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Our Team

Dr. Caroline Gelman, PhD, LCSW

Dr. Caroline Rosenthal Gelman is an Associate Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, and Director of the Education, Training and Lifelong Learning Core of the Silberman Center of Excellence in Aging and Diversity. She received her BA in Anthropology from Harvard in 1987, her MSW from the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1991, and her Ph.D. from Smith College School for Social Work in 1998. She has practiced as a clinical social worker for more than 25 years, specializing in mental health issues in a variety of settings and with diverse populations.

Patricia Blau, LCSW-R, Field Instructor

Patricia Blau LCSW is the Field Instructor for 5-6 NYU graduate MSW students, who are on-site at both Vanguard and Harlem Renaissance three days per week providing counseling, advocacy, referrals, crisis intervention, and collaboration with community services.  Before coming to LPP she had many years of experience in health care, culminating in being the Director of Social Work at Bellevue Hospital Center for 7 years.  From 2008-2018 she served on the New York State Board of Social Work, where she continues to consult on disciplinary and moral character cases. 

Nikki DeShane, LMSW, Program Social Work Coordinator

Nikki DeShane, LMSW, is the Social Work Coordinator at Harlem Renaissance High School and is responsible for providing individual, group, and crisis management services to high school students, implementing programming for academic and cultural enrichment, and task supervising two MSW students as well as several undergraduate and graduate students serving as mentors and tutors in our afterschool program.

Jamie Leone, LCSW, Program Social Work Coordinator 

Jamie Leone, LMSW, is the Program Coordinator at Vanguard High School and is responsible for providing individual and group counseling to High School students, implementing programming for academic and cultural enrichment, and task supervising three MSW students, as well as several undergraduate and graduate students serving as mentors and tutors in our afterschool program. Ms. Leone earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Hunter College.  She then graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Social Work where her focus of study was in clinical practice.  Ms. Leone has extensive experience providing counseling and advocacy services to at-risk youth.  Prior to joining Hunter College's Liberty Partnership Program, Ms. Leone was trained in evidence-based Multi-Systemic Therapy and worked with adolescents and their families in their homes to encourage pro-social behaviors. In addition, she counseled terminally ill adults and their families at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital at MJHS's hospice inpatient unit.

Bianca Oliva, Program Administrator 

Bianca Oliva is the Program Administrator and oversees programmatic administrative support including scheduling and budgetary support.

Nguyen Trang, Data Entry Specialist

Nguyen Trang, often gets called ‘Wing’, is a data entry specialist at Hunter College’s Liberty Partnership Program. He compiles and manages all service data relating to the program. Nguyen joined LPP in 2017 and has been enjoying keeping the data of the program neat and tidy ever since. Outside of data, Nguyen also edits videos and photographs. He is currently a media studies student at Hunter College so when he is not at work, you might see him walking around the city with a camera in hand. If you bump into him one day, feel free to ask for a picture, he’ll be ecstatic to get one for you.

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The HCLPP always offers me and other students many opportunities. They help to prepare students for college and for life after high school. Without them, there would be no individual and personal guidance as to which way to go after high school, or how to be become the greatest person one can be.

- Cinetta, HCLPP Student


They gave me the support that I was not getting at home and helped open my eyes and see the best future I can have.

 -Yusmary, HCLPP Alumni


I learned how to become a better educator because of the personal time I was able to spend with my students. The students and I have formed such a strong bond that we keep pushing ourselves to try our best because we do not want to let each other down. HCLPP has refined my outlook on teaching and has truly helped me reach my potential as an educator.

 -Sajeda, HCLPP Mentor


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