Our Graduates

"The Workplace Center has provided an environment conducive for learning and developing skills key for my future. Throughout my placement, I have had the privilege of having a group of scholars who share, appreciate, and challenge the inequities within the present-day world of work. I am often reminded how blessed I am to work at a research center that integrates strategic planning, data analysis, and social policy with leadership development.”

Jonathan Jarrett, MSW
Columbia School of Social Work Class of 2021


“The Workplace Center provided me with an invaluable opportunity to learn about different aspects of organizational dynamics and their impact on program service implementation and delivery. The Center has enhanced my understanding and skills regarding systems thinking, including: program design, implementation and evaluation, staff training and development and strategic planning. I highly recommend this program for any students interested in research, evaluation and systems level experience.”

Amy Hendershot, MSW
Columbia School of Social Work Class of 2016
Implementation Manager
New York City Department of Education, Office of Post Secondary Readiness


“In my role as an intern I had the opportunity to work with our team of researchers as we partnered with various agencies to coordinate services for young adults. Through this experience it allowed me the chance to develop skills in strategic planning, program evaluation and research. This placement has prepared me for my role as Program Director and to remember the impact work has on people's lives.”

Micah Hasegawa
Columbia School of Social Work Class of 2015
Program Director
YM-YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood


“The Workplace Center was an integral part of my training to become a program developer. My experience there taught me that evidence-based practice is an iterative, creative and dynamic process. I learned how to translate research findings into actual programs while including feedback from key stakeholders. Dr. Gates' passion for workforce development is infectious and she challenges her interns to think deeply about the assigned projects. Any student looking to implement research-based programs will greatly benefit from working with Dr. Gates and her team.”

Camille Santistevan
Columbia School of Social Work Class of 2013
Discovery and Education Center
CUNY Advanced Science Research Center


"In coming to Columbia, my desire was to learn more about the importance and role of work in people's lives from a Social Work perspective. My experiences as an intern at the Workplace Center not only exposed me to research and practice in workplace issues, it also taught me the principle that all Social Work practice must be guided by rigorous research from a holistic perspective."

Daniel Hekman , M.S.
Columbia School of Social Work Class of 2009
Program Analyst 
Immediate Office of the Regional Administrator (Region II) 
The Administration for Children and Families 
US Department of Health and Human Services


"At the Workplace Center I learned how to help individuals with their vocational goals. This has proven very helpful in all the work I have done since then, particularly in understanding and helping others achieve their goals. I credit the Center staff with challenging me to achieve excellence while serving others."

Matthew A. Omelagah, M.S.
Columbia School of Social Work Class of 2006
Director of Housing Services 
West Bay Housing Corp.


"The experience, knowledge, and skills I gained through my placement at the Workplace Center have been absolutely critical to my professional success. My coursework taught me the theory behind advancing social policy within organizations; the Workplace Center showed me how to put it into practice. A placement at the Workplace Center provides a unique opportunity to bridge research, policy and practice at all levels. I frequently access the resources and connections I developed at the Workplace Center in my professional life today consulting with state agencies and programs."

Amy Drake Beaulieu, M.S. 
Columbia School of Social Work Class of 2003
Policy Associate 
Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy 
Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine 
Portland, Maine


"The Workplace Center provided me with a very dynamic learning environment! I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work side by side with esteemed faculty and professionals providing me unique insight into the real "world of work". Based on this experience I was able to build a strong foundation of skills that have assisted me in my career as I work to empower and motivate a diverse population of employees to better manage their health, life and careers."

Cheryl Solon, M.S. 
Columbia School of Social Work Class of 2001

Health and Wellness, Multinational Corporation


"My year at the Workplace Center taught me how effective one can be as a service provider if one understands the significance of work in the lives of people. I don't believe there could have been a better place for me to have been exposed to the organizations and systems management which has been my focus since becoming Executive Director."

Kevin Costin, M.S. 
Columbia School of Social Work Class of 1999
Executive Director 
Counseling Service of the Eastern District of New York