the position of Vice President for Community Based Services. In addition to the aformentioned,  Mr. Kent was appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Bridge Builders Community Partnership in mid year of 2014. Mr. Kent continues to hold that position while he currently oversees the successful functioning and administration of over 20 programs that serve the surrounding communities. Mr. Kent obtained his B.A. in Sociology, from The City University of New York in Manhattan and his Masters in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work. Mr. Kent has been extremely involved in the Undoing Racism movement on his job and is committed to helping new social workers gain both empathy and a better understanding of the youth of color who are a part of the child welfare system. In addition, Mr. Kent was awarded the first Champion of Justice Award by the Westchester Division of the National Association of Social Workers.

Ji Seon Lee, PhD, MSSW, MPA, is currently an Associate Dean and Associate Professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Dr. Lee is a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar whose work is in older adults and long term care.

Debra M. McPhee, PhD, is Dean at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. From 2005 to 2010, McPhee was Dean of the School of Social Work at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. Before becoming dean, McPhee served for three years as associate dean and had been a faculty member since 1997. An award-winning educator, she taught a variety of courses, from introductory social work practice at the undergraduate level to graduate courses on social policy issues in family and children’s services. She earned her doctorate in 1998 from the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, her master’s degree from the School of Social Work at Columbia University in 1989, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1986.

Colette Phipps, LMSW, is the Coordinator for Research and Development for the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS).  She analyzes, interprets and evaluates data and information for program and service delivery as well as policies, legislation and resource development related to such programs. Ms. Phipps provides oversight for several major initiatives and projects sponsored by DSPS’ Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services. She is Executive Director of the national award winning Westchester County Livable Communities: A vision for All Ages Initiative.  Ms. Phipps, has a MSW degree from NYU. She is also an adjunct professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Ms. Phipps serves on the boards of the New York State Intergenerational Network, and the Sarah Lawrence College Health Advocacy Graduate Program. 

Alexis Santiago-Autar, LMSW, is the Director of Aftercare Services at The Children’s Village. She received her undergraduate degree from Union College majoring in Neuroscience (which is both a Psychology and Biology combined major), and a Masters of Social Work degree from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Alexis currently holds her NYS License in Social Work and has worked with diverse populations including adults and adolescents with substance use disorders, mental health disorders, as well as developmental disabilities prior to entering the field of Child Welfare. In her current role she is responsible for the oversight of the STEP (Systemic Therapeutic Empowerment Program) as well as providing clinical supervision to the Brave Life Intervention program. In addition, she is certified instructor in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) from the Linehan Institute/BTECH programs.

Linda White- Ryan, PhD, LCSW, RN is Associate Dean at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.   She received both her Ph.D. and MSW from Fordham University. As Associate Dean, she works with students, including academic advising, as well as preparing students for licensing and career development. Dr. White-Ryan teaches advanced clinical assessment and diagnosis and social work practice with abusers of alcohol and other substances. She is a social work clinician with a private practice specializing in working with children, adolescents, and their families regarding behavioral problems and issues involving alcohol and substance abuse. She has 25 years of experience working in the psychiatric and substance abuse fields in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. Recently, Dr. White-Ryan was appointed as a Fellow at the New York Academy of Medicine.

Conference Info

This virtual conference is held via a Zoom meeting. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no charge for this conference. Attendees will be emailed a Zoom invite link following registration. Two Continuing Education Hours (CEH) are available for LMSW/LCSW licensing and will only be awarded for attending the full 2 hour conference, as well as completing an evaluation at the end.  Completed evaluations must be submitted to JoAnne McMahon at  After confirming attendance, a certificate of attendance will be sent by email to the attendee.  For information or to request accommodations, please email Dr. Henry J. Davis,, or call (914) 367-3368.

Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service
Ravazzin Center on Aging and Intergenerational Studies/Children and Families Institute

Janna C. Heyman, PhD, LMSW
Henry C. Ravazzin Center Endowed Chair and Director

Linda White-Ryan, PhD, LCSW, RN
Clinical Specialist

Kenneth Lau, LCSW
Program Director

Karen Dybing, MA

Peggy Kelly, LMSW
Research Director

Henry J. Davis, PhD
Director of Programs and Research

JoAnne McMahon, BA
Administrative and Budget Assistant