Touro Professor Honored At 12th Annual Latino Social Work Event

Copacabana at touro collegeTouro College Graduate School of Social Work Associate Professor Annecy Baez, Ph.D. was honored with a Leadership Award from the Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund (LSWC) at the group’s 12th Annual Awards Dinner held recently at The Copacabana in New York City.

Dr. Baez has been a clinical social worker for over thirty years, working extensively with the Latino community as a social worker. At Touro, she is director of the Social Work Latino Student Initiative, where she serves as teacher, mentor and advocate for supportive services.

“Her longstanding concern with social justice and cultural diversity, combined with her research and writing that focus on mental health needs of Latinos, encourage relevant exploration of social work issues in the classroom,” said Dr. Steven Huberman, founding dean of the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work.

Dr. Baez expressed her thanks, “I am deeply honored to be nominated for this award by such an inspiring visionary as Dean Steven Huberman and the Touro faculty and staff. With deep gratitude to my colleagues Nancy Gallina, Steven Krantz and Allison Bobick, whose belief in me paved the way to a much-loved path and the Touro students who have opened my heart. Deep bows of gratitude to the Board of the LSWC whose support has been unwavering.”

According to the LSWC, its mission is to assure an adequate number of culturally and linguistically competent Latino social workers in New York City as well as to enhance services needed in the Latino Community. To facilitate this goal, it enlists the support of a consortium of NYC’s eight graduate schools of social work with a commitment of scholarships and funds raised by the LSWC close to $500,000 awarded to 86 students thus far.

At the event, the first three Touro students to receive scholarships, all advisees of Dr. Baez, were announced: Vanessa Rosa, a first-year MSW student from Brooklyn who resides in the Bronx; Jaime Hernandez, a first-year student from the Bronx; and Marie Reyes, a second-year student residing in Brooklyn.  Each student was awarded a scholarship for their academic achievements, current or past work experience and their commitment to serving the Latino community.

Ms. Rosa, who earned her bachelor’s degree at Hunter College, started out in social work in 2009, helping homeless families at a non-profit agency in the Bronx. Today she works at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where, she says, “Working with my clients to help them build a new life is extremely fulfilling. They motivate me to make recovery a reality for people suffering from mental disabilities. They are my inspiration.”

Ms. Rosa said she is pleased to help fill the need for social workers familiar with Latino culture. “A lot of the community does not speak English. A lot of times I go to government agencies and see people…struggling to get their requests across,” she said.

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