Introducing Our New Interim Dean, Dr. Naelys Luna

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.

Special Statement in the Aftermath of Hurricane Dorian

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.

Congratulations Summer 2019 Graduates

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
  • Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Bachelor of Urban Design
  • 5 Master of Nonprofit Management
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Urban and Regional Planning
  • 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

2019 PA Theory Fellows

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

Planning Abroad in Paris: Q&A

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.

AIA Florida Merit Award Winner

Dr. John Sandell, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture, was recently awarded a 2019 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Florida Theoretical and Research Design Award for his Urban Topographies sea-level rise research.

His study concludes that in order for our cities to survive in the future, they will need to begin tailoring urban growth to specific geographic, climate, and other conditions, emphasizing nature’s role in urban resiliency.

Dr. Sandell proposes that, with the right changes – such as increasing pedestrian activity and reducing vehicles on the road, and removing select structures and infrastructure – South Florida can adapt to changing climate factors and retain economic vibrancy.

View Dr. Sandell’s complete research brief here.

The awards ceremony will take place in July at the annual Florida AIA conference.

John Sandell

Congratulations, Class of 2019!

On Thursday, May 2, 2019, 289 bachelor students, 139 masters students and 9 doctoral students – including the inaugural cohort of the first Doctor of Social Work program (DSW) in the state of Florida – accepted their diplomas from the College for Design and Social Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University. 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.

As you move forward into your future, remember the words of Dr. Manny Gonzalez, DSW Program Coordinator and Associate Professor in the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, “Know what you know, know what you don’t know, but know what you know well.”

Be well and best wishes!

  • 28 Bachelor of Architecture
  • 121 Bachelor of Arts
  • 21 Bachelor of General Studies
  • 10 Bachelor of Public Management
  • 18 Bachelor of Public Safety Administration
  • 62 Bachelor of Social Work
  • 18 Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning
  • 11 Bachelor of Urban Design
  • 2 Master of Nonprofit Management
  • 5 Master of Public Administration
  • 1 Master of Science
  • 127 Master of Social Work
  • 4 Master of Urban and Regional Planning
  • 2 Doctor of Philosophy
  • 7 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

Spring 2019 Commencement Gallery

 

Senior Social Work Student Crowned Homecoming Queen 2018

Senior social work student Tajae Stringer believes that actions, not popularity, are what defines a person’s character, and this is a personal creed she has been practicing long before she was named Queen. Tajae has service hours on her transcript dating back to Fall 2015, her first semester at FAU, and she was on the Dean’s and President’s List in both Fall 2017 and Spring 2018.

After being nominated by her former sorority sister, completing an application, essay, and interview, and then being selected by her peers in a campus-wide vote, Tajae was named Homecoming Queen during the Saturday, November 10th homecoming football game.

How did you feel when you were on the field before your name was announced?

TS: Prior to hearing the announcement that I had won, I was soooooo nervous. I didn’t realize how many people were in the stands until I was on the field and saw them all looking at me. Right before we headed out to the center of the field, I heard some of my friends screaming my name, and hearing them definitely calmed my nerves a lot.

What does it mean to you to be named Homecoming Queen?

TS: Many times, in movies, the winning homecoming royalty members are typically extremely popular and viewed as the faces of their school. However, I do not believe that homecoming royalty should be determined by one’s popularity, but instead by their actions. I live by the quote, “actions speak louder than words” because, regardless of who you are or what title you have in front of your name, the longest impression you will leave on others is through your own personal actions.

FAU Homecoming 2018 Queen and King, Tajae Stringer and Juwan Hayes

FAU Homecoming 2018 Queen and King, Tajae Stringer and Juwan Hayes

What is your advice for students just starting their college careers at FAU?

TS: I came to FAU from Connecticut not knowing anyone in the state at all. It was quite overwhelming, but I knew that if I wanted to enjoy my experience here, I would have to get involved. Since I have been here, I have joined the Mentoring Project, Major Platforms, Women Empowerment Club, National Council of Negro Women, Fashion Forward, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

I have also worked at the Center for Teaching and Learning and as a Resident Assistant in Heritage Park Towers. In addition to my campus involvement, I have also been volunteering at Pearl City CATS since my freshman year as a tutor for the children at their after-school program. Through all of my involvement, I have really gotten the chance to build connections with so many wonderful individuals and give back to my community.

How does it feel to represent the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work at FAU with your crown?

TS: It’s a true honor. My experience with the Phyllis and Harvey Sander School of Social Work has been nothing short of amazing. Ever since I started taking more of my core classes for my major, every professor, advisor, and classmate I’ve met has made such a positive impact in my life, and I can’t wait to make the same type of impact in the future when I am a social worker. It truly is amazing to be surrounded by such supportive individuals who care to make a difference in the lives of others.

What are your plans after graduation?

TS: I am currently interning at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in West Palm Beach. I shadow the Child Protective Investigators when they go out on their cases and when they go to court for shelter hearings. I am hoping to be accepted into the MSW Advanced Standing Program here at FAU after I graduate. In the future, I would love to start my own non-profit organization for children who come from low-income families to help support their academics and provide them with the necessary resources to do so.

Arthritis Study Wins “Best Paper” from American Journal of Public Health

JuYoung Park, Associate Professor in the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, has won a highly-coveted “Best Paper of the Year” Editor’s Choice Award from the American Journal of Public Health for her co-authored study “Various Types of Arthritis in the United States: Prevalence and Age-Related Trends from 1999 to 2014”.

“Given the health and economic burden of arthritis, understanding prevalence trends is of significant public health interest,” Park said. “Because of these burdens, developing cost-saving and effective treatments are necessary to minimize arthritis symptoms, maximize functional capacity, reduce disability and, moreover, improve the quality of life for the more than 350 million people worldwide who are affected by arthritis.”

Dr. Park has been invited to attend the 2018 APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego to accept her award at the Public Health Awards Reception and Ceremony. The AJPH will also run a feature column on the winning publications in their December 2018 issue.

Explore FAU 2018 – College Expedition

More than 100 prospective students and family members visited the College for Design and Social Inquiry during the “College Expedition” portion of Explore FAU 2018.  It was a great opportunity for Owl hopefuls to visit the colleges and departments they’re most interested in and speak with faculty and existing students about what it would be like to be a student in their respective degree programs.


Public Ethics Academy Receives $500,000 Endowment

 

The Public Ethics Academy at FAU just received some major news, to the tune of a nearly $500,000 endowment from the former Collins Center for Public Policy in Miami. FAU was invited to make a formal proposal of how it would apply the disbursed funds, along with three other Florida entities – which included the Florida Humanities Council, Florida International University, and Miami Dade College. Ultimately, the Collins Center Board unanimously awarded their generous financial gift to FAU to name the LeRoy Collins Public Ethics Academy, in honor of former Florida Governor LeRoy Collins, who governed from 1955 to 1960.

“Our objective was very clear: to preserve the legacy of Governor Collins, who was really a man ahead of his time and a shining example of ethics, integrity, and courage,” said Merrett Stierheim, former Collins Center board chairman. “Each proposing organization made a very genuine and sincere effort to respond to the criteria that we set forth, but at the end of the day, the vote was unanimously in favor of FAU because of the quality of their submission.”

 

Applying the Funds

In addition to naming the Public Ethics Academy, which lives within the College for Design and Social Inquiry under the School of Public Administration, the annual interest from the endowment corpus will be used to fund student scholarships, awarded as a result of essay submissions that cover the life and leadership of Governor Collins.

“The student essays will be permanent representatives of what the Governor stood for and believed in; but more importantly, that kind of [scholarly] competition will expose a lot of young people to his work,” said Joe Oglesby, Collins Center board member. “The research that they do will illuminate his achievements in a very special way that will be around for generations after generations.”

 

Remembering Governor Collins

Oglesby recalls being a young boy in the 1950s and hearing his mother, aunt, and uncle discussing Governor Collins. While he was too young to understand the specifics of their conversation, he remembers that their tone was always hopeful when referring to the Governor, who was the first leader of a Southern state to voice support for de-segregation and civil rights.

“As I grew older, I learned more about the Governor and what he actually did, and it was so special and separate from the main thought of the day,” Oglesby said.  “He was a very courageous man, and he went out on the plank for his beliefs. We would be fortunate if others would adopt that frame of mind and just say ‘I’m going to do what’s best for the state and the nation, and to hell with political labels’. When you compare that kind of integrity with what we see too often today where it’s all about self and ideology, you can appreciate how special he was.”

A lifetime public servant himself, Stierheim says that associating the Collins name with ethical values carries special meaning, and that the student essays will only perpetuate his great name and establish a living legacy – all under the guidance of the Academy’s Director and Palm Beach County Ethics Commissioner, Peter Cruise.

“It was my grandfather’s steadfast conviction with respect for others and a moral courage guided by the truth and by his conscience that helped define his leadership,” said LeRoy Collins III, Governor Collins’s grandson and Collins Center board member.

“He once said, ‘Government cannot live by taxes alone, or by jobs alone, or even by roads alone… Government must have qualities of the spirit. Without these qualities, there is no worthwhile leadership, and we grapple and grope in a moral wilderness.’ That is never more appropriate than today, and can only be accomplished by supporting, inspiring, and training our youth. FAU is a worthy partner for that endeavor, and I’m excited for all they will accomplish,” Collins said.

 

Looking Forward

All voting members of the Collins board are confident that Cruise and his team have built a plan that will work well into the future. Stierheim, Oglesby, and Collins will serve as Advisory Board members for the academy, beginning in Fall 2018.

“My grandfather was very focused on training future leaders with a strength of character,” Collins said. “Doing what was right was more important than doing what was popular. We need leaders with a vision and sense of purpose to tackle the problems we, as Floridians, face in today’s modern world. He would be pleased that his legacy is being perpetuated at FAU.”

The Academy is honored to have also received a $10,000 donation from The Eric Friedheim Foundation and a $50,000 pledge from an anonymous donor.

“Long after I am gone, the LeRoy Collins Public Ethics Academy will still be going strong, and Governor Collins would be very pleased,” Stierheim said. “It’s a beautiful legacy to have – honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct. You couldn’t ask for more.”

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