Introducing Our New Interim Dean, Dr. Naelys Luna

Prior to her appointment as Interim Dean of the College for Design and Social Inquiry (CDSI) on July 1, 2019, Dr. Naelys Luna served for three years as professor and director of the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, which is one of the five schools within CDSI.

“I am so honored to be in this role,” Dr. Luna said. “I am already enjoying working with our team of incredible faculty and staff and outstanding students, as well as seeing the innerworkings of the college from an entirely new perspective.”

Dr. Luna earned her MSW and Ph.D. in Social Work from Fordham University in New York and her BA from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. As a licensed Social Worker (NY and NJ), she helped develop ADHD and PTSD programs in a child and adolescent outpatient psychiatric hospital. She has also provided clinical social work services to children, adolescents and their families in outpatient units, partial care programs and private practice.

Dr. Luna’s research interests and multiple publications in national and international journals are in the areas of substance use disorders, mood disorders, spirituality, parental roles, mental health outcomes in minorities (especially Hispanics) and psychosocial functioning.

“From our faculty’s research into some of society’s most pressing challenges, to our high student achievement, the upward growth trend of our academic programs, and our ever-increasing offerings for our community and beyond – there are so many wonderful things happening at CDSI, and I am privileged to be a part of its rich history and bright future,” Dr. Luna said.

Congratulations Summer 2019 Graduates

On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, a record number of summer graduates walked across the commencement stage to receive their diploma. From the College for Design and Social Inquiry, we celebrated 219 bachelor’s graduates, 15 master’s graduates and 1 doctoral candidate.

To all of our graduates, it has been our pleasure to have you in our classrooms and to watch you grow and learn in your programs.  Whether you are continuing your education or ready to apply your knowledge in the world, we look forward to watching your next chapter unfold. Remember that we are here for you and rooting for your success each step along the way.

Be well and best wishes!

  • 10 Bachelor of Architecture
  • 85 Bachelor of Arts
  • 24 Bachelor of General Studies
  • 15 Bachelor of Public Management
  • 14 Bachelor of Public Safety Administration
  • 65 Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Bachelor of Urban Design
  • 5 Master of Nonprofit Management
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Doctor of Social Work

Want to explore the degree programs in the College for Design and Social Inquiry at FAU? Call our Academic Advising Team today: (561) 297-2316

Summer 2019 Commencement Gallery

Special Statement in the Aftermath of Hurricane Dorian

Looking due east toward the Bahamas, just 60 miles away from FAU’s nearest beach.

Earlier this week, our neighbors in the Bahamas, specifically in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island, were catastrophically impacted by Hurricane Dorian. We recognize that there will be many more weeks and even years of recovery that take place. While we are still learning of the full impact of the storm, what we know for sure is that our Bahamian brothers and sisters are a strong, resilient group who will rise from Hurricane Dorian’s aftermath. That said, they are in tremendous need of your support. The Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work encourages all students, alumni and all friends of the Sandler School of Social Work to get involved in the relief efforts aiding those most significantly impacted by the storm. From donating much-needed supplies, to participating as a volunteer, to making a monetary donation to organizations equipped to help, there are many ways you can make a difference right away.

Click here for ways you can get involved today.  Thank you for your generosity.

Professor Shares Research Findings with Federal Commission on School Safety

Dr. Sameer Hinduja, Professor in the FAU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking research on the impact of the virtual world and social media on violence and student safety.  He recently shared his expertise with the Federal Commission on School Safety headed by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C.

The Cyber & Classroom Connection

Hinduja kicked off the meeting by sharing findings that there is significant overlap between students who experience cyberbullying online and those who experience bullying at school.

“In our most recent study of a nationally-representative sample of approximately 5,700 middle and high-school students across America, 34% say that they have been cyber-bullied during their lifetime,” Hinduja said. “In addition, 12% revealed that they had cyberbullied others during their lifetime. So that’s one-third of youth across America indicating they’ve been bullied online, and about one in ten stating they have bullied others online. We also know that more than 80% of those being cyberbullied are also being bullied at school, indicating a strong overlap.”

Four Recommendations for Long-Term Change

After sharing that the ad-hoc strategies schools often employ are lacking in terms of lasting impact, Hinduja shared his four recommendations to the Federal Government for comprehensive and systemic change:

  1. Create a positive school climate of connectedness.
  2. Modify social norms to reward responsible social media behavior.
  3. Tap into students’ knowledge to help set achievable standards.
  4. Implement resilience programming for empowerment.

In closing, Dr. Hinduja recommended that the Federal Government provide more personnel and funding to schools, add funding for research to make sure initiatives are optimized, seek better ways to get best practices into the hands of those who need them, and finally, promote accountability at the school, state, and federal levels.

“This will help ensure that adequate resources are provided so that our students can thrive, and our communities can flourish,” Hinduja said.

 

Click below to watch Dr. Hinduja make his recommendations to the Federal Commission on School Safety.

SCCJ Faculty: By the Numbers

Did you know? The FAU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice faculty have published more than 25 books, made more than 500 presentations at conferences around the world, published more than 300 journal articles and book chapters, and received more than $8.2 million in sponsored research funding from agencies, including:

 

  • The Florida Department of Corrections
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services federal flow through
  • The Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission flow through from the MacArthur Foundation
  • The National Institute of Justice federal flow through
  • The GEO Group

Keep up the great work!

2018 FAU Mentor and Mentee of the Year

Dr. Lincoln Sloas

Dr. Lincoln Sloas

Congratulations to Dr. Lincoln Sloas, Assistant Professor in the FAU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, for being named the 2018 FAU Faculty Mentor of the Year – a completely student-nominated and student-elected award through FAU’s Mentoring Project.

College often means new experiences, responsibilities, demands, and decisions. For many students, it’s not always easy to navigate their new world and balance challenging course loads. Mentorship can make all the difference in a student’s success.

“Having someone to talk about classes, but also life in general, is very important,” Sloas said. “Sometimes students don’t have that outlet, so having someone like me can help them progress in their college career and in their life. I find great value in taking stock in students’ lives at FAU and post-graduation, and then keeping track so I can watch their careers flourish.”

Ms. Hanna Cedillo, a second-semester freshman, was named Mentee of the Year. Cedillo and Sloas have been working together as mentor and mentee throughout the 2017-18 academic year.

“His mentees know he bends over backwards to provide them with information, opportunities, and resources,” said Dr. John Smykla, School Director and Professor. “He also encourages them to produce quality work, and he does it with humility. Dr. Sloas is open to learning from students, rather than always looking for opportunities to advance his own work, and his award is well-deserved.”

Phyllis & Harvey Sandler Donate $7M to School of Social Work

BY BRITTANY SULLIVAN | 4/28/2017

Florida Atlantic University today announced a $7 million gift from longtime benefactors Phyllis and Harvey Sandler to name The Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work within the College for Design and Social Inquiry.

“I am extremely passionate about improving the well-being of all, especially the lives of the students and faculty at Florida Atlantic University,” said Phyllis Sandler.

The gift also will establish two new Centers within The Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work – the Robin Rubin Mindfulness and Wellness Center and the Substance Misuse, Mental Health and Research Center. A portion of the gift will go toward renovations to the College for Design and Social Inquiry.

“We are extremely grateful to Phyllis and Harvey Sandler for this transformational gift,” said FAU President John Kelly. “The Sandlers understand that social work plays a major role in America’s mental health and social services. Their generosity will help grow our program in remarkable ways and support some of the best and brightest students in the field.”

FAU began its relationship with the Sandler family more than 10 years ago when Phyllis and Harvey’s daughters, Robin Rubin and Amy Ross, decided to go back to school to earn their degrees in social work. Both graduated with honors, and Rubin went on to earn her master’s degree, teach part-time at FAU’s School of Social Work, as well as assemble the School’s first Social Work Community Advisory Board.

“This gift will give for generations to come,” said Wesley Hawkins, Ph.D., dean of the College for Design and Social Inquiry. “Because of the enormous generosity of Phyllis and Harvey Sandler, social work students and faculty can now more fully address the social issues that have plagued our society for centuries – substance misuse, child abuse, health care, suicide, depression – the list goes on and on. The impact and ripple effect of this gift is enormous for helping those in need in our communities for years to come. I am thrilled and very grateful to now call our school: the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work.”

For the past five years, the FAU School of Social Work’s Community Advisory Board, populated by some of Boca Raton’s most prominent community leaders, has highlighted the importance of the social work program at FAU and its impact on the local community. Because of this, FAU’s Phyllis Sandler Heart of Social Work annual fundraiser was created for the social work program and its students.

“It feels so good to give back,” said Harvey Sandler. “It’s important to make investments in your community and take pride in where you live.”

Phyllis and Harvey Sandler have a long history of philanthropic efforts in the community. Together they have named the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler Pavilion at the Lynn Cancer Center and The Phyllis Sandler Center for Living Well at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital. They also named and endowed The Phyllis and Harvey Sandler Center for Jewish Life Enhancement at the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community  Center. The Sandlers are also one of the largest contributors to the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and created the organization’s Sandler Family Major Gifts annual event.

“Naming the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work reflects the incredible generosity of the Sandler family and their commitment to making an impact in the lives of thousands of people,” said Naelys Luna, Ph.D., director of FAU’s School of Social Work. “This is an unprecedented gift that will allow us to develop and fund programs, scholarships and research placing our school as a national leader in social work. This gift will also provide the foundation for continuous academic excellence and remarkable growth preparing some of the most dedicated and committed social work students.”

Because of the Sandler family’s close relationship with Barbara and Dick Schmidt, an additional gift of $250,000 will be given to name the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler Student Athlete Lounge within the Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence. The Complex will play a central role in elevating FAU’s academic standing and will benefit students in all academic programs, including those not associated with athletic programs.

-FAU-

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