Faculty & Staff

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Dr. Alperin

Dr. Diane Alperin

Vice Provost

Diane Elias Alperin, Ph.D., LCSW, is Associate Provost of the Boca Raton campus and Professor of Social Work. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook, MS from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Florida International University. Research areas of interest include child and family services, new areas of social work practice, and social work education. She has published a number of articles and is coauthor of two books in these areas. She has been active with several professional and community organizations, and in 1987, was selected Social Worker of the Year by the Florida Chapter of NASW. She is currently President of the Board of Directors of the Maternal Child Family Health Alliance of Palm Beach County.
Everiste Ambris

Everiste Ambris

Field Faculty

Everiste Ambris received his MSW from State University of NY at Buffalo. His practice experience mental health counseling for college students with alcohol and other drug issue; and mental health counseling. Prior to joining the Field Faculty, he worked at the FAU Counseling Center for 3 years and the University of Louisville Counseling Center for 4 years. Professor Ambris’ professional interest includes multicultural issues, anxiety, depression, and alcohol and other drugs.
Dr. Barsky

Dr. Allan Barsky


Allan Barsky received his Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Toronto, his MSW from Yeshiva University, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. His teaching and research interests include social work practice theory and skill development, conflict resolution, professional ethics, and substance abuse. His book credits include Ethics and Values in Social Work (Oxford University Press), Clinicians in Court (Guilford Press), Conflict Resolution for the Helping Professions (Brooks/Cole), Interprofessional Practice with Diverse Populations (Greenwood), Successful Social Work Education: A Student’s Guide (Brooks/Cole), and Alcohol, Other Drugs and Addictions (Brooks/Cole). Dr. Barsky was awarded the “Distinguished Teacher of the Year” by CDSI students in 2005, the “Researcher of the Year – Scholarly and Creative Works” by FAU in 2007, and the “Undergraduate Advisor of the Year” by CDSI in 2010.
Georgia Brown

Georgia Brown

Field Faculty

Georgia Brown received her MSW from the University of Texas at Arlington. She earned her BSW from the University of Central Texas in Killeen, Texas. She has 14 years of experience in child welfare. She held the position of Program Director for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Professor Brown specialized in the family reunification and family preservation programs.
Renita Carter

Renita Carter

Program Assistant

Renita Carter has 10 years of experience as a Bank Reconciliation. She also worked as an office manager with LNC Engineering Contractor, Inc. for 8 years. In 2006 she started work at FAU for CUES in Fort Lauderdale and remained there until 2008 when she transferred to the School of Social Work.
Renita Carter

Marianna Colvin

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor Marianna Colvin received her Ph.D. in Social Work at the University of Georgia and MSW from the University of Alabama. As a mixed-methods researcher, Marianna combines network analysis and qualitative methods to examine interorganizational human service delivery systems related to vulnerable children and families. She approaches child welfare from a community-wide orientation, inclusive of multiple disciplines, and concentrates on interactions across organizations, theories of systems and complexity, and implications for policy and network development. Her academic pursuits are guided by experiences as a social work practitioner in international, national, and local child welfare roles, including community development for street children and impoverished populations in India and U.S. based capacities in child protective services, family preservation, resource development, and supervision.

Similar to her research interests, Marianna’s teaching interests reflect a community orientation and she enjoys building community within the classroom, facilitating community-based learning, and integrating a global-community perspective across content. She is passionate about social work education and through both teaching and research, aims to enhance the ways communities and organizations are knitted together in support of vulnerable children and families.
Dr. DeRigne

Dr. LeaAnne DeRigne

Associate Professor

LeaAnne DeRigne earned her Ph.D. and MSW in Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Her BS degree is in Psychology from Missouri State University. She taught as a Visiting Professor from 2006-2008 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis after completion of her Ph.D. in 2006. She worked as a lobbyist and policy analyst in Washington, DC and the Missouri State Capitol for 5 years following completion of her MSW. Her area of research expertise is in health care policy, specifically mental health care service access for children. Her other area of research expertise is in analyzing family impact of having a child with a special health care need, specifically labor market participation and financial impact. Her passions are in researching and teaching in the areas of social welfare policy. She is also the advisor to the student organization that plans the annual trip to Tallahassee for Student Lobby Day. She moved to South Florida in 2009 with her husband and two small children.
Heather Farineau

Dr. Heather Farineau

Assistant Professor

Heather Farineau earned her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy and MSW in Social Work from the Florida State University in Tallahassee. She taught as an Adjunct Professor in 2013 at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University after the completion of her Ph.D. in 2013. She has over seven years of experience in the child welfare system in Florida, working in a range of roles from a front line staff to an administrator at the lead child welfare agency of North Florida. Additionally, as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Dr. Farineau has provided counseling services, including individual, couple and family counseling, as well as parenting interventions to at-risk families involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Her area of research expertise is in child welfare, specifically identifying protective factors for adolescents in long-term foster care. Her secondary area of research focuses on identifying best practices for child welfare professionals.
Dr. Graham

Dr. John R. Graham

Professor and Director

John Graham, MA MSW PhD, is a Professor of Social Work and Director of the School. Prior to coming to FAU, he was at the University of Calgary where he had served as Murray Fraser Professor of Community Economic Development, and PhD Program Coordinator. Graham has held over $4 million in research funding, has published over 100 journal articles, 51 book chapters, and is completing his ninth book. He has published on international development (with a particular focus on Bedouin-Arab communities in the Middle East), social policy, social welfare history, spirituality and social work, multicultural social work, and homelessness. His current interests concentrate on employee well being, and subjective well being (happiness) in and out of the workplace. His writing was recently recognized among the top 50 most frequently cited for his discipline in the English speaking world, 2000-2009. A longstanding mentor to junior faculty and to graduate students, Graham has sat on over 100 graduate student committees at the masters and doctoral levels, and in 2014 received a teaching award for graduate student mentoring.
Dr. Green

Dr. Diane Green Sherman


Diane Green Sherman received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and her MSW from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Sherman's practice experience includes clinical director of a behavioral healthcare system for inpatient, outpatient and partial hospitalization care for children and adolescents; program administrator in foster care; and clinical social work in hospice. Her book credits include “Helping Victims of Violent Crime:  Assessment, Treatment and Evidence Based Practice. Dr. Sherman's research and scholarly interests include human trafficking, the stress and coping processes for victims of crime, restorative justice, the effectiveness of mental health interventions, and grief and loss issues.
Wilma Greenfield

Dr. Wilma Greenfield

Professor Emerita

Wilma Greenfield received her MSW and DSW from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Greenfield served as Chair and Director of the BSW program for 16 years.
Dr. Hamlin

Dr. Elwood R. Hamlin, II

Assistant Director and Coordinator of MSW Program

Elwood R. Hamlin II, earned his MSW from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and his Ph.D. from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He served 27 years on active duty as an Army social work officer and is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Hamlin's professional interests and publications are in the areas of domestic violence, military social work, healthcare, as well as social work education and practice. He serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.
Dr. Hawkins

Dr. Michele Hawkins

Associate Provost for Planning and Budget
Out of Unit

Michele Hawkins is Associate Provost for Assessment and Programs. She earned her MSW from the University of Missouri and her Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. Her practice experience includes school social work, legislative policy, and work with adults. She has published a number of articles in national and international journals. Dr. Hawkins is a recent graduate of the New York Academy of Medicine/Hartford Foundation Leadership Academy on Aging for Deans and Directors of Schools Social Work. She is a board member of Family Promise, a local shelter for homeless families. Dr. Hawkins has served as chair of the Florida Association of Deans and Directors from 2001-2011. She previously was on faculty and Assistant Dean at the National School of Social Service at Catholic University, Washington, DC and previously a faculty member at the University of Oregon.
Dr. Hawkins

Dr. Wesley Hawkins


Wesley Hawkins earned his MSW from Catholic University, Washington, D.C. His Ph.D. is in Community Health Education from Southern Illinois University. Prior to FAU, he has held faculty and research positions at The Johns Hopkins University, the Clinical Trials Division at the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the University of Oregon. His research areas include adolescent depression, substance use disorders, and the collegiate recovery movement. Dr. Hawkins has also served as an Assistant and Associate Provost for Promotion and Tenure at FAU.
Dr. Horton

Dr. Gail Horton

Associate Professor

Gail Horton received her BSW from Florida Atlantic University, and her MSW and Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Florida International University in Miami, FL. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she has practiced in the Palm Beach County area for 20 years and is a Qualified Supervisor for graduates seeking licensure in the State. She has direct practice experience with emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children and their families, and with adolescents and adults with substance use problems. Her research and scholarly interests include relationships between substance use problems and mood disorder, with a particular interest in spirituality and attachment.
Bettyanne Hutton

Bettyanne Hutton


Bettyanne Hutton earned her MSW from Florida International University and a BS degree in Sociology/Psychology at Lambuth College, Jackson, Tennessee. Professor Hutton has worked in the areas of child welfare for the last 30 years, both with Children and Families and as a child welfare field trainer for the Professional Development Center. Her special interest areas include adoption and foster parent training and child welfare education. She has served on a number other professional and community organizations including the Technical Advisory Committee of the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. Professor Hutton is a member of NASW and past Treasure Coast Unit Chair. In 2007 she was awarded Treasure Coast NASW Unit's Social Worker of the Year. In 2010 Professor Hutton was presented with the Educator of the Year award from Palm Beach County NASW Unit.
Dr. Kane

Dr. Michael Kane


Michael Kane earned his Ph.D. and MSW from Barry University, a Master of Divinity from St. Vincent de Paul, and a BS from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Dr. Kane’s publications and interest areas include aging and mental health, Alzheimer’s disease, and managed care.
Dr. Brown

Dr. Arlene Kaplan

Assistant Director and Coordinator of Field Education

Arlene Kaplan earned her MSW and Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Florida International University and her Bachelors in Sociology from University of Florida. She has over twenty two years work experience with public social service work and administration, with an emphasis on child welfare including special needs adoption and foster care. Her academic experience includes teaching practice, research and field education courses at the BSW and MSW levels. She has also served as the Coordinator of an MSW program. Dr. Kaplan is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Council on Social Work Education, and the Florida Field Consortium. She also serves as a research consultant to the Broward County Public Schools. Her current research interests include field education, child welfare, macro social work, and program evaluation.
Dr. Diaz

Dr. Naelys Luna

Associate Professor

Naelys Diaz earned her MSW and Ph.D. in Social Work from Fordham University in New York and her BA from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. She is a Licensed Social Worker (NY and NJ). She helped develop ADHD and PTSD programs in a child and adolescent outpatient psychiatric hospital. Dr. Diaz has provided clinical social work services to children, adolescents, and their families in outpatient units, partial care programs, and private practice. She has worked in several research projects at the New York Psychiatric Institute and Lehman College. Dr. Diaz’s research interests and publications are in the areas of substance use disorders, mood disorders, spirituality, parental roles, mental health outcomes in minorities (especially Hispanics), and psychosocial functioning.
Dr. Carter

Tod Marshall

Program Assistant

Tod Marshall earned his B.A. in Radio & Television Production from Eastern Washington University and is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. In addition to working at WEVU-TV in Bonita Springs, FL, he has over 12 years of experience in customer service and programming working with Siemens Telecommunications. His interests are music and genealogy. He has been with the School of Social Work since 2005.
Dr. Jacobs

Dr. Paulina Martinez


Paulina Martinez earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from Barry University, her MSW from Florida International University and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Houston. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Dr Martinez previously taught in the MSW program at California State University, San Bernardino. She used to teach child welfare courses under the Title IV E program and was previously Assistant Director of Field Education at FAU.

Dr. Martinez’ expertise is in the area of sexual prejudice, homophobia and heterosexism. Having being born in Mexico City, Mexico, her interests are also focused on diversity and vulnerable populations, especially Hispanic immigrants. She has extensive experience working with gay men, lesbians bisexual and transgender individuals, minority children and families in child welfare and children's mental health. Her current research involves the needs of older gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people and sexual prejudice in general.
Joy McClellan

Joy McClellan


Joy McClellan, LCSW, earned a BSW degree from Florida State University and an MSW from Barry University. Her early social work practice included community organization and community mental health. Professor McClellan has worked in the areas of children’s mental health, family strengthening and family preservation, and child welfare for the last 15 years. Her special interest areas include system of care work and child welfare education. She is a member of NASW and serves as a board member of the Federation of Families of Palm Beach County.
Dr. JuYoung Park

Dr. JuYoung Park

Associate Professor

Juyoung Park, School of Social Work Assistant Professor, earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and MSW and BA degrees from the University of South Carolina. As a social worker, she conducted assessment of adult clients at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. In 2011, Dr. Park was selected as a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar. The Hartford Foundation grant is supporting her study of ethnic differences in chronic pain management and barriers and facilitators to use of nonpharmacologi­cal pain management. Her research interests and publications include chronic pain management in older adults, pain medication misuse/abuse, and mental health in older adults with chronic pain. Currently, she is conducting interdisciplinary research with physicians and nurses in the FAU College of Medicine and Nursing.
Keith Platt

Keith Platt

Field Faculty

Keith Platt earned an MSW in clinical social work from Florida State University and his BSW degree from Florida Atlantic University. He is a licensed clinical social worker and worked as a private practice-based psychotherapist from 1993 to 2003. He holds both the ACSW and DCSW designations by The National Association of Social Workers. His agency work experience includes Drug Abuse Treatment Association, Children’s Home Society, Compass, and Center for Family Services. He co-founded HOPE, a psychoeducational support program for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth and their families in 1992. This program was the first of its kind in Florida to be granted public funding and has earned state and national attention. His academic and research interests include practice and curriculum related areas.
Robin Rubin

Robin Rubin


Robin Rubin earned her MSW and BSW from FAU. She is also a graduate of the highly selective Wexner Heritage Foundation Leadership Program. She is an avid volunteer and very active and well respected in the greater Boca Raton philanthropic community. As part of her MSW degree training, she worked at the Lynn Cancer Institute of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital primarily in the multi-modality oncology center. Active in her effort to foster and support the local community, she serves as Vice President on the board of the Spanish River High School Foundation and the board of the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center, South Palm Beach Jewish Federation and Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach. She also serves on Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation Board, the hospital's Go-Pink challenge committee and on the Women's Advisory Council for the Christine E. Lynn Women's Health & Wellness Institute. Ms. Rubin serves as Field Faculty for the School of Social Work.
Dr. Ryan

Dr. Ellen Ryan

Professor and BSW Program Coordinator

Ellen Ryan completed her MSW degree at University of Missouri and her Ph.D. in Health Education from Southern Illinois University. She has worked in the health and mental health fields as a medical and psychiatric social worker and as a therapist with individuals and families. Dr. Ryan teaches in the Practice sequence at the Master's and Baccalaureate levels. Her current research interests include special needs adoption, as well as health care beliefs, concerns, and practices of recent immigrants.
Sherry Weinschenk

Sherry Weinschenk


Sherry Weinschenk, LCSW, joined the FAU School of Social Work faculty for the 2009/2010 school year. She is the advisor for current and prospective MSW students. Sherry earned her MSW from FAU. She also earned her MBA and BS from FAU. Professor Weinschenk has worked for Children's Place at Home Safe in Lake Worth as a full-time therapist working with children in the Safety Net domestic violence program. She previously worked at the Health Care District of Palm Beach County in public relations and at the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County in recycling program management.
Content Last Updated on: September 02, 2015
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