Class of 2015 Alumni

Ralph Cuseglio

DSW-0568Ralph Cuseglio, BA in Psychology (Oberlin College) and MSW (Rutgers University), is a psychotherapist and clinical social worker. He has served as a private practitioner, high school social worker, social work field supervisor, and part time college lecturer. Cuseglio is committed to broadening his clinical knowledge and sharing his practice experience with scholars, students, and clients alike. His therapeutic approach incorporates a variety of psychodynamic, interpersonal, and cognitive behavioral techniques into treatment. His professional interests include cultural and gender influences on psychopathology and help seeking behavior, Buddhist influences on psychotherapy, and interventions in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Elizabeth Figueroa

Elizabeth FigueroaElizabeth Figueroa, MPA (Baruch College, School of Public Affairs) and MSW (Hunter College, Graduate School of Social Work) is a Program Associate in the Research Department of the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA). She is currently involved in a telephone intervention study for older adults with HIV/AIDS. Figueroa has been in the field of HIV/AIDS for over two decades in various capacities. At Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, she is an adjunct instructor, trainer and lecturer. As a trainer for the HASA Institute, an HIV/AIDS project at Fordham University’s GSSS, she works with New York City’s Case Managers, Supervisors and Directors providing training in clinical skills when working with people with HIV/AIDS. Figueroa has a significant background in mental health with a focus on Latin American immigrant communities, the homeless, and the elderly. She is an advocate for bilingual and bicultural competent provision of mental health services and has developed many programs. She has pioneered programs and services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families and has worked as a Program Director, Associate Director and Assistant Director at hospitals and non-profit organizations. She is a 1998 recipient of the National Urban Fellows award and is a founding Board Member for the Latino Alzheimer’s Coalition of NYC.

Alice Foulkes-Garcia

Alice Foulkes-GarciaAlice Foulkes-Garcia, LCSW and CADC since 1993, was raised outside of Philadelphia and went to a Quaker elementary school and a Quaker high school. She has a BA from Boston University in Psychology and Spanish and a MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. After earning her BA, she traveled to Mexico and lived there for three years. She has worked in a variety of settings including an inpatient psychiatric unit for adults, a maximum security prison for adults, a medium security juvenile facility, and outpatient counseling. Currently, Foulkes-Garcia works for the State of New Jersey as the Supervisor of the Social Services Unit for the Juvenile Justice Commission. She continues to do in-home therapy with spanish speaking families in the New Brunswick area as well as work for the State.

Louis Gomez

Louis GomezLouis Gomez is a psychotherapist and social worker with a private practice called Gomez Psych Solutions (GPS) that is based in Houston, TX, where he works with adults and families in both urban and rural areas. His practice provides psychosocial services to clients in various settings, such as those needing individual/group therapy, home health patients, hospice patients, nursing home residents, college students, clients in religious settings, etc. He has earned his Masters of Divinity and an MSW with a mental health concentration, and now serves as chaplain at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and Scott and White Hospital in Temple, TX. His interests include the treatment of depression and suicide ideation, anxiety, PTSD, personality disorders, schizophrenia. He also maintains an interest in physical and mental health policy, as well as in implementation of evidenced-based practices. Being bilingual allows him to provide psychosocial services in Spanish. As a clinician, his eclectic approach consists of theoretical frameworks such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, psychotropic management, existential therapy, religious counseling, crisis intervention, and motivational interviewing.

Jean Hager

Jean Hager, BSW (Monmouth University) and MSW (Rutgers University), has more than 30 years of experience as a clinical social worker in a wide range of issues, particularly alcohol and drug addiction. At her active private practice in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, which she has run since 1987, Hager offers adult, adolescent, individual, couples, group and family therapy, as well as assessment, treatment, and interventions. In addition to alcohol and drug addiction, Hager also treats eating disorders, anxiety/mood disorders, grief and loss issues, and Post-traumatic Stress disorders. Among her many professional accomplishments, Hager is certified from the Academy of Certified Social Workers, New Jersey Certified School Social Workers, and New Jersey Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselors. Her training includes intensive training courses in eating disorders, hypnosis, family systems and couples therapy. In Hager’s philanthropic roles, she has served as Co-founder and Executive Board Treasurer, Executive Board of Trustees, for the Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals from 2009-2010, and was on the Executive Board of Trustees for the Monmouth County SPCA from 2008-2009. She has been a volunteer and chaired capital campaigns and many fundraising events for non-profit charities since 2005.

Patricia Hecht

photo1Patricia Hecht attended the University of Wisconsin and Boston University majoring in Psychology while working at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. During her work toward her MSW at Columbia, she interned at Columbia Presbyterian’s Adolescent Scoliosis Unit and then at a small mental health clinic. She then worked for 8 years at a Midtown Manhattan hospital in both the Psychiatric Emergency Room and the In-Patient Psych.Unit. Hecht received a Certificate in Psychotherapy from Gertrude and Rubin Blanck’s Institute for Psychotherapy in Manhattan and later did psychoanalytic and supervisory training at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health. For the past 17 years, she has been a supervisor, training analyst, and on the faculty and training committee at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in Midtown Manhattan. She has a private practice in both NYC and Hastings-on-Hudson. Most recently, Hecht received her CASAC-T and became involved in the field of addiction and recovery, training at the Caron Center in NYC with Dr. Tian Dayton using psychodramatic work with recovering addicts and their families. She is currently on the Staff of Caron’s Out-Patient Program in NYC and work with patients and families recently discharged from In-Patient Rehab. In addition, she has trained with the American Red Cross and is a member of their Disaster Mental Health Team.

Melody Midoneck

Melody MidoneckMelody Midoneck, MSW, LCSW, RPT-S, maintains a private practice in Manalapan, New Jersey. Specializing in children and families, she works with children as young as three years. Her diverse clinical background includes co-founding the Therapeutic Nursery Group Program at Jersey Shore Medical Center, working in local school districts where she developed a thorough understanding of special education, and providing behavioral health consultation services to Head Start of Monmouth County. Midoneck earned a BA in psychology from Brooklyn College and an MSW from Fordham University. She is credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and offers supervision to other professionals earning their RPT certification. As an adjunct at Monmouth University, she taught in the Graduate School of Social Work. She has presented on a wide range of topics pertinent to children and families. Within her community, she participates in the Township Alliance for the prevention of substance abuse. Her affiliations include: The National Association for Social Work, The National Association of Play Therapy, The New Jersey Association for School Social Work and The Tourette’s Syndrome Association.

Stephen Oreski

Stephen OreskiStephen Oreski, MSW, LCSW, received his Master’s of Social Work from Fordham University. His clinical interests include trauma, spirituality, clinical social work practice, and strength based approaches for change. He works as a senior outpatient clinician for those who have experienced violence in an urban environment, and maintains an independent psychotherapy practice. Oreski’s professional background includes leadership in social movements, policy, advocacy, and community organization. As Program Development Coordinator for the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, he collaborated with other state and local program professionals and government agencies to plan and develop statewide policy and program initiatives, coordinated training with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, and implemented standard best practices and facilitated service provision for the 21 New Jersey county-based Sexual Violence programs and Rutgers University. Oreski has served on the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Sexual Violence, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Trauma Group, and NASW-NJ Continuing Education Committee. As a founding member of No Wrong Door NJ, he focused on creating an integrated system of care for survivors of sexual violence with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those with mental illness. He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Sexual Violence and Abuse, has been interviewed for articles in the Bergen Record, Asbury Park Press, the Newark Star Ledger, The Press of Atlantic City, and has spoken to both local and national media regarding the effects of trauma on the individual and society.

Peter Przeradzki

Peter PrzeradzkiPeter Przeradzki, BS in Human Development (Binghamton University), MSW, specializing in Substance Abuse and Co-occuring Disorders (NYU), is also a graduate of the Bay Non-Violent Communication Leadership Program.  He strongly believes that helping others experiment with empathy and compassion is the most effective way to provide sustainable emotional healing and growth. Peter began his career at the Staten Island Mental Health Center’s Teen Center and Program for Academic Student Success (PASS).  He then moved to the Staten Island Behavioral Network, working as a Housing Specialist in the Supported Housing Program, and as a Intensive/ Supportive Case Manager and Behavioral Health Care Coordinator. During this time, he also worked at Neighborhood Counseling Center in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.  Currently, Peter is the Social Worker and Housing Specialist for the South Richmond Assertive Community Treatment Team out of South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island in New York City.

Juan Rios

Juan RiosJuan Rios, BSW (Southern Connecticut State University) and MSW (Rutgers University), began his career with Child Protective Services in the state of Connecticut shortly transferring to New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services. While working for DYFS Juan held various positions within the agency including permanency worker, investigator, and adoption specialist. During his tenure with the Division he obtained numerous certifications from Rutgers University in adoption, parent education, and creative arts therapy. Focusing on minority families living in urban communities, Juan began his clinical work as an intensive in-home clinician treating children with various behavioral disorders and psychological diagnoses with a speciality in undocumented children and families who have experienced trauma due to abuse and neglect. He earned his certification in nonprofit leadership from Fordham University and co-founded a nonprofit mentoring organization, G.U.I.A- Guiding Unprecedented Individuals into Action. Currently employed as an LCSW by Family Connections as the Program Coordinator for the Reunity House Program, he is also the lead in-home Parent Educator for the PEACE program of Volunteers of America along with maintaining a private practice in Jersey City, NJ . He has previously been employed in both government and nonprofit sectors working with children and families who have experienced trauma and separation. Rios was recognized for his partnership efforts by the State of New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services in April 2012 and has received various awards for his work in the Latino community, including a proclamation from the City Council of Philadelphia.

Debbie Ruisard

Debbie RuisardDebbie Ruisard, BA in Recreation Administration (University of Alberta) Master of Theraputic Recreation (Temple University), worked for a number of years as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at Carrier Clinic. After stepping off the career path for a few years to raise her three daughters, she returned to school to obtain her MSW from Rutgers University. She has held positions as a Primary Therapist at The Princeton House Women’s Trauma Program and at Hunterdon Behavioral Health in the Addictions Department. In January of 2010, she was hired as the Program Manager for The Center for Great Expectations, a residential treatment program in Somerset NJ for homeless women in recovery who are pregnant and/or parenting young children. She is dually licensed as an LCSW and LCADC and in her work seeks to develop a greater understanding of the relationship between trauma and addiction in order to improve recovery outcomes for her clients.

Irma Sandoval-Arocho

Irma Sandoval-ArochoIrma Sandoval-Arocho, BA in Psychology (Fairleigh Dickinson University) and MSW (Rutgers University), is an LCSW practicing School Social Work in New Brunswick Public Schools for the past 12 years. During this time, she has led several successful community outreach campaigns that benefit the families she works with. In addition to her role as School Social Worker, Sandoval-Arocho serves as an Anti-bullying Specialist in the public school district. Experienced in the area of administration, policy, and planning, Sandoval-Arocho has served in various administrative capacities from General Manager, Program Coordinator, Director of Human Services, and finally to Deputy Director. She has also served as a Part-Time Lecturer for the School of Social Work at Rutgers and has been a field instructor for MSW students. Sandoval-Arocho’s clinical interests include working with Hispanic/Latino children and families, newly arrived immigrant communities, at-risk youth, abuse, trauma, domestic violence, and suicide. In her engaged scholarship project, she intends to explore immigration through the lens of a child. Sandoval-Arocho was born in Guatemala and raised in New Jersey.

Caitlin Simpson

Caitlin SimpsonCaitlin Simpson is currently a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Alcohol & Drug Counselor (LCADC) in the state of New Jersey. She completed her undergraduate degree (BSW) at Monmouth University and her Masters in Social Work (MSW) at Fordham University. In 2010, Simpson began the PhD program in Social Work at Fordham University, however her true passion for clinical social work led her to pursue the DSW degree at Rutgers University. Simpson began her career as a social worker and substance abuse specialist at Ocean Medical Services located in Toms River, NJ followed by employment with the State of NJ – Ocean County Superior Court as a Substance Abuse Evaluator for the Criminal Division and Ocean County Drug Court. She has also been employed through Jersey Shore University Medical Center as an Addictions Therapist and Ocean County College as an Adjunct Professor instructing courses on Addiction and Sociology, and is now employed through Preferred Children’s Services as a Clinical Supervisor.

Kimberly Stolow

Kimberly StolowKimberly Stolow, LCSW, has worked in the field of child abuse since obtaining her MSW. She currently works at the Dorothy B Hersh Child Protection Center where she provides services to abused children and their families. Stolow is also a private therapist who specializes in grief and loss, the treatment of sexually abused children and their non-offending parents. She co-facilitates groups for non-offending parents and children who have been victims of sexual abuse. Stolow is a member of the Multidisciplinary Team in Mercer and Monmouth County and has provided numerous trainings on the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse, child sexual abuse treatment, working with the non-offending parent, and vicarious trauma. As a Finding Words faculty member, she teaches the mental health portion of the curriculum and facilitates small groups in order to critique the participant’s child interviewing skills. Stolow is also in the process of creating a training curriculum on the topic of child sexual abuse for the Institute for Families at Rutgers.

Jessica Verdicchio

Jessica VerdicchioJessica Verdicchio, BA Psychology (University of Colorado at Boulder), MSW (Columbia University), has worked at Northern Highlands Regional High School as a School Social Worker/Child Study Team member for the past eight years. At Northern Highlands, she is a case manager for special education students, provides weekly counseling services, and works with the greater student body as a leadership advisor. In addition to her work at Northern Highlands, Verdicchio is an LCSW, Disaster Mental Health Crisis Counselor (DRCC) through the state of New Jersey as well as a Child Custody Evaluator for the Bergen County court system. Her research interests are in the areas of child and adolescent mental health and drug/alcohol prevention and intervention.

Timothy Vermillion

Timothy Vermillion

Timothy D Vermillion, LCSW, supervises licensed clinical social workers and psychologists at the Bloomfield Vet Center, a Veterans Affairs Administration (VA) outpatient program.  The Vet Center serves combat-veterans, service-members and their families suffering from post-traumatic stress and complicated readjustment to civilian life.  Vet Center staff are experts in the treatment of trauma.  Timothy’s certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and VA approved-provider status in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) are a testament to his drive to further his expertise.  Timothy commissioned in the New Jersey Army National Guard as a Behavioral Science Officer providing social work and assessment services.  He has served in the military for over 15 years including a deployment to Iraq as a medic leading medical professionals in support of an infantry mission.  He also supervises Master of Social Work students for Temple and New York University.  Timothy is interested in engaging in practitioner-informed research exploring the changing military culture and challenging current trends in the treatment of military families, service members and veterans.

John Wallace

John WallaceJohn Wallace, LCSW, received his Master’s degree in Social Work from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and enters the DSW program with a diverse clinical background, having experience in mental health, substance abuse and medical social work. In addition, he has worked with multiple client populations, including children, adolescents, adults and families, while having formal training in Structural Family Therapy through Philadelphia Child Guidance. He also has experience in community, out-patient and residential settings. Currently, he works at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, as well as continuing to maintain a part-time private practice. His academic interests include Existential Theory and how it can influence social work practice.

Jude Webster

Jude WebsterJude Webster has been in private practice in Montclair, NJ for the past seven years where she specializes in families, couples and focuses on women’s reproductive health issues. Currently, she also runs a clinical supervision group and is on the board of directors of the Montclair Inn, a non-profit that offers affordable housing to independent seniors. For eight years, Webster worked at the Family Service League in Bloomfield and Montclair, a non-profit agency that provides counseling to families on a sliding scale. In addition to serving as senior clinician, she supervised MSW students from Rutgers and NYU. Until recently, Webster was a field liaison for Rutgers University’s MSW students. She attended the 2nd International Family Therapy Conference led by Maurizio Andolfi in Rome where she reconnected with former colleagues from the Tavistock Clinic and Marlborough Family Service from her time at work in London.

Clara West

Clara WestClara West, MSW (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis), is licensed in the state of New Jersey as a Clinical Social Worker. She is employed by the Camden Board of Education and serves on the Child Study Team. As both an Educator and Social Worker, she finds that her work with special needs children through the philosophy of “functioning as designed” allows one to be more effective in the marketplace. Past work experience includes geriatric, mental health, family service, and psychiatric inpatient. Her professional interests are to enhance her clinical and writing skills to meet the demands of practice and to teach. In the community, she volunteers as a Sunday school teacher and has written curriculum for children ages pre-school to youth. She has also co-authored a women’s mentoring program for her church.

Eric Williams

Eric WilliamsEric Williams, MSW with concentration in Direct Practice (Rutgers University), completed his Certification in Field Instruction at Rutgers in 2000. Currently, he is completing a seven-year, post-graduate training program at the New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis, and is scheduled to receive certification in May 2013. Williams has been employed by the Union City Board of Education since 1996 as a Clinician in a variety of public education settings. At present, he is working in an alternative design high school for at-risk teens, providing individually tailored intervention and education programs for a small number of students who are faced with academic and/or life challenges. Former experiences include: Coordinator of out-patient adolescent mental health services; Director of an adult medical day care center; as well as other diverse community mental health roles working with chronic and MICA populations. In addition to becoming a Part-Time Lecturer at Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work in 2012, Williams is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Hudson County Community College. He has maintained a private practice for 16 years, treating adults, children, families and couples using a psychodynamic approach.