Want to Attend?

Thank you for your interest in attending the conference. At this time registration is full and we will no longer be able to accept registration forms. If you are interested in receiving a recording of the event, or would like to receive information on future Department of Child & Family Studies programs, please contact Arlene Johnston at acjohnst@syr.edu or call 315-443-1715.


Community Trauma Workshop Image of Children

A Community in Trauma:
The Impact on Children and Families

Friday, March 21st, 2014
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Drumlins Country Club,
800 Nottingham Rd Syracuse, NY 13224

About the Conference

The Department of Child and Family Studies in Syracuse University's David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics presents a day-long conference to examine the impact of violence in our community.

Violence is exploding in many neighborhoods. The people who live surrounded by it—many of whom are children—can be traumatized by the recurring experience of facing death, pain, fear, and loss. The conference, presented by Falk College's Department of Child and Family Studies, explores this epidemic of violence and the long-term wounds it inflicts on the children who grow up in its shadow. Community experts who deal with violence and trauma offer different perspectives on the problems—and the solutions.

The conference is designed for all persons interested in the well-being of children, youth and families, including but not limited to:

  • Teachers
  • School Administrators
  • Counselors
  • Criminal Justice Professionals
  • Agency Staff, Advocates
  • Volunteer Service Providers
  • Social Workers
  • Health Care Providers


  • Examine current stressors that children and families face in our community.
  • Identify how violence and trauma influences child and family development.
  • Offer insight on how loss impacts the overall well-being of children and families.
  • Explore developmental perspectives in childhood grief and loss.
  • Outline necessary organizational components that support communities in trauma.

Program Agenda

8:30-9:00am: Registrant Check-In
Coffee Served

9:00-9:10am: Welcome
Diane Lyden Murphy, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D.
Dean, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
Syracuse University

9:10-9:20am: Introduction
Frank L. Fowler, Chief of Police
Chief Executive Officer
Syracuse City Police Department

9:20-10:00am: Keynote Presentation
"A Community in Trauma: A Call for Action"
Timothy Noble Jennings-Bey
Founder, Identity Research Institute
Director, Trauma Response Team
United Way of Central New York

10:00-10:15am: "a pART of us"
Community Youth Presentation

10:15-10:30am: Break

10:30-11:30am: Break Out Seminar
Orange Group: Session A
Blue Group: Session B
11:30am-12:30pm: Break Out Seminar
Orange Group: Session B
Blue Group: Session A

Session A: "What's on Your Mind? Physical and Psychological Effects of Trauma"
Arnett Haygood-El
Co-founder, Identity Research Institute
Syracuse, New York
Dessa Bergen-Cico, Ph.D., CHES, CAS
Fellow of the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health
Syracuse University

Session B: "Rehumanizing Loss for Children and Families" Keith A. Alford, Ph.D., A.C.S.W.
Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Syracuse University

12:30-1:15pm: Lunch

1:15-1:30pm: "a pART of us"
Community Youth Presentation

1:30-2:15pm: "Children and Grief: Developmental Perspectives and Approaches"
Susan E. Cooper, CCLS, B.S.
Brown and Cooper Child Life Associates
Utica, New York

2:15-3:00pm: "Moving Trauma Forward: A Multi-Systemic Collaboration"
Terrence Byrd-El, M.S.
Director, Syracuse Trauma Response Team
Syracuse, New York

3:00-3:15pm: Break

3:15-3:50pm: "Supportive Practices for Children and Families: A Panel Discussion"
Moderator: Robert Moreno, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Chair, Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Child and Family Studies
Syracuse University

3:50p-4:00pm: Program Survey and Closure
"Assessing the Needs of Our Community"
Colleen Baish Cameron, CCLS, M.Ed.
Professor of Practice, Department of Child and Family Studies
Syracuse University

Conference Faculty

Keith Alford Portrait
  • Keith A. Alford, Ph.D.
    Keith A. Alford, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University. Dr. Alford holds degrees from Coker College and The Ohio State University. A former Child Protective Services Worker and Treatment Foster Care Supervisor, Dr. Alford concentrates his research in the areas of family mental health, contemporary rites of passage programming, child welfare, grief and loss reactions and culturally-specific human service intervention. He has published scholarly works in such journals as Families in Society, Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, Journal of Brief Therapy, and Journal of Family Social Work.

Dessa Bergen-Cico Portrait
  • Dessa Bergen-Cico, Ph.D.
    Dessa Bergen-Cico, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health at Syracuse University; holds a research appointment at the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and is a Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS). Dessa teaches in the areas of global drug policy, drugs and addictive behaviors, and mindfulness based approaches to stress and trauma. Her areas of research have focused on the nexus of politics, violence, and drug policy; substance use and addictive behaviors; the use of mindfulness meditation to foster self-regulation, reduce anxiety and manage PTSD among military veterans, young adults and children. Dr. Bergen-Cico is the author of the 2012 book War and Drugs: The Role of Military Conflict in the Development of Substance Abuse. Prior to becoming a faculty member Dessa was the director of: the University substance abuse prevention and counseling program, the University RAPE Center.

Arnett Haygood-El Portrait
  • Arnett Haygood-El
    Arnett Haygood-El is a lifelong native of Syracuse, where in its rough, poverty-stricken neighborhoods he honed his passion for helping others. He's worked professionally for 15 years assisting low income, at-risk youth and their families to overcome the barriers of growing up in poverty to become productive citizens. Arnett was an at-risk adolescent himself, a high school dropout at the age of 15. At the age of 19, he obtained his GED and began his collegiate pursuits at Onondaga Community College, eventually graduating with an Associate's degree in Radio/TV at the age of 28. He went on to SUNY Fredonia to earn a Bachelor's degree in communications at 30. Since then, he's been an employee of Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility Inc. at the Southwest Community Center helping disadvantaged youth and their families in many different capacities. Currently, he's a non-matriculated graduate student at Syracuse University working on a master's degree in Global Health, focusing on the effects of community violence on urban youth development. Arnett's life experience makes him a leading expert in gun and gang violence and its effect on urban youth development into adulthood. He lectures to college students and various community groups with interest in this field. He's also highly involved with reducing the level of gun/gang violence in the Syracuse community by his affiliations with The Identity Research Institute and the Syracuse Trauma Response Team. Throughout his interactions with urban youth in their daily struggle to cope with their various issues, he assures them that if he can do it, they can do it. Arnett's favorite quote and mantra is "Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny." ~Frank Outlaw

Susan Cooper portrait
  • Susan Cooper, CCLS
    Susan Cooper recently retired from St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica, New York where she was the Child Life Specialist-Family Care Provider since 1986. During this time she provided psycho-social and emotional support to hospitalized children and their families. In the role of Child Life-Family Care Provider, Sue also provided grief support, family support and community support during times of major traumas and life changing events. Since 1992 Sue has been the coordinator of the Mid-State EMS Critical Incident Stress Management Team. This group of volunteers provides stress management education and group and individual support to emergency service providers including law enforcement, fire fighters, and hospital and first responder personnel. Sue also provides child life services to area schools via the BOCES CORE Child Life Program. This program, which is the first of its kind in the country, supports elementary students who have experience a loss or other life changing event by providing one to one and group support facilitated by a certified child life specialist. The focus of this program is to help children develop coping skills when faced with crises. Individual support for children undergoing medical treatment or whose family members are undergoing medical treatment is also provided. Teacher and parent/guardian support and education is also a part of CORE Child Life Services. Sue co-developed the BOCES School Crisis Response Plan that is used throughout Oneida, Madison, and Herkimer counties. Sue is a regular presenter at educational workshops in New York State. She is a consultant for local businesses, schools, and funeral homes where she provides support to staff and families at the time of tragedies. Sue is involved in numerous community programs, boards and task forces that relate to children and the well-being of children. She is a partner in Brown-Cooper Child Life Consulting Services, Inc.

Police Chief Frank Fowler Portrait
  • Chief of Police Frank L. Fowler
    Served a total of 20 years in the Armed Forces, including 3 years active and 17 years reserves, receiving numerous awards and commendations, including the Army Commendation Medal for his actions during Operation Desert Storm. Joined the Syracuse Police Department. Achieving the ranks of Detective and Sergeant. Attended numerous schools and training programs including but not limited to: Instructor Development Course, Master Instructor Course, DEA Basic Narcotics School, Train the Trainer Courses on Cultural Diversity, Ethnic Sensitivity and Sexual Harassment, Train the Trainer Course on Racial Profiling and Biases Based Policing and Train the Trainer course, AT-ONE Sensitivity Training, and The Law and You as Trainer/Facilitator. Very knowledgeable in Youth and Gang violence, and has participated in numerous panels and training conferences as Facilitator, Speaker and Lecturer.

Kimber Gunn Portrait
  • Kimber Gunn, BAS
    Kimber Gunn, a native to Syracuse and graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology (BAS), has been working in the youth development field for over twenty years. After participating in community-based programing as a youth, she went on to manage youth development programming focusing on the benefits of positive and supportive community involvement in lives of children and families. Kimber managed a successful Parallel Family/After-School program that focused on intense case management; assisting youth and families navigating through the academic, legal, and social service systems. She also began teaching creative arts to community youth, and observed how the art work created was often inspired by traumatic life experiences. With the use poetry, photography, graffiti art, music, and social media networks, she observed how young people began to express their thoughts and feelings that were previously not shared. Many of Kimber' s students have won scholarships, awards and recognition for their work. Kimber continues to advocate for the psychosocial needs of children and youth facing traumatic loss as a result of violence by promoting awareness on the benefits of creative arts.

Tracy Musarra Marchese Portrait
  • Tracey Musarra Marchese, MSW, LCSW-R
    Tracey Musarra Marchese received her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Rutgers University in 1993. She is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in both NY and NJ. During her 20 years of experience, Tracey has worked in various health and mental health settings, as well as in private practice. She has developed expertise in the areas of trauma, dissociation, and mind-body wellness. Tracey is certified in EMDR, is a certified Perinatal Bereavement Counselor and a certified Prepare/Enrich Counselor, and has advanced training in Evolving Thought Field Therapy (EvTFT). She is currently working as a Professor of Practice in the School of Social Work at Syracuse University and has a private practice in Syracuse.

Timothy Jennings-Bey Portrait
  • Timothy "Noble" Jennings-Bey
    Timothy "Noble" Jennings-Bey has been working in the field of violence prevention since 1996. He is a lifetime Citizen of the Syracuse community. He is a graduate of Henninger High school and also has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Empire State College. He is currently the Director of the Trauma Response Team for the city of Syracuse and the CEO and founder of the Identity Research Institute.

Terrence Byrd-El Portrait
  • Terrence Byrd-El
    Terrence Byrd-El is currently the Assistant Director of the Syracuse Trauma Response Team (TRT), which is a community based program that responds to fatal incidences within the urban Syracuse community. Prior to joining the TRT, he worked with youth who were detained at the Hillbrook Detention Facility. While working with youth in detention he developed "Man to Man", a self- development program for young men between the ages of 11- 16. In this program, youth learned to develop values and understand principles of healthy and productive lifestyles as men in their communities. During this time he also completed his Master of Science in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University in September of 2012. He has worked with a number of community based non-profits in the Syracuse area to further the healthy development of children and families in our community. Mr. Byrd-El serves on the State of the Black Community Founding Committee and is also the Chair of the Health and Wellness Committee within this bureau. This group was founded to address and mobilize the urban "Black" community to address critical issues that affect the community in key areas including public safety, politics, education, economic development, family and health. His interests include: community economic development, developing trauma-informed institutions, researching history as it relates to culture and identity and the area of health and wellness. His future interests include pursuing his PhD and JD and to continue the uplifting work in urban communities.

Robert Moreno Portrait
  • Robert P. Moreno, Ph.D.
    Dr. Moreno's research interests focus primarily on the study of familial influences on children's learning and academic achievement. He is particularly interested in how cultural variations in early parental teaching styles impact children's learning. He is also interested in the role of the family in the education of young children, and how the family contributes to children's academic success or failure. Dr. Moreno currently serves as the department Chair of Child and Family Studies, and is the editor of the 2011 book Immigrant Children: Change, Adaptation, and Cultural Transformation.

Registration, Fees, Meal Plans and Housing:

The conference cost is $35. Lunch will be served. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided. If you require accommodations or have special needs, please contact Arlene Johnston at 443-1715. On-site registration will not be available.

At this time registration is full and we will no longer be able to accept registration forms. If you are interested in receiving a recording of the event, or would like to receive information on future Department of Child & Family Studies programs, please contact Arlene Johnston at acjohnst@syr.edu or call 315-443-1715.

Contact Us:

  • For general information, call 315.443.1715.
  • For housing information, call 315.443.3299.
  • For registration information, call 315.443.4135.