Who We Are
The National Center is a collaboration between the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service and the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. As a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), the National Center works with NCTSN committees, developers of evidence-based trauma treatment methods, schools of social work, and community providers.
Dr. Virginia Strand, DSW, Co-Director
Dr. Strand is a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Task Force on Core Curriculum for Trauma-Informed Treatment. She has over 30 years of experience in social work practice, research, education and training, and is widely published in the areas of child sexual abuse, trauma and child welfare workforce development. Dr. Strand is a Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.
Dr. Robert Abramovitz M.D., Co-Director
Dr. Abramovitz trained in adult and child psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Abramovitz has over 30 years of experience as a clinician, educator, program developer, researcher and administrator. He is the former Director of the Department of Psychiatry at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services where he founded the Center for Trauma Program Innovation. In 2002, Dr. Abramovitz received the Sarah Haley Memorial Award for Clinical Excellence from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Dr. Abramovitz is a Distinguished Lecturer at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
Faculty and Staff
Laura Katz, LCSW, Project Director
Ms. Katz has over 20 years of experience in direct clinical service, program design, implementation, and management, and direct supervision of programs, psychotherapists, staff, and students. She possesses extensive clinical knowledge about trauma and early childhood development, and training in trauma treatment. Prior to her current position, she served as Clinical Manager at the Andrus Children’s Center in Yonkers, New York, a community based mental health clinic which provides counseling and crisis management to address the mental health needs of children and families. She has served as a liaison for multiple service providers and agencies and designed and presented seminars and trainings on a variety of topics including trauma treatment.
Dr. Marciana Popescu, PhD, Director of Evaluation
Dr. Popescu has been involved in evaluation research for the past nine years, focusing on the effectiveness of federal funding in building organizational and community capacity. Currently, she is doing research on intimate partner violence, and the impact of women’s legal status on their response to IPV. She also is actively involved in international development, human rights issues, and international social work.
Dr. Susan Hansen, PhD, Faculty Associate
Dr. Hansen has over twenty years of experience in the mental health care and social services fields. She is an adjunct professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Dr. Hansen has worked on several special project for the National Center and frequently facilitates core concepts training sessions for mental health professionals from the local region. In 2014 she also facilitated a two-day training in Fort Collins, CO for mental health clinicians and provided follow-up consultation to participants.
Dr. Rachelle Kammer, LCSW, PhD, Faculty Associate
Dr. Kammer is responsible for recruiting Fordham University GSSS Lincoln Center Students to participate in the National Center program. For the Center, she also leads a Learning Collaborative for BASW programs around the country and teaches the Core Concepts of Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescents course. Dr. Kammer’s research interests include the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of women of color and their families. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Field Instruction for the BASW Program at the Fordham University GSSS.
Dr. Howard Robinson, D.S.W., Faculty Associate
As a Faculty Associate for the National Center, Dr. Robinson develops course curriculum in trauma treatment and trains teaching faculty at participating Schools of Social Work. Dr. Robinson has worked professionally for more than 25 years treating traumatized children, youth, and families in therapeutic pre-schools, foster care settings, preventive services, mental health clinics and in private practice. One of his current interests is developing collaborative international training programs in trauma treatment. Dr. Robinson is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.
Dr. Lyn Slater, MSW, Phd, Faculty Associate
Dr. Slater’s work with the Center has been focused on the adaptation of the original trauma treatment course for a child welfare audience: “Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice.” During the last two years she has facilitated learning collaboratives for those faculty teaching the child welfare adaptation at the MSW level. Dr. Slater has worked in various capacities in the field of child abuse and neglect for 35 years. She has been qualified in Family Court as an expert witness in the field of child sexual abuse. Dr. Slater participated in the early development of Child Advocacy Centers in New York City and has continued to work on the development of education and practice interventions that promote effective interdisciplinary collaboration as a way to reduce child trauma in cases of abuse and neglect. She currently consults with child welfare faculty, practitioners and agencies at the local and national levels and is the co-author of the book, Social Work Practice and the Law. Dr. Slater is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.
Sean M. Richards, LMSW, Evaluation Research Assistant
Mr. Richard’s on-going work as a member of the Evaluation Team consists of data entry/cleaning and analysis of all evaluation projects conducted by the National Center. Mr. Richards coordinates and conducts focus groups with students at full model partner schools. His duties also include the preparation and dissemination of materials related to evaluation activities. Mr. Richards is a recent graduate of the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.
Stephanie Bosco-Ruggiero M.A., Communications and Research Assistant
Ms. Bosco-Ruggiero has worked on federally funded grant projects at the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service since 2007. In her current position she developed the National Center’s website and faculty learning collaborative wikispace and continues to manage and update both. Her other responsibilities include conducting literature reviews, creating an implementation science resource database public use, and assisting with various research projects. Ms. Bosco-Ruggiero is the co-author of four peer reviewed journal articles and a book, Adopting older children: a practical guide to adopting and parenting children over age four. She also is a doctoral student at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service.
Loriane Merone, Administrative Assistant
Ms. Merone’s administrative responsibilities include managing the project budget, making travel arrangements, processing reimbursements, maintaining the meeting calendar, taking and distributing meeting minutes, updating faculty rosters, and managing other project databases. She has 24 years of business management experience including running her own business for 10 years.
If you have a general question or comment for the staff, or are unsure who to direct your question to, you may use this form to contact us.
The mission of the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service is to educate students to promote human rights and social justice globally by advancing economic, political, social, physical, mental, spiritual, and educational well-being. The School strives to improve the quality of life of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities through teaching culturally competent evidence-based practice and engaging in research, policy advocacy, and community partnerships. The Graduate School of Social Service is dedicated to developing social workers who work toward the establishment of societies free from poverty, inequity, violence, oppression, and discrimination.
The Silberman School of Social Work’s mission dedicates the School to work on behalf of cultural diversity, human rights, and social and economic justice. It is a mission commensurate with the profession’s purpose to promote and enhance human and community well-being. Our mission understands people as nested in their communities and as such seeks solutions in human interactions, and in the policies and communities which affect people.