Follow Your Heart :: A MSW Student Shares Her Thoughts

Posted by on Tuesday October 18, 2016


As a single parent, working a full-time job and having limited educational experience, I never thought it was possible to obtain a higher level of education. This notion changed in 2005 when I received Christ as my personal savior.  In 2006, God called me into the profession of Social Work, and in 2015, God miraculously opened the doors for me to obtain my graduate degree at Nyack College, becoming a part of the first cohort to start the new MSW program.    


Nyack College has given me the opportunity to become a part-time employee at the campus while giving me the flexibility to take courses in the evening. The professors and other faculty members have recognized my natural ability to help others and are cultivating it to prepare me for leadership outside the community. I am happy to say I am receiving more of a mentorship experience at Nyack College.


In life, I was persuaded to follow a different path, but I chose to follow my heart. You never know where your passion will lead you because opportunities have already been predestined for you.  

New Director, MSW Program

Posted by percelene.mclain on Wednesday August 10, 2016

The School of Social Work is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Janet E. Furness as the new Director of our Masters in Social Work (MSW) program.

Dr. Janet E. Furness,  a native of Newark, NJ, states that her motivation for the social work profession derives from Isaiah’s words: “Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (1:17).

Dr. Furness has directed MSW programs at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, NY, Union University in Jackson, TN, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Carver School of Church Social Work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Currently engaged in several writing pursuits, she sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Social Work & Christianity and is a site visitor for the Council on Social Work Education. She served as adjunct faculty in the first year of Nyack’s MSW program. While teaching at Roberts Wesleyan, she participated in developing curriculum dedicated to educating social workers for practice with congregations and communities. She is currently involved in congregational social work practice in Passaic County, NJ.

Prior to entering higher education fulltime, Dr. Furness directed child placement services at Goodwill Home and Rescue Mission, Newark, and Christian Homes for Children, Hackensack, NJ. Later she was Statewide Director of Volunteer Programs and Children’s Mental Health Advocate at the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. There she facilitated parents whose children languished in the state’s mental health system to develop a parent-driven Statewide Parents Advocacy Network (SPAN).

Dr. Furness received her BS in Bible Social Work from Cairn University (then Philadelphia College of Bible), her MSW from Rutgers University, and her EdD from the University of Rochester, NY. Her doctoral dissertation discusses social work education as innovation in evangelical institutions between 1960 and 1985 using three case studies: Philadelphia College of Bible, Eastern University, and Carver School of Church Social Work.

Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) Course

Posted by Juan.Toribio on Friday August 5, 2016

Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) Course

This 12 session course is designed for first time field instructors as it provides information and training to successfully supervise social work students in the NY tri-state area. The course begins in September of 2016 and ends in April, 2017.


Facilitator: Raesa Kaiteris, LMSW

Raesa Kaiteris received a Master of Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work. Currently, she is an Associate Director of Field Instruction for the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University and was former Assistant Director of Field Education at Adelphi University School of Social Work. Mrs. Raesa Kaiteris has over three decades of trained experienced in the vocation of social work.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM

Enrollment is on a first come basis.

For more information, please contact:

Erica Ponteen-Babasola, Field Education Director

Praxis Forum in Action

Posted by Juan.Toribio on Wednesday April 6, 2016

Praxis Forums and Nyack College was pleased to have Jennifer Jones Austin and Romanita Hairston speak last month to leaders from across the city and engage in a meaningful dialogue about leadership, collaboration, and how we might more effectively reduce poverty & increase opportunity among our neighbors who live on the margins. First on March 16th we were blessed to have Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies President Jennifer Jones Austin speak at our Emerging Leader Dinner hosted in partnership with Nyack College. Jennifer described her call to change to reduce poverty and increase opportunity for those on the margins and challenged those there to consider working in government stating that creating systemic change requires understanding about how the system really works. In addition, she encouraged everyone to embrace reality, gain clarity by removing the clutter, and to stay true to and strengthen their core. The dialogue between Jennifer and the dinner participants was very enriching for everyone!
It's difficult to capture in a few paragraphs all of what both Jennifer & Romanita said. The responses from those who attended was extremely enthusiastic where some said "it changed my view of ministry," "life giving," and "very powerful." One of the greatest outcomes was the connections made between those who attended. We had a robust conversation at both Praxis Forums events. I'm thankful to both Jennifer Jones Austin and Romanita Hairston for taking the time out of their demanding schedules to to be with us!  A special thanks to our partner at Nyack College & Salvation Army for hosting Praxis Forums.

The School of Social Work Launches Juvenile Justice Fellowship Grant

Posted by Juan.Toribio on Tuesday March 29, 2016

Juvenile detention has devastating consequences on life outcomes for youth. In New York City alone, more than 141,400 adolescents and young adults were arrested in  2013; the majority for low-level offenses. The School of Social Work Juvenile Justice Fellowship Grant supports the work of a BSW or MSW fellow who is seeking to prevent and reduce justice involvement of youth through the profession of social work. With unprecedented numbers in the adult criminal justice system, youth must be diverted from the systems altogether and as early as possible. Nyack College School of Social Work believes resources must be realigned to prevent youth from entering the system and that new approaches and innovations are necessary to inform changes in social welfare policy and practice.