Mercy College’s Cynthia Walley, Ph.D., LPC, associate professor of school counseling, received the 2020 Humanitarian Award from the Westchester chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD/Westchester) at the organization’s 18th annual luncheon. The event was held on Friday, October 2 at Mulino’s at Lake Isle in Eastchester with both in-person and virtual attendees.
“Dr. Walley has a hands-on style and client-centered approach in working with people,” explained Dennis Andrews, LMSW, president of NCADD’s Board of Directors and adjunct professor in Mercy’s behavioral science department. “She’s always available for others and caring for others. She’s a true humanitarian in how she takes her practice to heart.”
“I feel proud, happy, overwhelmed and appreciative,” Walley said. “This award lets me know that I am on the right path, that following what I am passionate about can have an impact on others.”
NCADD/Westchester provides information, education, intervention and referrals regarding substance use disorders. To that end, they offer a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) training program with credits available through Mercy College and a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CCAR) training program, in addition to several other education and prevention programs. Harris Stratyner, Ph.D., '77, HD '05 — former Mercy College trustee and a leading expert in the field of addiction psychology — is on the organization’s Board of Directors.
The October 2 event drew approximately 150 people in person, seated both indoors and outdoors, and many more people virtually. NBC’s “Today” show co-host Al Roker and Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist Ira Joe Fisher joined virtually as special guests.
Mercy College and NCADD/Westchester have enjoyed a long, productive relationship, explained Joan Bonsignore, founder and executive director of the nonprofit: “Our CASAC students can earn credits from Mercy. And when they don’t have an undergraduate degree, we encourage them to apply to Mercy. It’s a wonderful relationship, and we’re always looking for ways to make it deeper.”