Lawrence resident Dr. Nadja Graff, vice president of the Touro College Division of Graduate Studies, recently received the Touro College Graduate of Social Work’s National Distinguished Leadership Award for Social Justice and Educational Advancement at the school’s annual Academic Recognition Ceremonies. The event was held at the 92nd Street Y for the Class of 2019 and their families and friends on June 4th.

In accepting her award, Dr. Graff told a packed auditorium that she was “honored and humbled” to be receiving an award from a school that educates social workers, professionals she holds in high esteem.  “Your profession is built on a foundation of giving and caring.  You embody the charge of justice, kindness, and humility,” Dr. Graff told the graduates. “With your idealism and courage, you are not afraid to go out into the night and comfort the homeless and the ill, to be the rock that people seek when they are most needy, to know just the right words to say that will lighten a person’s heavy heart.”

Dr. Graff has a long history with Touro and her academic experience encompasses more than 30 years of teaching in higher education. She joined Touro in 1980 as a professor of clinical biochemistry and an academic coordinator in the School of Health Sciences’ Physician Assistant program, going on to serve as the founding director of the Manhattan campus Physician Assistant (PA) program in 1999. Beginning in 2010, she served as associate dean of the School of Health Sciences, and in 2014 she was appointed vice president of the Division of Graduate Studies, which encompasses the six graduate schools of business, education, health sciences, Jewish studies, social work and technology.  Pictured presenting the award are Touro Provost Patricia Salkin, J.D. and Dr. Steven Huberman, founding dean of the GSSW.