Guttman Community College’s Human Services Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary and Announces New, Bold Initiatives
November 30, 2022 | Human Services
On November 4, 2022, the Human Services Program at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College hosted a Tenth Year Anniversary Celebration Supervisory Meeting. The meeting was organized by the Human Services Field Coordinator, Rev. Nancy Dessables, LMSW. Attendees at the event included Guttman President, Dr. Larry Johnson; Provost, Dr. Nicola Blake; supervisors from partner agencies; […]
Gugeeta Cheetram is a proud Guttman alumna of the class of 2019. She is now an introspective leader eager to help others and she is not afraid to speak her mind. She credits the College with teaching her to be a better leader and role model, helping her grow and decipher wrong from right. It was during her time at Guttman that she stepped into her first official leadership role as Student Government Association Secretary, later becoming Vice President. She transferred to Lehman College where she continued to develop her skills while earning her bachelor’s degree during the pandemic and juggling multiple responsibilities.
“Guttman is a community of exceptional scholars that care deeply about teaching and learning and are at the forefront of rethinking the community college experience.”
Dr. Nicole Kras’ academic background is rooted in psychology and education. She earned a Ph.D. in Adult Learning and Development from Lesley University, as well as a Master of Science in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study as a Classroom Teacher Specialist from Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Kras has also received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a concentration in child development and mental health, and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from Albertus Magnus College. She serves as an accreditation self-study reader for the Council for Standards in Human Services Education (CSHSE) and is currently leading the self-study accreditation process for Guttman’s Human Services Program. She is actively involved on the Board of the New England Organization for Human Services, serving in many elected positions, including the former president of the organization.
“As an immigrant myself, I am passionate about supporting the aspirations of our students to pursue the ‘American Dream.’ This was why my parents came to the United States—to give me an opportunity to thrive. In Guttman students, I see the dreams of all who come here, their rich history, traditions, and extraordinary contributions.”
Dr. Anya Spector began her clinical career in direct practice after completing her MSW at Fordham Graduate School of Social Service. At Fordham, she worked with adults in treatment for substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders. During her doctoral training at Columbia University School of Social Work, Dr. Spector focused on evidence-based practice and community-engaged research at the intersection of HIV and substance use. “I studied providers working in a variety of substance use treatment settings with HIV-affected populations. I continued this work during my post-doctoral fellowship at the HIV Center for Special Studies at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.” While Dr. Spector continues to do research in this area, she has, at Guttman, launched a program of SOTL research. Her SOTL research aims to elucidate best practices in professional identity development, pedagogy of experiential learning, and clinical supervision of community college students in the human services major.
Human Services Program Coordinator Named Transformative Learning in the Humanities Faculty Fellow 2021-2022 and Organizes Workshop on Nature-Based Learning
Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Human Services Dr. Nicole Kras has been awarded the Transformative Learning in the Humanities Fellowship, part of an important three-year CUNY-based initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. With her cohort of 2021-2022 THL Faculty Fellows, Dr. Kras will share and develop active, creative, and participatory practices as well as “pedagogical research and methods designed for the rich diversity of CUNY students,” ensuring their success in and beyond the classroom. While prioritizing the importance of teaching, the grant supports CUNY faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences who are committed to equity and social and racial justice. Guttman Associate Professor of Anthropology Dr. Kristina Baines and Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Grace Pai were also named THL Faculty Fellows for this, the fellowship’s culminating cycle.
Human Services Program Coordinator Co-Authors Article, Presents at International Conference, and Organizes Public Health Career Panel for Guttman Students
Guttman faculty Dr. Nicole Kras has co-authored “How New England Island Residents View the Influence of the Natural Environment in their Lives“ with Dr. Jennifer Keenan. The article was released online by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers in October 2020, ahead of its scheduled printing. The specific focus on adults residing on islands in the northeastern United States is significant because this population is “likely to have a high exposure to natural environments” due to their locations, which are “highly immersed in natural landscapes.” In their responses to a questionnaire, “residents identified benefits and challenges of being isolated on an island, expressed feelings of gratitude for living there, and shared concerns about the environment (as related to the island). Findings also show that the natural environment plays an essential role in these individuals’ social, emotional, and physical health.” In November 2020, Dr. Kras presented these findings and their important implications at the Conference on Environmental Psychology: Norwegian Network for Environmental Psychology and the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, held virtually from Lillehammer, Norway.
Dr. Nicole Kras Leads Nationwide Presentations on Self-Care, Animal-Assisted Therapy, Ecotherapies, and More
Guttman Human Services Professor Dr. Nicole Kras presented a workshop and a poster at the National Organization for Human Services Conference in Anaheim, CA this past October. “During the workshop, Providing Urban Community College Human Services Students Opportunities for Engaging in Self-Care: Utilizing Art Experientials and Ecotherapy-based Activities, focus was on the importance of encouraging human services students to develop self-care strategies,” stated Dr. Kras.
Assistant Professor of Human Services Nicole Kras has been awarded The League for Innovation in the Community College National Public Health Week/World Health Day grant.
Assistant Professor of Human Services Dr. Anya Spector and Guttman alumna Krimili Infante co-authored an article in the latest issue of Social Work Education: The International Journal.
On June 7, Jose Hernandez Lozano, Human Services major, gave a presentation about his spring semester independent study project, Chicanos: Forgotten in NYC.