Monday, July 11, 2011

Ackerman Institute Welcomes Susan Ciccarone to the Board

Susan Ciccarone
The Ackerman Institute is excited to have Susan Ciccarone, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, as its newest board member. "About a year ago I decided I wanted to get involved outside of my professional career in volunteer work and other purposes," Susan notes of her decision to join the Ackerman Institute Board. Susan was drawn to Ackerman’s three pronged commitment to clinical services, research, and training.

Originally from Philadephia, Susan has been living in New York for 15 years. She started in a number of different organizations, working at UBS Investment Bank for 8 years, and now working at Goldman Sachs. She went to Villanova University for her undergraduate degree where she studied accounting, and received her MBA from The Wharton School in 2002. Susan loves the fast paced and challenging nature of her work, which gives her a chance to work with a diverse group of clients and projects.

This is the first time Susan has been part of a board. "I work with boards frequently, I know what their responsibilities are and I advise management teams on board interactions. But I’ve never been on a board, so this is new and I think it makes it exciting. I want to see how I can be helpful and how I can help the Ackerman Board evolve," Susan mentions. Undoubtedly, her experience working with CEOs, setting up objectives and executing business plans to involve donors and investors, will be a huge asset to the Ackerman Institute.

The Ackerman Institute's value and focus on family is reflected deeply in Susan's own life. While she knows that there are times in her career that would benefit from living abroad (she has travelled to over 30 countries), one thing that has kept her here is being close to her family. Susan comes from a large close knit family who all live in the New York Philadelphia metro Area. "I have four siblings, very close in age, and I consider them my four best friends," she says. "My most fun day is hanging out with my four nephews. My parents just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They are a huge part of why I could achieve my goals; I had the constant support of my family through the years."

Susan’s values about family are reflected in her following comments, "I always remember where I came from, and how fortunate I am to be able to give back in some way, to utilize my talents in some way, it's something I want to be more focused on. Ackerman is the first step in this part of my life and that development." We are very grateful to have Susan as part of the Ackerman family.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jean Malpas Receives Early Career Acheivement Award

Jean MalpasJean Malpas was the recipient of the first American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA) Early Career Achievement Award which recognizes achievement in theory, research, or practice in the first 10 years after earning one’s degree. The award is based on the promise of contribution to the field. Ellen Berman, former Secretary and Board Member of AFTA and current Secretary of the Board of Directors of Family Process, introduced Jean as "the perfect example of this… Jean's s enormous appetite for work, widely ranging quest for knowledge and commitment to community, in addition to his warmth, kindness, elegance, have made him a visible and important member of the field and of AFTA and a wonderful recipient of this award."

Jean trained at Brussels University and NYU, and went to the Ackerman Institute for his postgraduate training from 2000-2005 while he was working as a counselor at the LGBT center in New York. Following his graduation from Ackerman's post graduate training program he joined the faculty where he taught in the clinical externship program. With the support of Ackerman’s senior faculty members, Jean joined AFTA in 2006 and became the first chair of the Early Career Member Committee. In 2010 he was elected to the AFTA Board of Directors.

Jean presented internationally on issues around gender fluidity in Canada, Israel, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Belgium. His publications include Between Pink & Blue: A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Gender Nonconforming Children and their Family to be published in Family Process, and Can Couples Change Gender: Couple Therapy with Transgender People and their Partners which will be published in the Handbook of Affirmative LGBT Couple and Family Therapy.

He has also recently focused on international training and humanitarian work, attending trainings in Uganda, Haiti, and India. Jean is currently working with Ackerman faculty Peggy Papp and Michele Scheinkman on a project on Couples and Impasses. His interests include Addictions Counseling, Couples Therapy, and Gender. Recently he has developed cutting edge work on helping couples deal with gender transitions in their partners and/or children.

As Jean so aptly remarked, "It takes a village to raise a decent family therapist." Jean thanked the Ackerman Institute and AFTA for encouraging him to take risks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dr. Peter Fraenkel Releases New Book About Relationships

Peter FraenkelDr. Peter Fraenkel, head of the Center for Work and Family, released his new book for couples, entitled Sync Your Relationship, Save Your Marriage: Four Steps to Getting Back on Track (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan), and it has been gaining attention from the couple therapy community and the media. The book has received highly favorable endorsements from a wide range of therapists, as well as prominent musicians, as the book examines how couple problems often center on differences in rhythms, and how to change time patterns to get in sync.

The Ackerman Institute hosted a book party for Dr. Fraenkel on Thursday, March 31 which was well attended. Audience included faculty members and center heads as well as Ackerman Institute board members. Students from both the Institute's training program as well as from other New York City institutions were present.

On the evening of April 28, Dr. Fraenkel had the honor of speaking at the Yale Club in an event organized by Ackerman board member Alec Haverstick. After a brief presentation by Fraenkel on the ideas in the book, the audience engaged in a lively discussion about the time challenges for couples and families today.

This summer, Dr. Fraenkel will work with some of his Center student-staff to create a workshop for couples on getting in sync. It will be launched at Ackerman in the late fall.