Admissions & Aid
Many of our faculty schedule distinguished guest speakers as part of their courses.
These speakers typically discuss their careers involving children and youth, and what experiences and education are essential for anyone interested in working in their current position. Through our speakers, students gain new perspectives on the plethora of career opportunities avilable for working with or for children and youth that they may not otherwise have known about.
The capstone course for our children and youth studies major, CHST 4900: Professional Perspectives and Children, is designed to help students examine careers in child and youth-related professions. Guest speakers, lectures, and discussions help students to acquire knowledge about the academic requirements and training that are necessary to prepare them for the many career opportunities relating to different professions focusing on working with or for children.
Ellen Fried, Esq., adjunct professor, CUNY School of Law
Sherry M. Cleary, executive director, New York City Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, Office of Academic Affairs, CUNY
Katherine Eckstein, director of public policy, Children’s Aid Society
The speaker series for this course was highlighted on the Brooklyn College website News on October. 4. Scarborough, along with the Children and Youth Studies Founding Director Professor Gertrud Lenzer, developed this course. It is now in its fourth consecutive year and is an “intrinsic part of the syllabus” that gives students the opportunity to discuss such issues as education, foster care, the juvenile justice system, the child protective system, and mental health.
Ron Richter, commissioner, Administration for Children’s Services
Honorable Cathy Nolan, New York State Assembly, Committee on Education
Gena Diacomanolis, senior director, Child Advocacy Centers, Safe Horizon
Jamel Robinson, president and CEO, Jamel Robinson Child Welfare Reform Initiative
Honorable Jeff Klein, New York State Senate
Kaitlyn Monte, Miss New York State 2012
Simonia Brown, child care policy analyst, New York State Assembly
Dermot Smyth, Queens chair, United Federation of Teachers
Gerard Wallace, president, NYS Kinship Navigator
Terry M. Perlin, Ph.D., consultant; medical ethics visiting professor of pediatrics, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; professor of interdisciplinary studies and research fellow (emeritus), Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University (Ohio)
Terry M. Perlin, Ph.D., consultant; medical ethics visiting professor of pediatrics, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; professor of interdisciplinary studies and research fellow, Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University (Ohio)
Ellen Fried, Esq., professor of children and youth studies
Pamela Brown-Laurenceau, Magner Center Career Alumni Mentor Program coordinator; pre-law adviser / adjunct faculty, Economics Department
Louise Moreira Daniels, consultant, Social Policy and Economic Analyses, UNICEF
Sherry M. Cleary, executive director, New York City Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, CUNY
Natalie Williams, co-director, Garden House School
Honorable William Scarborough, New York State Assembly
Robert Deleon, director of family court programs, Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services
Joseph McLaughlin, director of youth programs, Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services
Honorable Diane Savino, chair, New York State Senate Committee on Children and Families
Gladys Carrion, commissioner, New York State Office of Children and Family Services
Honorable Amy Paulin, chair, New York State Assembly Committee on Children and Families
Jeanne B. Mullgrav, commissioner, New York City Division of Youth and Community Development
Cynthia Dames, child abuse specialist, Cynthia Dames and Associates
Regent Geraldine Chapey, New York State Board of Regents
Fatima Goldman, executive director, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
Dennis Walcott, chancellor, New York City Public Schools
Richard Buery, executive director, Children’s Aid Society
Representatives for GEMS
Honorable Anne-Marie Jolly, judge, Bronx Family Court
Margo Hirsch, executive director, Empire State Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth
Harry Berberian, director, Education Policy Planning and Practice
Sam Dulberg, Esq., private practice representing children and families
Melba Butler, principal, Butler Consulting Group
Honorable Esther Morgenstern, judge, Supreme Court justice, Integrated Domestic Violence Court
Sarah Wallendjack, president, Women in Children’s Media
Carol Korn-Bursztyn, professor, School of Education, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center
Joseph McLaughlin, director, Youth Programs, Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services
Scott Mesh, co-director, Los Ninos
Mark Kleiman, executive director and founder, Community Mediation Services
Panel of parent organizers with former ACS involvement from the Child Welfare Organizing Project
Jeffrey A. Butts, director, Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Senator Velmanette Montgomery, chair, New York State Senate Committee on Children-Families
Mike Arsham, executive director, Child Welfare Organizing Project, representing families involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems
Joyce Burrell, deputy commissioner, Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth, New York State Office of Children and Family Services
Patricia Baker, vice president, Public Employees Federation
Judge Edwina Richardson-Mendelson, administrative judge, Family Court of the State of New York
Laurie Bensky, senior policy analyst, Children’s Rights
Laurence Busching, ACS deputy commissioner for youth and juvenile justice
Sylvia Hooper, assistant director and co-founder, Foster Parents Advocacy Foundation
Jim Purcell, executive director, Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies
Robert Hettleman, bureau chief, Family Violence and Child Abuse Bureau, New York County District Attorney’s Office
Peter Kleinbard, executive director, Youth Development Institute
Pamela Brown, Magner Center Career Alumni Mentor Program coordinator; pre- law adviser / adjunct faculty, Economics Department
K. Aletha Maybank, M.D., M.P.H., assistant commissioner, New York City Department of Health
Honorable Bryanne A. Hamill, judge, Kings County Family Court, New York City
Sherry M. Cleary, executive director, New York City Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, City University of New York
Jane Golden, M.S.W., assistant executive director for child welfare policy and foster care, Children’s Aid Society, New York
Sharon Dunn, Ph.D., arts education consultant, New York City; Honors College, CUNY
Thomas I. Kennedy, senior vice president for advocacy, Covenant House, New York and Washington, D.C.
Wendy Lamb, vice president and publisher, Wendy Lamb Imprints, Random House Children’s Book, together with invited author.
Simone Ek, senior adviser, UN CRC Sweden
Ashley Fenwick-Naditch, producer, Sesame Workshop
Legislators, commissioners, judges and key policy makers and service providers will meet with students in our Special Topics course, Children, Government and Public Policy in New York State, taught by Assemblyman William Scarborough, chair of the Committee on Children and Families in the New York State Assembly. These lectures will provide students with a first-hand insight into the workings of the New York State governmental, judicial and social service structures that deal with children and young people. This is another groundbreaking initiative that makes Children’s Studies unique in its ability to connect our students with scholarly and policy research, exposure to leading experts in different professional domains, and hands-on applications of learning to real world situations.
Scarborough has focused his efforts in the areas of education, health care, juvenile justice, the New York family court and youth services. He has funded and sponsored many education and youth programs and is the sponsor of numerous pieces of legislation that protect and support children and young people.
Assembly Member Barbara M. Clark, 33rd Assembly District
Clark is a tireless, effective advocate for the needs of children, families, and the elderly. She has been a leader in education reform, day care, and community development. She is also the sponsor of ongoing legislation for an independent Office of the Child Advocate for New York, whose idea originated from a policy symposium held by the Children’s Studies Center in 2004.
Gladys Carrión, Esq., commissioner, New York State Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS)
The numerous responsibilities she oversees at OCFS include foster care, adoption and adoption assistance; child protective services; preventive services for children and families; child care services; and protective programs for vulnerable adults. Carrión is also responsible for directing the oversight, administration, and management of specialized programs for juvenile delinquents and juvenile offenders and residential facilities for youth placed in the custody of OCFS by the family and criminal courts.
Honorable Cheree A. Buggs, Esq., Civil Court judge
Judge, Civil Court of the City of New York, Queens County, 2009 to present; judge, Queens County, Family Court, appointed by Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau, 2008 to 2008; judge, Civil Court of the City of New York, Elected, 2008 to 2017
John B. Mattingly, Commissioner, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS)
ACS was established in January 1996 as the first agency in New York City’s history solely devoted to serving children. The agency is responsible for child protective, foster care, adoption, child care, and Head Start services.
C. Warren Moses, chief executive officer, Children’s Aid Society
Moses was named chief executive officer of the Children’s Aid Society in October 2005. He joined the agency in 1969, and prior to his appointment had been executive director of the agency, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonsectarian children’s services providers.
M. Walcott, deputy mayor for education and community development
In his capacity as deputy mayor for education and community development. Walcott oversees and coordinates the operations of the Department of Education and the Department of Youth and Community Development, and maintains liaison with and reviews the activities of the New York City School Construction Authority, City University of New York, City University Construction Fund, and the New York City Housing Authority. Walcott is also responsible for maintaining liaison with community-based organizations citywide and coordinating policies concerning youth programs and adult education.
Velmanette Montgomery, New York State Senator, District 18
Montgomery is recognized for her effective leadership and steadfast commitment to her constituents of north and central Brooklyn as well as to New Yorkers statewide. In her role as chair of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, Montgomery is committed to helping young people achieve positive outcomes through reform of the state’s juvenile justice, foster care, and adoptive care systems. In 2008, she authored a law that allows adopted children to claim two parents of record, even if one parent dies before the adoption is final.
Montgomery continues to be one of New York’s leading proponents of school-based health care as a model system for delivering comprehensive primary and mental health services to children of all ages, in the school setting where youth spend most of their day. Her Teen Health Agenda includes legislation that requires, among other things, the teaching of age appropriate, medically accurate sexuality education in kindergarten though 12th grade.
Most recently, Montgomery’s Anti-Shackling Bill was signed into law. It prohibits the inhumane practice of shackling pregnant inmates in labor during transport and delivery.
After attending the Children’s Studies Second Child Policy Forum of New York in 2007, the Honorable Bryanne Hamill accepted an invitation as a guest lecturer in the CS 20: Perspectives on Childhood, taught by Professor Gertrud Lenzer.
Hamill visited Lenzer’s class on March 12, 2008. The judge discussed her career path to becoming a Family Court judge in Kings County, and led a very interactive discussion on the different aspects of cases that come before her and how the legal system is applied in each case.
Students in Lenzer’s course participated in a very lively discussion with Hamill about children and youth and the juvenile justice system in New York City.
On October 3, 2007, Victor Karunan, of the Chief Adolescent Development and Participation (ADAP) Division of Policy and Practice, UNICEF Headquarters, visited the Children’s Studies class, Perspectives on Childhood, taught by Professor Gertrud Lenzer. He discussed the work of UNICEF and, more specifically, the ADAP.
Karunan discussed how there is a “conceptual confusion” in categorizing “children,” “adolescents,” “youth,” and “young people,” and that different organizations and different countries have their own definitions. He explained that for the purpose of categorizing and statistical data, adolescents are divided into four groups or stages: Pre-Adolescence (10–13 years of age), Early Adolescence (10–12), Middle Adolescence (12–14) and Late Adolescence (14–19). Almost three billion people—nearly half the world’s population—are under 25 years of age.
Karunan included in his presentation factual data to help the students and faculty attending the lecture “conceptualize” the information on adolescents:
UNICEF’s mandate to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child necessitates that all children under 18 are included in its programming. The ADAP was established in November 2001. Its main goal is to reach the most disadvantaged and marginalized adolescents, and to protect their rights in the most urgent situations and emergencies. Adolescents are a large, sensitive, and active group, and their meaningful participation contributes to democracy and good governance. “Ignored,” Karunan stated, “they turn to negative behavior and activities. Inequity and disparity leads to insecurity, culminating in gang violence and involvement in armed conflict.”
UNICEF is committed to building partnerships that promote meaningful participation of children and adolescents in programs and decision-making processes. UNICEF seeks to ensure that the views of girls and boys are taken into account in the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of policies and programs that affect their lives. Participation enables adolescents to make a significant contribution to their families, communities, and society as a whole. This includes the areas of heath, education policy development, protection, and HIV/AIDS.
Karunan highlighted several of the programs involving adolescents, including the Junior 8 Summit and Voices of Youth. The Junior 8 Summit seeks to establish a permanent secretariat on “Child Participation in Global Advocacy.” The Junior 8 adolescent participants met world leaders from the G8 Summit to express their concerns and ideas for improving conditions in the world for children and youth. Voices of Youth is an interactive website for youth to learn how they can get involved. There are more than one million members worldwide.
In recent years, many countries have begun to work with adolescents as well as support the development of national and regional youth organizations and networks.
Children’s Studies faculty also attended Karunan’s lecture and actively participated in the question and answer period.
Assemblywoman Helen E.Weinstein visited the Children’s Studies 32 class, taught by Dr. Vey, on November 11.
She discussed The Child Performers Education and Trust Act of 2003, which she had sponsored.
This act “ensures that child performers who work in the state are provided with adequate education and that a portion of the child performers’ earnings are kept in a child performer trust account until the age of majority; establishes the child performer’s protection fund and the child performer’s holding fund.”
A lively discussion ensued with her and the students.