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NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Dr. Gelman possesses an extensive educational background. In 1964, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Psychology. He then went on to obtain and MSW from the same institution in 1964 with a focus on Psychiatric Group Work. In 1973, Dr. Gelman completed his Doctorate in Welfare Planning at The Florence Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare at Brandeis University. In addition to his educational background in social work, Dr. Gelman also received a Master of Studies in Law from Yale University Law School in 1979. Dr. Gelman has been an exemplary and dedicated social worker since entering the field more than 40 years ago and has displayed a life-long professional commitment of enhancing and serving the profession.
Dr. Gelman began his social work career in the early 1960's as a group worker. Working in such institutions as the Industrial Home for Crippled Children, Pressley House and the Irene Kauffman Center, Dr. Gelman provided group work for children and adolescents with mental and developmental disabilities and emotional disturbance. Dr. Gelman also served as a social worker at the Laurelton State School and Hospital in Pennsylvania and as a caseworker in the Children's Psychiatric Unit at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh. The experience and knowledge that Dr. Gelman gained in working with children with disabilities and mental illness has inspired much of his later research and policy work, which have not only contributed to the field but also have benefited countless children and their families.
In 1969, Dr. Gelman began his career in higher academia as assistant professor of Sociology at Pennsylvania State University. He took a leave from PSU a year later, when he was asked to serve as an adjunct assistant professor of social work at Boston University School of Social Work where he was also the acting chairman of the Social Welfare Policy sequence. He then returned to PSU where he was granted tenure as an associate professor of social welfare and he served as the director of the social work major. In 1990 he began his tenure at the Wurzweiler Graduate School of Social Work at Yeshiva University in New York City. Currently, Dr. Gelman is both the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean and the associate Vice-President for academic affairs at Yeshiva. Through his many years of working in higher education, Dr. Gelman's outstanding commitment to excellence in social work education has benefited countless students, faculty and staff affiliated with the schools in which he has served.
Dr. Gelman is widely known and respected among the professional community both locally and nationally. It is because of his esteemed reputation that he has been invited to give presentations, keynote speeches, workshops and training sessions for some of the leading organizations and professional associations in the field. Additionally, due to his expertise, Dr. Gelman is also a highly sought after consultant. Among his notable clients are; Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens, West Virginia Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Due to his involvement with the Council on Social Work Education, Dr. Gelman has also consulted with numerous schools of social work including Seton Hall University, University of Southern California and University of Connecticut in preparation for their accreditation. In addition to his presentations and consulting work, Dr. Gelman's unique interest and expertise in social work and law have also qualified him to serve as an expert witness in numerous court hearings, including many that involve the provision of social welfare services and services to individuals with disabilities.
Dr. Gelman is also an accomplished author. Expanding on his diverse experiences in the field, Dr. Gelman has an extensive list of publications covering a wide range of practice issues. His published articles cover such topics as; services to individuals with mental retardation, field learning, agency administration, case records and confidentiality, ethical decision-making, and research trends. Dr. Gelman has authored chapters in books covering topics of developmental disabilities, social work ethics and social work and law as well as coauthored a book on case management. He has been an editorial reviewer for numerous publishers and journals including; Columbia University Press, Oxford University Press, McGraw-Hill, Journal of Social Work Education, Policy and Law., American Journal of Mental Retardation, and Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. Dr. Gelman's writing and extensive knowledge have been and continue to be a tremendous contribution to the field.
In addition to being an educator, author, speaker and skilled clinician, Dr. Gelman is an active researcher. In keeping with his area of focus, he has participated in numerous studies regarding individuals with disabilities, including those funded by federal grants. Dr. Gelman has also done research in the areas of group work, agency evaluation and client access to agency records.
Dr. Gelman is a committed and active member of the NASW and has a respectable reputation among both the local chapter and the national organization. He has served as chairperson at his local branch and has served on multiple committees at the state level. Dr. Gelman has also served on the Health/Mental Health Provisional Council (1982-85) and the Task Force on Linkage with AAMD (1979-) at the national organization. In addition to NASW, he also holds membership in a wide variety of associations and boards. He has held numerous positions on the state, regional and national level of the American Association on Mental Retardation, and has served as chair and accreditation site visitor for the Council on Social Work Education, Dr. Gelman has also served as the past President and Vice-President of the New York State Association of Social Work Schools and the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work.