Fall 2019 College Soar-in-4 Scholars Reception

The College was pleased to host a luncheon reception on October 28 to honor and celebrate our 34 Soar-in-4 Scholars! The FAU Soar-in-4 program is designed to help keep students on track to graduate in four years or less and to maximize their academic experience.

Speakers included Geoffrey Johnson, Director of Academic Planning; Fabio Rojas, CDSI Soar-in-4 Coordinator; Dr. Jesse Saginor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Student Services; and Dr. Naelys Luna, Interim Dean. Our scholars in attendance each shared their stories and career goals, while also enjoying the opportunity to connect with their peers. Congratulations to all of our Soar-in-4 Scholars!


Hajra Akram
Rachel Araujo
Erika Arroyave
Jasmine Augustin
Shamsi Aura
Natalia Ayala
Kayla Baker
Mary Barrett
Caleb Bernstein
Mackenzie Borglum
Nicole Borjas
Isabella Chardon
Andrea Claxton
Mitchnida Clervil
Kennedy Coleman
Sarah Hipps
Chidiebere Ibezim
Chase Lewis
Hunter Llano
Raphael Macedo
Jessica Malagon
Taylor Markevitch
Marchayla Martin
Ariana McCarthy
Natalia Vallejos Munoz
Ayzia Nero
Ce’Coya Paulk
Emely Pegero
Natallia Rodrigues
Emeli Rupert
Alyssa Scherger
Gerrod Thompson
Mai Tran
Matthew Wilder

Photo Gallery


Sharing Anti-Bullying Research on the Capitol Steps

Dr. Sameer Hinduja was asked by the State of Pennsylvania to share his research on empathy, resilience, and school climate with Senators, Representatives, and other dignitaries in the State Capitol Rotunda in late October. In doing so, he encouraged policymakers to embrace asset-building and strength-based approaches.

Division of Research Mentoring Program

In order to foster the exchange of ideas and best practices in funded research, senior colleagues with significant extramural funding experience have the opportunity to be paired with tenure-track and research faculty members who wish to be mentored and commit to submitting a fundable research proposal at the end of the one-year mentoring period.

The proposal submitted by Dr. Wendy Guastaferro (mentor) and Dr. Laura Backstrom, Asst. Professor in Sociology (mentee) as part of the mentoring program was awarded! Dr. Backstrom is going to work on a grant proposal for a study that will use a mixed methods design to assess decision-making processes in Early Childhood Courts with a focus on the role of community members (Guardian ad Litems, foster parents, and advocates) and social network analysis to examine the impact of the court’s actions on children whose parents come before the court.

The proposed study will follow a subsample of children through age 8 and utilize court and Department of Children and Families data to examine child well-being outcomes.

Dr. Morgan Cooley (mentee) has partnered with Dr. Nancy Jones (mentor) in Psychology on a proposal that was also awarded! Dr. Cooley’s work will be working to identify and understand risk and protective factors at the individual, family, and system levels in order to improve the well-being of foster youth, parents, and child welfare professionals.

Mentors receive $1,000 for research support, and mentees receive a course release, up to $2,000, plus travel funds up to $500 to visit a Program Officer.

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.

Congratulations, Class of 2019!

On Thursday, May 2, 2019, 289 bachelor students, 139 masters students and 9 doctoral students – including the inaugural cohort of the first Doctor of Social Work program (DSW) in the state of Florida – accepted their diplomas from the College for Design and Social Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University. 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.

As you move forward into your future, remember the words of Dr. Manny Gonzalez, DSW Program Coordinator and Associate Professor in the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, “Know what you know, know what you don’t know, but know what you know well.”

Be well and best wishes!

  • 28 Bachelor of Architecture
  • 121 Bachelor of Arts
  • 21 Bachelor of General Studies
  • 10 Bachelor of Public Management
  • 18 Bachelor of Public Safety Administration
  • 62 Bachelor of Social Work
  • 18 Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning
  • 11 Bachelor of Urban Design
  • 2 Master of Nonprofit Management
  • 5 Master of Public Administration
  • 1 Master of Science
  • 127 Master of Social Work
  • 4 Master of Urban and Regional Planning
  • 2 Doctor of Philosophy
  • 7 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

Spring 2019 Commencement Gallery

 

Senior Social Work Student Crowned Homecoming Queen 2018

Senior social work student Tajae Stringer believes that actions, not popularity, are what defines a person’s character, and this is a personal creed she has been practicing long before she was named Queen. Tajae has service hours on her transcript dating back to Fall 2015, her first semester at FAU, and she was on the Dean’s and President’s List in both Fall 2017 and Spring 2018.

After being nominated by her former sorority sister, completing an application, essay, and interview, and then being selected by her peers in a campus-wide vote, Tajae was named Homecoming Queen during the Saturday, November 10th homecoming football game.

How did you feel when you were on the field before your name was announced?

TS: Prior to hearing the announcement that I had won, I was soooooo nervous. I didn’t realize how many people were in the stands until I was on the field and saw them all looking at me. Right before we headed out to the center of the field, I heard some of my friends screaming my name, and hearing them definitely calmed my nerves a lot.

What does it mean to you to be named Homecoming Queen?

TS: Many times, in movies, the winning homecoming royalty members are typically extremely popular and viewed as the faces of their school. However, I do not believe that homecoming royalty should be determined by one’s popularity, but instead by their actions. I live by the quote, “actions speak louder than words” because, regardless of who you are or what title you have in front of your name, the longest impression you will leave on others is through your own personal actions.

FAU Homecoming 2018 Queen and King, Tajae Stringer and Juwan Hayes

FAU Homecoming 2018 Queen and King, Tajae Stringer and Juwan Hayes

What is your advice for students just starting their college careers at FAU?

TS: I came to FAU from Connecticut not knowing anyone in the state at all. It was quite overwhelming, but I knew that if I wanted to enjoy my experience here, I would have to get involved. Since I have been here, I have joined the Mentoring Project, Major Platforms, Women Empowerment Club, National Council of Negro Women, Fashion Forward, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

I have also worked at the Center for Teaching and Learning and as a Resident Assistant in Heritage Park Towers. In addition to my campus involvement, I have also been volunteering at Pearl City CATS since my freshman year as a tutor for the children at their after-school program. Through all of my involvement, I have really gotten the chance to build connections with so many wonderful individuals and give back to my community.

How does it feel to represent the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work at FAU with your crown?

TS: It’s a true honor. My experience with the Phyllis and Harvey Sander School of Social Work has been nothing short of amazing. Ever since I started taking more of my core classes for my major, every professor, advisor, and classmate I’ve met has made such a positive impact in my life, and I can’t wait to make the same type of impact in the future when I am a social worker. It truly is amazing to be surrounded by such supportive individuals who care to make a difference in the lives of others.

What are your plans after graduation?

TS: I am currently interning at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in West Palm Beach. I shadow the Child Protective Investigators when they go out on their cases and when they go to court for shelter hearings. I am hoping to be accepted into the MSW Advanced Standing Program here at FAU after I graduate. In the future, I would love to start my own non-profit organization for children who come from low-income families to help support their academics and provide them with the necessary resources to do so.

Arthritis Study Wins “Best Paper” from American Journal of Public Health

JuYoung Park, Associate Professor in the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, has won a highly-coveted “Best Paper of the Year” Editor’s Choice Award from the American Journal of Public Health for her co-authored study “Various Types of Arthritis in the United States: Prevalence and Age-Related Trends from 1999 to 2014”.

“Given the health and economic burden of arthritis, understanding prevalence trends is of significant public health interest,” Park said. “Because of these burdens, developing cost-saving and effective treatments are necessary to minimize arthritis symptoms, maximize functional capacity, reduce disability and, moreover, improve the quality of life for the more than 350 million people worldwide who are affected by arthritis.”

Dr. Park has been invited to attend the 2018 APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego to accept her award at the Public Health Awards Reception and Ceremony. The AJPH will also run a feature column on the winning publications in their December 2018 issue.

Explore FAU 2018 – College Expedition

More than 100 prospective students and family members visited the College for Design and Social Inquiry during the “College Expedition” portion of Explore FAU 2018.  It was a great opportunity for Owl hopefuls to visit the colleges and departments they’re most interested in and speak with faculty and existing students about what it would be like to be a student in their respective degree programs.


Introducing Our New Associate Dean for Research

The College for Design and Social Inquiry (CDSI) is pleased to announce the hiring of Wendy Guastaferro, Ph.D., as our new Associate Dean for Research. Dr. Guastaferro brings considerable external funding experience to her role, and she will serve as an important support resource for faculty throughout each phase of the research grant writing, application, and review process.

Dean Wesley Hawkins has assigned Dr. Guastaferro three key targets to focus on during the 2018-2019 academic year:

  1. Increase the number of faculty research proposal submissions.
  2. Increase the number of proposals that are successfully funded.
  3. Broaden awareness of CDSI research endeavors among University administration, donors and potential donors, and the community at large.

Under Dr. Guastaferro’s leadership, CDSI is building a research strategic team within the Dean’s Office to identify ways to address these specific targets. CDSI looks forward to working with the broader FAU community so, together, we can become the country’s fastest-improving public research university.

To contact Dr. Guastaferro, please call (561) 297-0428 or email her at wguastaferro@fau.edu.

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