Lydia Bartram, MSW
A two-time FAU alumna, Lydia earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. She received her MSW from Florida Atlantic University in 2008 and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology. Serving as the guiding force at FAU’s Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development for close to a decade, Lydia has left an indelible mark on the lives of hundreds of young children. With more than 20 years’ experience working with children and families, she has successfully managed programs in early childhood education, special education, and therapy and support for young children and their families. Her areas of specializations include, school leadership and administration, early childhood education, early intervention, inclusion, program development, mentoring and training.
Lydia is a seasoned education leader and college instructor and an international speaker, researcher and author. Remaining active on the international level for several decades, she has participated in relief and advocacy efforts in support of orphans in Romania, Peru and Bolivia, Tarascan Indians in Mexico, indigenous communities in Brazil’s Amazon jungle and HIV/AIDS intervention and prevention projects in Uganda.
Dhaima Chin, LCSW
Dhaima Chin is a passionate LCSW, a Qualified Supervisor and leader who is frequently called upon for her knowledge. She is the founder of Miami Counseling Services, LLC, which provides services to patients battling mental disorder and mental illness. Dhaima is also a co-founder of Test Prep Central, where she assists other social workers who are seeking licensure with exam preparation courses.
Dhaima is an Alumni of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and was rewarded the 2019 Alumni of the year award. She is a member of various social associations and committees including the National Black Association of Social workers, South Florida Social worker’s Connect, Black Girls in Social Work, Black Therapist Rocks and The PAC Disability Rights Committees just to name a few.
Dhaima’s goal is to motivate other’s especially social workers to extend their abilities and achieve maximum success. She is an energetic and experienced Social Worker. She is the author of a book called “The Social Work Hustle” that inspires Social Worker’s to push forward.
Jamie-Lee Conner, DSW
Dr. Jamie-Lee Conner is a licensed clinical social worker with an earned doctorate in advanced clinical social work. She is a three time alumni at Florida Atlantic University, she received her BSW in 2007, her MSW in 2010, and her DSW in 2019. She has over 14 years’ experience working as a medical social worker helping clients who have been diagnosed with a variety of physical disorders, both chronic and temporary illnesses including: Arthritis, Cancer, Crohn’s disease, CRPS, Diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Parkinson’s, Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, and Ulcerative Colitis. Dr. Conner completed research during her doctoral studies assessing factors associated with health-related quality of life and coping styles among adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Additionally, she has conducted research in preventative medicine in colorectal and lung cancer. Dr. Conner currently has a private practice, where she works with both children, adolescents, and adults. She understands how therapy can address both the physical and psychological impacts of illness. Dr. Conner has a passion working with clients to not only improve their health related quality of life but to also develop coping skills. She also provides clinical consultation in a variety of healthcare settings including but not limited to large physician practices, hospitals, and research institutions. Dr. Conner has a passion for social work education in both undergraduate and graduate courses.
Seth Densen, MSW
Seth received his MSW from Adelphi University in 2008 after receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah in Family Studies and Human Development. His career in social work began when he successfully advocated for mandatory Holocaust education in public schools in the state of Utah. Upon relocating to Florida, Seth served the state as a Child Protective Investigations Supervisor with the Department of Children and Families. He is passionate about child welfare and effectuating change on macro levels. Presently, he is a social worker with the Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a division of MorseLife Health Systems which enables seniors to live independently at home for as long as possible by addressing the social, emotional, medical, and everyday needs and challenges older adults often face. Seth regularly teaches Social Welfare Policy, Social Work Practice III, Case Management, and various other courses.
Marcel Fort, LCSW
Marcel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Florida native from Miami. His desire to help those with mental health issues, particularly addiction, motivated him to complete a B.S. degree in Social Psychology, then a Master of Social Work Degree at Florida Atlantic University in 2006. Along with teaching at FAU, Marcel currently has a private practice and works in a men’s trauma inpatient treatment program. He has held the positions of Case Manager, Primary Therapist and Clinical Director. Marcel works with adults and late teens with issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, lack of direction and meaning of life questions, and substance abuse. He specializes in addiction, post-treatment and early recovery challenges, helping those impacted by the addiction of others, co-dependency, and adjustment problems. In addition, Marcel is trained in Post-Induction Therapy, and often uses experiential therapy practices.
Tamara Gilarski, LCSW
Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor
Brad Jaffe, LCSW
Brad Jaffe, LCSW, is the corporate therapist for the e-commerce company Chewy, Inc. Additionally, Brad maintains a private practice in Boca Raton, where he treats families and young adults experiencing mood, anxiety and thought disorders. He is a licensed supervisor in the state of Florida, providing supervision and case consultation for students seeking licensure. A native of Florida, Brad received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and his masters degree from Columbia University. After receiving his MSW, Brad trained at the American Institute for Psychoanalysis and the Karen Horney Clinic in New York. Before relocating to Florida in 2016, Brad worked for Project Renewal, a New York City social services agency that provided mental health care to the homeless population. There, he provided outpatient counseling and helped integrate mental health services into the primary care department.
Tina Landeen, LCSW
Tina Landeen earned her MSW from Florida Atlantic University, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an EMDR therapist. She has extensive experience in child welfare, working with families in Riviera Beach and Belle Glade. Her clinical experience includes psychiatric settings, juvenile justice, and intensive on-site therapeutic settings. Tina specializes in sexual abuse treatment, trauma treatment, and neurobiological treatment approaches. She is certified in children’s yoga. In addition to teaching at FAU, Tina has a private practice in Boca Raton where she serves adults, adolescents, and children.
Gavin Malcolm, LCSW
Gavin Malcolm is the Director of Population Health at Broward Health as well as an Adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University School of Social Work. Broward Health is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is one of the largest public health systems in the country. Gavin has been with Broward Health since 2005, where he started as Trauma Social Worker and Supervisor for the social work staff. He attended Oberlin College for his bachelors in Psychology and English. He obtained his MSW from Boston University with a focus on gerontological studies. Gavin has spent his entire career working in multidisciplinary teams and brings that experience to the culture change agent that is Population Health. His current foci are on reducing readmissions across the Broward Health system, implementing the Population Health module, and standardizing best practices across Broward Health and the community physicians participating in the Broward Health ACO.
Rebecca Marcus Wheeler, DSW, LCSW, MCAP
Rebecca is a DSW, LCSW, MCAP, and graduated from the University of Michigan School of Social Work with her MSW in 2005. She is also an FAU alumna graduating from the DSW program at The Sandler School of Social Work in 2020. Rebecca is licensed in three states and a qualified supervisor for social work and mental health counselors in Florida. Her clinical social work practice has spanned from inpatient to outpatient services in both clinical and administrative supervisory positions.
Rebecca’s clinical practice focuses on the challenges faced through the developmental milestones of adolescents and adults within the context of their identified environments. Her areas of specialization includes the relational patterns of individuals, couples and families, as well as interventions and programs for recovery from substance use and other addictions. Her areas of inquiry in research include the role and efficacy of the clinician in practice. Rebecca continues to pursue certification as a trainer in the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) and as a Certified Practitioner (CP) in the experiential treatment modality of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy.
Tara McDonnell, LCSW, RPT
Tara McDonnell, co-founder of the Center for Mindful Families in West Palm Beach, specializes in working with children under 6. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and Master’s Degree in Social Work from FAU. Tara is dedicated to providing early intervention to help families create a strong and healthy foundation for a lifetime of health and well-being, and has worked successfully with children who have experienced anxiety, attachment issues, depression, divorce, grief and loss, sensory processing challenges, sexual abuse, and trauma, as well as gifted children with social-emotional difficulties.
Tara has extensive experience and training in evidenced-based interventions such as Child-Centered Play Therapy, Brazelton Touchpoints, Infant Mental Health, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and utilizing art therapy techniques. Tara is also an HSP-Knowledgeable Professional, specializing in working with Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) and Children (HSCs). Tara has provided services in a variety of settings including schools and child-care centers and is certified in teaching yoga to children and families. Tara has also provided professional training in supporting the social-emotional wellness of children and families to police officers, first responders, teachers school counselors, and pediatricians.
Macy Oosthuizen, LCSW
Macy Oosthuizen, LCSW received her Bachelor’s Degree from Ithaca College in NY and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from FAU. Macy is the is the co-founder of Center for Mindful Families in West Palm Beach, FL. In her therapy practice, Macy specializes in working with children, teens, and adults connected to adoption and donor conception as well as LGBTQ+ children, teens, and adults (especially trans children and teens). Macy is also the founder and facilitator of Florida Adoption Connections Truth & Support (FACTS) a support group for adults connected to adoption. Macy has completed her 200-level yoga teacher certification as well as has training in mindfulness, CBT, and Play Therapy. Before opening a private practice, Macy began her career with the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, 4th District in West Palm Beach, FL as a forensic social worker specializing in family preservation/dependency cases, policy advising, and death penalty mitigation. She continues some of her work in a volunteer capacity. As a state and national policy advocate and lobbyist, Macy has testified before multiple state congressional hearings to help adoptees gain access to their original birth certificates and change laws to support adoptees. She has also met with many state and national representatives to help leaders understand the impact and importance of post-adoption issues. Macy is a current board member of Florida Adoption Reform & Education (FLARE) and is working on policy supporting FL adoptees.
Leah Parisian, LCSW
Leah is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received her MSW and post-graduate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy certificate at Florida Atlantic University. She is also a Certified Body Trust® Provider, having completed this post-graduate certification with Be Nourished in Portland, Oregon. In addition to teaching at FAU, Leah currently has a private practice and is the Assistant Clinical Director at a non-profit substance use disorder treatment center that serves women seeking treatment for problematic substance use and co-occurring mental health concerns. Leah works with adults who have been affected by the stress of daily life, problematic substance use, disordered eating, eating disorders, diet culture, weight stigma, body oppression, depression, anxiety, and trauma. Foundational to her work are the principles of Health At Every Size (HAES®), Harm Reduction on a spectrum that includes abstinence, trauma-informed care, and social justice.
John Puls, LCSW, MCAP
John Puls has been working with people suffering from substance use disorder and people in recovery since 2013. During this time, John has worked in all levels of care during the duration of substance use treatment. He is a MSW graduate of Florida Atlantic University’s Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work. John is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and a master’s level certified addiction professional (MCAP) with the state of Florida. He is a passionate advocate for implementing person centered and evidenced based care for those suffering from substance use disorder.
Tracey Rubenstein, LCSW, QS, BC-TMH
Tracey Rubenstein began volunteering with survivors of domestic violence while an undergraduate student at Middlebury College. After years of crisis line work, she decided to pursue her Master of Social Work degree from Tulane University. Tracey became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2001. She was the director of the YWCA Rape Crisis Program in New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina and helped build a coalition of services for domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking after Katrina. Mrs. Rubenstein relocated to Florida in 2010 and opened her private practice working with adults. She is a Qualified Supervisor for social workers pursuing licensure, and she maintains a thriving telehealth practice in Arkansas and NewYork in addition to her Florida practice. She became an adjunct instructor at FAU in Spring 2020.
Julie Shaikh, LCSW, Ph.D.
A Pittsburgh native, Julie completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Pittsburgh followed by her Masters in Social Work and Ph.D. in Counseling at Barry University. Through her extensive academic and work experience in substance abuse and eating disorder treatment she received advanced training in Family Systems Theory, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Trauma-focused CBT. Her clinical interest is working with people who are recovering from infidelity. She is in private practice and is a Qualified Supervisor for social work, mental health, and family and therapist registered interns. In her free time, she enjoys hot yoga, offshore fishing with her husband, tending to her backyard garden, and volunteering in the Boca community as a member of the Junior League. She is an avid adventure seeker and has completed a 10-day silent meditation course and conquered her fear of jumping out of an airplane.
Kristie Slinskey, DSW, LCSW
A three-time FAU alumna, Kristie earned her doctorate, master’s, and bachelor’s degree in social work after relocating from New York State to south Florida. With over a decade of experience in the field of substance use and mental health she has served as both clinician and clinical director of evidence-based substance use treatment facilities in Palm Beach County. Kristie currently holds the position of Chief Clinical Officer at an inpatient treatment center for adults suffering from substance use disorders and maintains a private practice where she works with adults, couples and families in Palm Beach Gardens. Kristie is also engaged in macro social work as an advocate for policy change in tackling our nation’s opioid crisis. With her team, Kristie has traveled to Washington DC and met with members of congress to effectuate change and advocate for this vulnerable population during this dangerous epidemic. In her practice Kristie utilizes a psychodynamic approach and is trained in EMDR, Hypnotherapy, as well as Post-Induction Therapy. Kristie is currently teaching Interventions in The Field of Addiction and will be adding Practice with Families in the fall. Kristie enjoys working with social work students and witnessing the promise of future leaders in the field.
Cindy Sterne, LCSW, ACSW, MCAP, ICADC, CCTP
Cindy earned her Master of Social Work degree from Florida Atlantic University in 2004 and her Bachelor of Social Work degree from FAU in 2003. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2006 and a Qualified Supervisor since 2008. Cindy is a member of The Academy of Certified Social Workers, is a Certified Master’s Level Addictions Professional (MCAP), is an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional trained in EMDR. Cindy has a passion for group work, which she teaches to professionals in the community as a member of the Florida Institute for Group Facilitation. She also serves on the Florida Certification Board’s Behavioral Health Advisory Board. Cindy brings more than 30 years of clinical social work experience to FAU. She is committed to helping each person understand their inherent value and worth. Her work as a therapist includes providing services to children, adolescents, and families in inpatient and outpatient care, as well as working with youth in foster care and those involved in the juvenile justice system. Cindy’s clinical expertise includes Addictions, Co-occurring Disorders and Group work. In 2017, Cindy was recognized as the Florida Atlantic University Broward Achievement Awards Faculty Member of the Year.
Ruthlyn Webster, Ed.D., LCSW, ACSW
As the former Programs Director of Kristi House’s, Dr. Webster oversaw the Therapy and Project GOLD departments at Kristi House, which encompasses 28 staff members. She has shepherded Kristi House’s program growth during her 16+ years at the agency, reaching more and more clients each year. She serves as Director for Kristi House’s ongoing federal SAMHSA grant, which is spreading evidence-based interventions for child trauma throughout South Florida. In its first four years, the Miami C-START program a community based learning collaborative; treated 1,200 children and trained 172 therapists and caseworkers in evidence-based interventions for child sexual-related trauma. The SAMHSA project is now exploring evidence-based interventions that hold promise for child sex trafficking survivors, and is working closely with clients in Project GOLD, our CSEC program.
Dr. Webster holds a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Learning and Leadership; she is also a licensed clinical social worker, with more than 35 years’ experience as a field instructor, managing state and federally funded programs for abused children in culturally diverse settings, primarily in Harlem, NY and Miami. She has been trained and provides trainings in multiple Evidence Based Treatment Interventions. These includes: Trauma Focus Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT); Problematic Sexual Behavior-Cognitive Behavior Therapy (PSB-CBT); Risk Reduction Family Therapy (RRFT); Modified TF-CBT for CSEC; and Infant Mental Health. She has been an adjunct faculty at Marymount College and Florida International University. Most recently November 2017-present Dr. Webster received training in the Core Curriculum in Childhood Trauma Facilitator’s College, and is now conducting training workshops on the Core Curriculum as part of The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) initiative. December 2018 Collaborative Paper submitted: Journal of Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research on: Preaching to the choir? Predictors of engagement in a community-based learning collaborative.
Sheryl Williams, MSW
Sheryl Williams received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Bethune-Cookman College in 1995 and earned her MSW from Barry University in 2005. She is currently a registered Clinical Social Worker Intern. In addition, Sheryl maintains her Florida Child Welfare Child Protection Certifications in Case Management, Case Management Supervision, Quality Assurance Review, and Family Team Conferencing Facilitator. Sheryl’s career in social work begin in 1995 with the Department of Children and Families and Virginia Department of Social Services in which she had worked in the areas of children and family mental health, economic services, family empowerment and preservation and family strengthening. Sheryl has also worked with Tenet Healthcare System as an inpatient and outpatient health counselor.
Sheryl begin her career with ChildNet, Broward’s Lead Community Base Care in 2003. Currently, Sheryl is the Program Officers for Case Management & Adoptions, to which she oversees the daily operations and service delivery for three case management divisions and ChildNet’s adoption division. In this capacity, Sheryl directs the intensive case management activities and operations for the Early Childhood Court, Family CFR Grant, and Dependency Drug Court, ChildNet’s specialty court divisions in Broward County. Sheryl’s tenure at ChildNet began as a front-line Child Advocate and she has consistently been promoted to leadership roles with increasing levels of responsibilities, reflecting her results-driven and outcome-oriented style of management. Sheryl brings a wealth of experience in direct case management and child welfare program operations to ChildNet’s management team with her prior experience before ChildNet, including several positions in the social services field. Sheryl is also a representative of the Undoing Racism Workgroup with the Urban League of Broward County. She has been an adjunct at FAU since Fall 2019.