Touro College Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) was honored
as “Social Work School of the Year” by the National Association of Social Workers-New York City Chapter.
This happened last week at the organization’s 13th annual Leadership Awards Gala.
Touro is the first social work school to receive the award, created to acknowledge institutions that educate their members and serve as a foundation of the profession. The inaugural award went to Touro for its leadership and contributions in building the profession. Specifically, it acknowledges the school’s commitment to social justice through teaching, advocacy, and clinical excellence.
Over two hundred guests attended the virtual event – “20 to 20 and Beyond” – celebrating social workers’ achievements, commitment to social justice, and the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s constitutional right to vote.
“A Strong Name in NYC”
NASW-NYC Executive Director Dr. Claire Green-Forde highlighted the “amazing work and dedication” of Founding Dean Dr. Steven Huberman, faculty, staff, and students.
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“Touro has made a strong name for itself in New York City, and the Dean’s leadership and dedication to justice go well beyond the institution. He and Touro have elevated our profession through educating students in innovative ways, and working to face issues head on so that we remain strong,” she said.
Said Dean Huberman in accepting the award, “We will never sleep and never stop until we have justice for everyone. We say, ‘Congratulations to NASW and we look forward to serving the community for many years.’ ”
The school opened in 2006 on West 23rd Street with 60 students. Under the Dean’s leadership, it has grown to 325 students enrolled, and alumni numbering over 1,000. The GSSW prides itself on attracting a diverse student body, which this year is 50 percent Latino and African American, 30 percent Jewish and 20 percent other diverse students.
Over the past four years the school has been awarded $7 million from the federal government and the private sector to train students, faculty and staff in fighting the opioid crisis, and to provide scholarships for disadvantaged MSW students. The aid goes mainly to students who are drawn to working with underserved populations, to provide them with skills to effect change.
“Give Voice to Those Who Cannot Speak…”
“We are all thrilled by this honor,” said Touro College and University System President Dr. Alan Kadish. “Our mission is to provide quality education that is accessible and affordable to all. We want to give voice to the needs of those who cannot speak for themselves.”
The school has achieved excellence in three specializations: mental illness, military veterans, and aging. All students do fieldwork, at over 100 clinical primary care sites across New York and New Jersey. Their rotations serve the elderly, the homeless and victims of domestic violence. As a group, students travel to Albany and Washington, D.C. to advocate for social workers, and help NYC count the homeless every winter.
The GSSW has a long history with the NASW. Students serve as liaisons to the NYC Chapter, and receive free memberships when they graduate, subsidized by Touro, also a lead sponsor of the Gala.
For more information about Touro College Graduate School of Social Work please visit www.gssw.touro.edu
The Touro College and University System
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro has 35 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Illinois, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow.
New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For more information, visit www.touro.edu
Photo credit: 1) Far left Karen Fillipi and others. 2) Dr. Steven Huberman and Bobby Staley. 3) Stephanie Plasencia, and Dean Dr. Steven Huberman. All photos by Jill Levine.