Department: Mental Health Counseling School: Health Profesions Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 2008
From NYIT's Weekly Update:
With the rise in violence on campuses, substance abuse, and unachievable expectations, college students are reporting increased psychological problems. Professor Oren Shtayermman, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in social work from Haifa University, New York University, and Fordham University, respectively, is conducting nationally recognized research to provide a better understanding of and offer solutions to critical mental health issues. Drawing from his experiences working with diverse populations in Israel, Ethiopia, Russia, and Latin America, he also brings real-world expertise into his classrooms.
What is NYIT’s approach to educating the next generation of mental health counselors and human relations specialists? We provide a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on multiculturalism and an understanding of mental health issues within the context of a larger environment. Students have an opportunity to take part in a one-year internship program, which includes activities such as assessment, treatment planning, intervention, crisis intervention, group counseling, and marriage and family counseling. Case examples used in our classrooms and in the field are global in nature.
Tell us about your current research activities. I received an ISRC grant from NYIT in the fall of 2008 to begin a four-wave longitudinal investigation of risk factors for suicidal ideation among adolescents and young adults attending college. This study is following a group of NYIT students over two years in four different points in time and includes risk factors such as depression, anxiety, peer victimization, alcohol abuse, and substance abuse, as well as socio-demographics. I am also conducting research about the ways in which children diagnosed with autism impact family dynamics.
There has been a lot of media attention recently about the relationship between vaccines and autism. What is your opinion? Current research indicates there is no direct link between the MMR vaccine and autism. What we do know about autism spectrum disorders is that they are genetically related. It is my opinion that the debate over whether there is a direct link between the vaccines and autism, as well as the discourse among celebrities in the media, diverts the attention from focusing on early assessment of the disorders and early interventions for these individuals and their families.
Do you believe colleges are providing the appropriate resources to manage the mental health of their students? I believe most have the appropriate facilities and structure to do so. However, academic institutions are challenged to increase services due to the stigma associated with mental health. An effective approach has been the training of faculty members to identify at-risk students.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of NYIT? I enjoy traveling, particularly throughout Europe. In the 1990s, I was a flight attendant for El Al Airlines. I also like foreign films with a good soundtrack.