This alumna returned to teach social work in the Hudson Valley Center.
by Rachel Voorhees ’14
When Lyn Paul M.S.W. ’95, Ph.D. ’07 arrived on campus in 1989 as a graduate student, she never imagined she would return years later to teach. Trying to find her professional identity, Dr. Paul dabbled in everything from finance to real estate before pursuing social work. Now, as a newly appointed clinical associate professor in the M.S.W. program at Adelphi’s Hudson Valley Center, Dr. Paul is passing on her expertise to budding social workers.
Dr. Paul’s successful career largely stems from her time as a student in the School of Social Work. Internships with the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset gave her the experience she needed to jump-start her career and ultimately to teach. In the early days of her career, Dr. Paul worked for five years as a staff social worker at the same hospital where she interned. While developing support programs there for women struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss, she decided to open her own practice in Roslyn, New York.
“I am passionate about social work because on any given day we may be engaged in helping individuals gain insight into why they get stuck and working with them through the process of real change,” Dr. Paul said.
Dr. Paul’s passion for teaching emerged while she was writing her dissertation in the Ph.D. in Social Work program. After completing her degree, she was hired as a visiting assistant professor at the School.
“Adelphi is a school that has everything anyone who wants to go into social work needs, right in their own community, and I’ve found exactly the same holds up here in the Hudson Valley,” Dr. Paul said.
Dedicated to student success, Dr. Paul understands the importance of providing opportunities for practice. She brings the lessons to life in the classroom by facilitating role-play and group discussions using cases from her practice as examples.
“I want my students to become more confident in their knowledge and skills so they can take more calculated risks to develop themselves to be the finest social workers they can be,” Dr. Paul said.
Dr. Paul collaborates closely with other faculty members, and with them has convened two successful conferences addressing veterans’ needs. The success of these conferences and Dr. Paul’s desire to further assist veterans struggling with physical, emotional and social obstacles led to the launch of the Postgraduate Certificate Program in Military Trauma Treatment. The course includes a visit to the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, where students meet knowledgeable mental health professionals and learn firsthand from the veterans themselves about the experience of being in a war zone as well as the challenges faced upon returning to their homes.
Over the past three years, Dr. Paul has also helped to facilitate conferences at the Hudson Valley Center addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) issues titled “Essential Knowledge for Best Practices for LGBTQI Populations in a Changing Landscape.” She has also worked withRoni Berger, Ph.D., professor of social work, to teach a course called Trauma and Growth in the Multicultural Context of Israel, in which they brought eight students to Israel for 10 days to study how stressors such as security threats, immigration and intergenerational effects of the Holocaust affect and are addressed by various cultural groups.
From student to professor, Dr. Paul has come full circle in her time at Adelphi and plans to continue her work for years to come. She still maintains her private practice, now located in Manhattan, and commutes to the Hudson Valley Center once a week to teach Foundation Practice I and Advanced Practice with Individuals.
She said that after nearly 20 years of practice, she can’t imagine any other career than social work, “except, of course, teaching a new generation of social workers for which I am honored and grateful to be doing.”
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