The $2.64 million grant will establish projects designed to increase well-being, improve permanency, and enhance the safety of children who are in, or at risk of an out-of-home placement as a result of a parent’s or caregiver’s opioid or other substance misuse.
With heavy hearts, we would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Sandler family for the untimely passing of Harvey Sandler, a pillar of our Palm Beach County community and specifically our School. In 2017, Harvey Sandler, along with his wife, Phyllis, generously donated $7 million to the School of Social Work, thus naming and endowing The Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University.
Words cannot describe the loss we are feeling within our School and College at this time. Harvey Sandler and the entire Sandler family have continually supported the School with their transformative gift, compassion, kindness and generosity. Carrying Harvey’s vision, their generous gift has allowed for the renovation and expansion of our facilities that include a state-of-the-art auditorium, a student study lounge, additional classrooms to accommodate the growth of our academic programs, and a future center for Substance Use Disorder and Recovery Research. In addition to the naming and endowing of our School, the Sandler family has been integral to the funding of students’ scholarships through the annual Phyllis Sandler Heart of Social Work event, which is the School’s largest fundraiser. Additionally, students who are actively involved in community service efforts receive direct support from the Sandler Family Scholarship. Furthermore, Harvey and Phyllis’s daughter, Robin Rubin, has recently established the Robin Rubin Center for Happiness and Life Enhancement within the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work. This center aims to offer programming for students, faculty, staff and community members to enrich, nurture, and improve their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Harvey and Phyllis’s legacy thrives throughout the Boca Raton and surrounding community. Their legacy includes naming the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler Center at the Levis JCC, the Harvey & Phyllis Sandler Pavilion and the Sandler Medical Plaza at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, and so much more. Harvey and Phyllis were members of the Federation’s Ketubah Society, and The Federation’s Sandler Family Major Gifts Event was named in their honor.
We could not be more honored that Harvey and Phyllis Sandler chose to support our School because they saw the difference it makes in the community and the world. Each and every one of our faculty, students, alumni and community partners helps to carry on their legacy of giving to and transforming our community. We are eternally grateful for Harvey’s and his family’s legacy and their belief that the world can be a better place by educating and training social workers devoted and committed to the service of those who are most vulnerable in our society. We cannot fully express our admiration for their continued service and support to our School and the surrounding community.
Our hearts and prayers are with Harvey’s beloved family, who were the center of his life, including his wife, Phyllis Sandler, his children, Robin Rubin (husband, Gary), Amy Ross (husband, David) and Larry Schumacher (wife, Andrea), in our community, and Ricky Sandler, and Andrew Sandler (wife, Aurily) of New York, all who continue Harvey’s passion for philanthropy and community building. Harvey also had 17 grandchildren who share his commitment to helping others, and three great-grandchildren.
As a way to continue Harvey’s legacy, the Sandler family has encouraged donations be made in memoriam for Harvey Sandler to the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work.
To make a donation via check, please make payable to FAU Foundation, Inc. and write your desired fund designation on the memo line (“Social Work General Fund” or “Heart of Social Work”). Then please mail your check to:
FAU Foundation, Inc.
777 Glades Road, ADM 295
Boca Raton, FL 33431
The Robin Rubin Center for Happiness & Life Enhancement is now officially open! The Center hosts free, guided meditations every Monday and Tuesday from noon to 12:45 for students, faculty and staff. In addition, the special events calendar for the Center is growing by leaps and bounds!
On November 21st, the Center hosted the founders of Womaze, a free app centered around self-empowerment for women. The event was held in the Sandler School of Social Work auditorium with a packed house of FAU faculty and staff members, as well as many members from the community. The audience engaged with the presenters in a meaningful conversation about how to thrive through the holiday season using self-care techniques.
The Robin Rubin Center for Happiness & Life Enhancement is on a mission “to provide programming for students, faculty, staff and community members to enrich, nurture, and improve their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.” And it is well on its way!
Stay tuned for the new Center’s website coming in early 2020 and please be on the lookout for communications about future events coming soon.
“Investing In Yourself in 2020”
Thursday, January 16 | 12-1 PM | SO-112
Donna Drucker, LCSW will guide us through mind, body, spirit and relationship balance and help us build a customized action plan for the new year.
FAU Bachelor of Social Work student Leona Robinson is the first person in her family to attend a 4-year university. On First-Generation Celebration Day, Leona shared her story and how she’s supporting other first-generation students.
Dr. John Renne recently appeared on West Palm Beach news station WPTV to discuss sea-level rise predictions for the local Palm Beach County area with journalist Michael Williams.
Check out both news segments below.
Dr. Sameer Hinduja was asked by the State of Pennsylvania to share his research on empathy, resilience, and school climate with Senators, Representatives, and other dignitaries in the State Capitol Rotunda in late October. In doing so, he encouraged policymakers to embrace asset-building and strength-based approaches.
Stay tuned for more details coming soon!
In order to foster the exchange of ideas and best practices in funded research, senior colleagues with significant extramural funding experience have the opportunity to be paired with tenure-track and research faculty members who wish to be mentored and commit to submitting a fundable research proposal at the end of the one-year mentoring period.
The proposal submitted by Dr. Wendy Guastaferro (mentor) and Dr. Laura Backstrom, Asst. Professor in Sociology (mentee) as part of the mentoring program was awarded! Dr. Backstrom is going to work on a grant proposal for a study that will use a mixed methods design to assess decision-making processes in Early Childhood Courts with a focus on the role of community members (Guardian ad Litems, foster parents, and advocates) and social network analysis to examine the impact of the court’s actions on children whose parents come before the court.
The proposed study will follow a subsample of children through age 8 and utilize court and Department of Children and Families data to examine child well-being outcomes.
Dr. Morgan Cooley (mentee) has partnered with Dr. Nancy Jones (mentor) in Psychology on a proposal that was also awarded! Dr. Cooley’s work will be working to identify and understand risk and protective factors at the individual, family, and system levels in order to improve the well-being of foster youth, parents, and child welfare professionals.
Mentors receive $1,000 for research support, and mentees receive a course release, up to $2,000, plus travel funds up to $500 to visit a Program Officer.
Prior to her appointment as Interim Dean of the College for Design and Social Inquiry (CDSI) on July 1, 2019, Dr. Naelys Luna served for three years as professor and director of the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, which is one of the five schools within CDSI.
“I am so honored to be in this role,” Dr. Luna said. “I am already enjoying working with our team of incredible faculty and staff and outstanding students, as well as seeing the innerworkings of the college from an entirely new perspective.”
Dr. Luna earned her MSW and Ph.D. in Social Work from Fordham University in New York and her BA from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. As a licensed Social Worker (NY and NJ), she helped develop ADHD and PTSD programs in a child and adolescent outpatient psychiatric hospital. She has also provided clinical social work services to children, adolescents and their families in outpatient units, partial care programs and private practice.
Dr. Luna’s research interests and multiple publications in national and international journals are in the areas of substance use disorders, mood disorders, spirituality, parental roles, mental health outcomes in minorities (especially Hispanics) and psychosocial functioning.
“From our faculty’s research into some of society’s most pressing challenges, to our high student achievement, the upward growth trend of our academic programs, and our ever-increasing offerings for our community and beyond – there are so many wonderful things happening at CDSI, and I am privileged to be a part of its rich history and bright future,” Dr. Luna said.
Congratulations to Karen Sweeting and Andrea Ramos, Ph.D. students in the School of Public Administration, for being named 2019 Fellows by the Public Administration Theory Network.
Nicole Humphrey, Kansas University
Karolyn Campbell, University of Utah
Joanne Tang, Virginia Tech
Pallavi Awasthi, Florida International University
Nicole Wesley, Louisiana State University
Stephanie Puello, University of Colorado Denver
Karen Sweeting, Florida Atlantic University
Crystal Soderman, University of Wisc. Oshkosh
Alex Osei-Kojo, University of Colorado Denver
Andrea Ramos, Florida Atlantic University
Andrew Russo, Portland State University
On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, a record number of summer graduates walked across the commencement stage to receive their diploma. From the College for Design and Social Inquiry, we celebrated 219 bachelor’s graduates, 15 master’s graduates and 1 doctoral candidate.
To all of our graduates, it has been our pleasure to have you in our classrooms and to watch you grow and learn in your programs. Whether you are continuing your education or ready to apply your knowledge in the world, we look forward to watching your next chapter unfold. Remember that we are here for you and rooting for your success each step along the way.
Be well and best wishes!
- 10 Bachelor of Architecture
- 85 Bachelor of Arts
- 24 Bachelor of General Studies
- 15 Bachelor of Public Management
- 14 Bachelor of Public Safety Administration
- 65 Bachelor of Social Work
- 8 Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning
- 7 Bachelor of Urban Design
- 5 Master of Nonprofit Management
- 1 Master of Public Administration
- 2 Master of Science
- 5 Master of Social Work
- 2 Master of Urban and Regional Planning
- 1 Doctor of Social Work
Want to explore the degree programs in the College for Design and Social Inquiry at FAU? Call our Academic Advising Team today: (561) 297-2316
Summer 2019 Commencement Gallery
Looking due east toward the Bahamas, just 60 miles away from FAU’s nearest beach.
Earlier this week, our neighbors in the Bahamas, specifically in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island, were catastrophically impacted by Hurricane Dorian. We recognize that there will be many more weeks and even years of recovery that take place. While we are still learning of the full impact of the storm, what we know for sure is that our Bahamian brothers and sisters are a strong, resilient group who will rise from Hurricane Dorian’s aftermath. That said, they are in tremendous need of your support. The Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work encourages all students, alumni and all friends of the Sandler School of Social Work to get involved in the relief efforts aiding those most significantly impacted by the storm. From donating much-needed supplies, to participating as a volunteer, to making a monetary donation to organizations equipped to help, there are many ways you can make a difference right away.
Click here for ways you can get involved today. Thank you for your generosity.
Led by Peter Henn, SURP Instructor, and Brandon Johnson, SURP graduate student and CDSI graduate adviser, a group of 24 SURP undergraduate and graduate students visited Paris, France in May.They traveled to the historic city to study modern urban design and transportation and learn how to apply international concepts to local urban planning situations.
It was all part of the “Planning Abroad” URP 5958/URP 4955 course, offered each summer. We sat down with Brandon to talk about the trip.
CDSI: How do you feel the study-abroad program has enhanced your academic experience?
BJ: It has shown me some unique urban implementations of international cities and provided some ideas of how we can improve urban planning in South Florida.
CDSI: What were the top highlights of the trip?
BJ: Visiting and having lunch in the Eiffel Tower and Basilique du Sacre church.
CDSI: What advice would you give to students considering enrolling in this course?
BJ: Take advantage of this amazing experience. Many of our students have not only gained a wealth of knowledge of how international cities are designed and operate but have also made new friends within the programs. The experience is priceless.
Interested in taking this course next summer?
Check it out in the University catalog or email Instructor Peter Henn with any specific questions about the “Planning Abroad” course.