Dean and Professor; Director
Laura Bronstein is a founding member of the Binghamton University Department of Social Work and currently serves as Dean of the College of Community and Public Affairs, as Director of the Institute for Justice & Well-Being and Founding Director of Binghamton University Community Schools. Laura's research revolves around interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration, as well as community schools. Prior to entering academia, Laura worked as a practicing social worker in family preservation, in a school for children with developmental disabilities, in hospice and in a psychiatric hospital. She created the widely-used and internationally recognized Index of Interdisciplinary Collaboration and published A Model for Interdisciplinary Collaboration. Laura has a 2016 co-authored book, School-Linked Services (Columbia University Press) and a 2018 co-edited book, A Guide for Interprofessional Collaboration (Council on Social Work Education Press). Laura has received far-reaching recognition for her work including the John A. Hartford Foundation Outstanding Dean in Aging award and Binghamton University's first Lois B. DeFleur Faculty Prize for "innovative work that crosses boundaries". She received the Esther W. Couper Memorial Award for "outstanding service and dedication to the children and families of our community." In 2023, she was cited as among the top 2% of scholars in the world in her field in the Stanford World Scientist and University Rankings.
Assistant Professor; Assistant Director
Naorah Rimkunas joined the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership (TLEL) in 2022. Her research interests focus on university-school partnerships, community schools, broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education initiatives; and interprofessional collaboration in school-based settings.
Naorah also directs the University-Assisted Community Schools Regional Training Center for Binghamton University Community Schools, where she provides technical assistance for leaders in higher education to develop strategies to form university-school partnerships in PK-12 schools. She has led technical assistance projects and evaluations for the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. She holds a joint appointment with TLEL and the Department of Social Work.
Associate Professor; Assistant Director
Amber Simpson joined the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership in 2017. She received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Secondary Education from East Tennessee State University, and her Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Specialist degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University. Amber spent five years as a high school mathematics teacher in Tennessee before returning to Clemson University to receive her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, Mathematics Education.
Her research is focused on (1) investigating family engagement in and interactions around STEM-related activities, (2) examining individual’s identity(ies) in one or more STEM disciplines, and (3) understanding the role of making and tinkering in formal and informal learning environments, including the role of failure. Amber further supports her research through providing STEM activities and events for children and their families in partnership with local schools and community organizations.