On February 25th, current Diversity and Social Work students joined alumni from past years to share their thoughts on the potential of the alumni network at the Ackerman Institute. Diversity and Social Work Faculty Laurie Kaplan and Sippio Small articulated their desire to hand over the leadership of the alumni relations to the students themselves, so they could take ownership over the group.
Over 30 students met and discussed possible strategies for the group. A few ideas which came up included starting an online listserv for networking, developing a mentorship program for current students with the guidance of past graduates, and creating opportunities for more meetings in informal settings, both in and outside the New York city area.
Past Board Member Arthur Maslow and President and CEO, Lois Braverman, were also in attendance, and expressed their appreciation for the program. Arthur encouraged discourse and discussion about clinical practices amongst alumni.
Alumni enjoyed sharing their stories and updates with their classmates and meeting graduates from other years over dinner. More important, alumni now work in a range of programs and clinics since graduating from Ackerman, some even going on to academia. This inspired many to start bridging connections for the future.
"It is exciting to already have a number of alumni supervising current social work interns in their community placements. We look forward to creating more mentorship opportunities for the students of this program," Laurie Kaplan, LCSW, Co-director Diversity and Social Work Program.