Alliance Graduate School of Counseling

NY League of Puerto Rican Women Honors AGSC Dean and STPR Student

August 9, 2021

Dr. Antoinette Gines-Rivera, dean of the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling at Nyack College in Manhattan, will be presented with the New York League of Puerto Rican Women (NYLPRW) Education Award at the organization’s 13th Anniversary Scholarship Gala on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at the Marina Del Rey in the Bronx.

Dr. Toni, as she is fondly known, is a graduate of Regent University where she earned her Ph.D. in Psychology and Counseling with a specialization in Counselor Education and Supervision. She also earned a dual master’s degree in Bilingual Education and Bilingual School Psychology from Fordham University in New York City, which led to a decade of serving the New York State Department of Education before pursuing her doctorate.

Her research study on the counseling needs of the Honduran population in-country was published in an American Counseling Association publication, Counseling Around the World: An International Handbook. This publication has opened countless doors for Dr. Toni to speak abroad and in the United States. She is working with the Bhatt Foundation to develop Honduras Mental Health Systems with the plan to implement this initiative in India and Africa.

Vanessa Villahermosa, a graduate student at Nyack College’s Seminario Teológico de Puerto Rico (STPR) in San Juan, has been named a 2021 NYLPRW scholarship recipient. Vanessa, who is earning her Master of Professional Studies in counseling online, will travel to New York for the gala from her home in Dallas, Texas.

In addition to her academic achievement, Vanessa is being recognized for her commitment to serving others. In 2015, she began working with Casa del Lago, an organization that provides social services to residents of Bachman Lake in Dallas. Nearly 80% of the immigrant families there speak only Spanish and live in a low-income area.

Vanessa shares, “I have been working with this community over six years and currently collaborate with the Director of Adult Education. My main task is to provide pastoral care through counseling, training, workshops and devotionals. We work to give our Latino families tools to eliminate the obstacles and anxieties that would prevent them from adapting to a new culture and community.”

Congratulations to Dr. Toni and Vanessa for exemplifying the Nyack core values of academic excellence and social relevance!

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