ABCSW Board of Directors

       

  

President
Ajus Ninan, MSW, BCD

Ajus Ninan is an active-duty Army Clinical Social Worker. He has held various clinical and leadership positions in Military Behavioral Health and the civilian sector. Mr. Ninan believes the idea of “service” is fundamental to his being and a career in Social Work was an obvious step. Before the military, he dedicated his career as a social worker to helping people in many different not-for-profit agencies, including working with victims of crime (rape, sexual abuse, child abuse, domestic violence), Veterans mental health and substance abuse services. Mr. Ninan is passionate about the strengths-based approach, systems thinking and the Social Work professions ability to promote social change, enhance well-being and empower human relationships.

 

Vice-President
Bryan L. Pyle, MSW, LCSW, BCD

A volunteer member of the ABCSW board of directors since 2018, Bryan has 18 years as a practicing Licensed Clinical Social Worker to include nearly 17 years of commissioned service in the United States Navy where he currently serves our military health system as Navy’s Specialty Leader for Clinical Social Work. A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and alumnus of the Pennsylvania State University, Bryan graduated with his  Master of Social Work with concentration in mental health from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Bryan has held numerous positions of clinical care delivery, supervision and program management. Bryan’s specializations include trauma-informed evidenced based individual psychotherapies as well as addressing /alleviating stressors that impact military service members and their families.

 

Treasurer
Michelle Dixon George, MSW, LCSW, BCD

Michelle Dixon George is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Messiah University where she also serves as the Social Work Field Coordinator. With over 27 years of Clinical experience, she maintains a clinical practice with New Life Counseling Services. Ms. George’s areas of treatment expertise include depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, trauma, abuse and faith-based interventions. She has been a member of the ABCSW Board of Directors since 2018 and currently serves as Secretary. Ms. George is a member the Executive Committee of Pennsylvania Association of Social Work Education (PASWE) and the Steering Committee for Uganda Studies Program of the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). She is an active member of the Tri-State Consortium of Field Directors and the Think Tank for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Advocacy & Reform. Ms. George maintains membership with the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) and North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW). She presents regularly at regional and national conferences.

 

Secretary
Charu Stokes-Williams, Ph.D., LICSW, BCD

Dr. Charu Stokes-Williams is a Major in the United States Air Force. Currently, she is stationed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam where she is the Mental Health Flight Commander. Dr. Stokes-Williams has held numerous positions in the Air Force to include Director of Behavioral Medicine, Director of Psychological Health and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program Manager. She is passionate about clinical research, integrative behavioral health, and mentoring new social workers. In her spare time, Dr. Stokes-Williams enjoys traveling to exotic places, yoga and hiking.

 

Past President
Lucia Anna Leo, MSW, LCSW-S, BCD

Lucia Anna Leo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work and Board Approved Clinical Supervisor. She is a professional with 30+ years of experience in the medical and behavioral health services including inpatient and outpatient settings, non-profit, for profit, governmental agencies, and institutions of higher learning. Currently, Ms. Leo has been employed at the Department of Veterans Affairs VCB as a SW Supervisor for eleven years and in private practice at  Mariposa Wellness Center, PLLC in McAllen, Texas since 2019.

     
   

Directors

 

Joel Carr, Ph.D., LCSW-S, BCD

Joel L. Carr is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Board Approved Clinical Supervisor endorsement in Texas. He is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work and in Clinical Supervision. Dr. Carr has over 21 years of experience as a licensed clinical social worker in mental health and forensic settings including active duty service in the U.S. Navy, community behavioral health centers, county jails, forensic hospitals, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, private clinical practice, and in higher education. Dr. Carr is currently employed as an Associate Professor, teaching clinical social work, at Angelo State University, Archer College of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Work and Sociology, located in San Angelo, Texas. Additionally, he works as a clinical consultant at MHMR Concho Valley in San Angelo, Texas. Dr. Carr’s areas of expertise include clinical assessment, differential diagnosis and psychopathology, personality disorders, and correctional mental health.

 

Jana Edwards, MSW, LCSW, BCD

Jana Edwards has specialized in treating couples in her private psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado for 35 years. She developed Neurodynamic Couples Therapy, which she teaches to other couples therapists in workshops and consultations. Ms. Edwards is also the author of Why Are You Driving Me Crazy? How the Dramas of Marriage Can Change You for Good (Langdon Street Press, 2016). In addition to the ABCSW Board, she serves on the Council of Advisors at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.

   

Tosha Ellis, Ph.D., LCSW, BCD 

Dr. Tosha Ellis is a Mental Health and Wellness practitioner.  She is a diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Social Work and has over 20 years of experience.  Dr. Ellis holds a doctoral degree in public health.  She’s provided services to diverse clientele in Georgia and California.  Dr. Ellis has also served in clinical leadership roles, behavioral consultative and community health promotion.  She is owner of a private practice in Mental Health and Lifestyle Wellness.  Dr. Ellis is a certified mindfulness professional and incorporates it in the care of clients.  She is passionate about advancing the human condition and operates from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual-cultural orientation.  Dr. Ellis is a Whole Health Consultant with the Veterans Health Administration.  She’s also a proud Air Force Veteran.

 

Stephanie Felder, PhD, LCSW, LCAS-A, BCD

Dr. Stephanie Felder is a Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. She is a subject matter expert on homelessness completing her doctoral degree at the National Catholic School of Social Service, The Catholic University of America. Dr. Felder serves as the Program Manager at the Defense Health Agency’s Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence. Prior to active duty, she served as Healthcare for Homeless Veteran Coordinator for the Fayetteville VA Medical Center. Dr. Felder is a national advocate for female veterans experiencing homelessness.

 

Monique Worrell-Oriola, DSW, LCSW-C, BCD

Dr. Monique Worrell-Oriola is a Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. She is a subject matter expert in health disparities completing her doctoral degree at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, at the University of Southern California. Dr. Worrell-Oriola has served in various federal capacities and has made sustained technical contributions across the federal government which has impacted public health. She has focused her career on advocating for access to and retention of care for vulnerable populations and providing timely and evidence-based training for the providers that care for them.