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Ramapo College and Jewish Family Service of North Jersey Launch Interdisciplinary Initiative to Assist Holocaust Survivors

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 9, 2015

MAHWAH, NJ – Ramapo College nursing students are receiving first-hand training in how to deal with the special needs of Holocaust survivors who may exhibit symptoms of late-onset Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). The new initiative is a collaboration among Ramapo College’s Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the College’s Nursing Department and Jewish Family Service of North Jersey, Wayne, N.J.

The 10 students participating in the program will work with experienced social workers to recognize, understand and deal with PTSD sufferers in a caring and effective manner.

“Participating in this project will hopefully afford students skills that may be transferable to other situations and groups as they continue their careers in the nursing field,” said Dr. Kathleen M. Burke, assistant dean of nursing at Ramapo.

Late-onset PTSD is an affliction that may be experienced by the survivors of genocides, wars, civil turmoil, sexual abuse, and other forms of human distress. The goal of the initiative is to expose students to a population with very diverse experiences and to better prepare the students for situations they may encounter in their professional lives.

The shift of nursing into the community requires an interdisciplinary focus and a broad knowledge of the diverse populations being served, said Michael A. Riff, director of the Gross Center.

“This interdisciplinary team formed to serve Holocaust survivors is an example of responding to the changing demographics and special needs of an aging population,” said Riff.

Ramapo nursing students are participating this semester in several other community-based programs, said Dr. Burke, including creating specialized recipes and preparing meals for Meals with a Mission in Garfield and performing various duties at area hospitals and medical centers.

Photo information

Pictured in photo back row, from left are: Jacqueline Franklin, Mahwah; Jillian Firth, Glen Rock; Justin Barredo, New Milford; Katie Balsamo, Berkley Heights; Mollie Dlugasch. Front row, from left are Dona Cyril, Bergenfield; Judith Dauer, Andover; Karen Comiso, Union; Cathleen Carbillas, New Milford; Marissa Gentile, Wood-Ridge.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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