Wurzweiler School of Social Work students are prominent emerging scholars and clinicians who are trained to contribute knowledge and discoveries to the community by incorporating both clinical intervention and research.

We are so pleased to share with you a sampling of their recent scholarship and research. We believe that you all agree that their impact is significant and their influences wide-ranging. I hope you enjoy.

Three students of WSSW were awarded the Sacks Scholars Graduate Fellowship in Ethics and Entrepreneurship. To learn more about the Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks-Herenstein Center for Values and Leadership, click here.


Headshot of Alvin McLaughlin

Alvin McLaughlin

Alvin McLaughlin

Alvin is a Ph.D. candidate who recently obtained his MSW from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Alvin graduated with Phi Alpha Honors, in addition to obtaining a certificate in creative arts and healing. Alvin is a recipient of the 2022 Social Advocacy Award. Alvin also has a Master of Divinity from Nyack College and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mississippi. He is also a chaplain with the National Association of Youth Chaplains. After many years of working in the financial sector of corporate America, he is a midlife career changer who has found his purpose and passion in advocating for others and addressing mental health challenges within his community, as well as society as a whole. With an approach of love and no judgment, Alvin looks to help people grow into a healthy outlook in life. Alvin’s motto is, “Life is not worth living if you’re not living it!”

Project Description:

This project will look to empower African American youth and their families in northern New Jersey by creating psychoeducational workshops which highlight adolescents’ experiences of developing self-worth. We will further create a program that serves to advance the knowledge of African American youth and their families in reference to mental health as a mechanism for improved emotional development. And finally, with the creation of a toolkit post-project, we look to implement a sustained bundle of resources, references and dialog in the effort to engage mental health and wellness, promoting strength and empowerment among African American youth and their families.

Ethics Essay Topic:

Intergenerational Trauma and Its Impact on African American Youth

Faculty Advisor:

Kimberly Moore, LCSW, MA., MAC, CASAC, ADS 

Ph.D. Candidate

Director of Care Café 


Headshot of Andrea Maxi

Andrea Maxi

Andrea Maxi

Andrea is a second-year doctoral student at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. As a member of the Aging and Welfare Lab, her research focuses on maternal health for young immigrants and the high turnover rate of caseworkers at child welfare agencies in the United States. Andrea analyzes the theoretical framework on turnover rate and authentic behavior through extensive bibliographical review. Prior to her doctoral studies, Andrea received training in modern psychodynamic theory at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy in New York City. She also acquired trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and addiction counseling education from New York University. Using her training, Andrea has gained diverse experience as a mental health provider for children, adolescents and adults in substance abuse clinics, hospital settings, non-profit organizations and private practice. Andrea aspires to bring mental health counseling to underserved communities through public education using outreach programs.

Project Description:

This project aims to promote medical and mental health awareness and increase cross-cultural practices by leading psychoeducation groups of immigrant Latino mothers over one academic year. Through group discussions on infant-mother bonding, cultural views on mental health and equity, we aim to improve the overall health of immigrant women and their infants.

Ethics Essay Topic:

The focus is to analyze and understand patient-provider interactions and how culture shapes the therapeutic relationship. Studying how the content, context and quality of health care communication between patient and provider are affected is imperative to identify the potential origins of health disparities. In doing so, immigrant Latino mothers will learn to look for cues and communicate effectively. Similarly, the social worker can be instructed on how to facilitate healthy interactions with immigrant Latino mothers. By using psychoeducation and supportive techniques hand in hand after the well-child visit, the therapist-patient relationship will thrive, benefiting mothers, infants and social workers.

Faculty Advisor:

Rain Lee, Ph.D., MSW


Headshot of Daniela Weiss-Bronstein

Daniela Weiss-Bronstein

Daniela Weiss-Bronstein

Daniela is a Ph.D. student at Wurzweiler, where she completed her MSW. Dani received an M.Ed. in human sexuality at Widener University and is a certified sexologist. She was a UJA Dressler Fellow, received an HRSA grant through DHHS to train in trauma-informed care and is a member of the Gamma Eta Rho and Triota honor societies. She is the executive director of Kesher Families and works part-time as a therapist in New York City. Dani is also a rebbetzin and certified kallah (bride) teacher and lives with her husband and four children in Long Island.

Project Description:

This project will focus on creating supplemental training for chosson (groom) and kallah teachers to teach couples with trauma histories. The project’s aims include the implementation of the training and a website where couples in need can contact these teachers.

Ethics Essay Topic:

Marry and Have Children, Pursue Justice and Fight for Human Dignity: How Rabbi Sacks’ Response to the Holocaust Enjoins Communal Leaders to Address Trauma Survivors

Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Rachel Fryman

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