Chapter Staff


Shakira A. Kennedy, PhD, LMSW
Executive Director
518-463-4741 ext. 101

Dr. Shakira A. Kennedy is a highly experienced and accomplished professional in the field of social work, with a career spanning over 23 years.  Her expertise encompasses clinical supervision, operational and facility administrative roles, and extensive involvement in community agencies. She has been instrumental in areas such as adoption/foster services, shelter start-ups, early intervention for children with neurodivergent disorders, independent housing/auditing, and certification review for housing grants.

Her leadership roles within large not-for-profit organizations, ranging from Supervisor to Vice President, reflect her ability to oversee and guide diverse teams, including program directors, case managers, and assistant executive directors.  Prior her appointment to Executive Director, Dr. Kennedy was an active member of the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, where she contributed significantly to the Diversity committee, participated in racial justice forums, and student conference series.

Additionally, she is engaged in political advocacy through her membership in the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, supporting African American women in the political process.  Dr. Kennedy extends her impact through training and consultation services on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) for organizations, community groups, and professional associations, emphasizing anti-oppressive practices for organizational sustainability. Furthermore, she is an active member of two community boards, the first, serving young girls and the other, serving students within Westchester County Pelham school district.

As an educator, Dr. Shakira A. Kennedy has a rich history of teaching across all levels of social work education, from bachelor’s to doctoral programs. She has held roles such as Curriculum Committee Chair, co-chair of the policy sequence, and developer of graduate-level courses. Dr. Kennedy is actively involved in academic publications, serving as a journal reviewer for SAGE Open publications, a guest editor for the Journal Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, and a consulting editor for Children & Schools.

Her academic contributions extend to her role as an Association for Social Work Boards (ASWB) scholar and involvement in the Licensing & Regulation Task Force for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  Dr. Kennedy played a crucial role in developing the Curricular Guide for Licensing and Regulation, focusing on Competency 2 - Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice.

Dr. Kennedy holds a Bachelor's in Sociology from Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus, a Master of Social Work from Clark Atlanta University, and a PhD from The University of Tennessee.  Personally, she hails from Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to the United States at the age of 5. She is the youngest of five sisters, a mother to an eight-year-old son, and enjoys activities such as playing tennis, listening to music, and spending time with her family.


Natalya Sandul (She/Her/Hers)
Business Operations Manager
518-463-4741 ext. 102

Natalya has been with NASW-NYS since 2007. She started out as a part-time bookkeeper while earning her bachelor degree in Accounting at Siena College. Since 2011, she has worked full time as the Chapter Accountant and handles the responsibility of all financials of the organization.

Natalya is passionate about gardening, baking, and traveling. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her four children and five grand children.


Amelia Lochner Malavé (She/Her/Hers)
Director of Operations and Development
518-463-4741 ext. 103

Amelia has served the NASW-NYS membership since March 2015. Previously, she served as the Chapter’s Executive Assistant, Program Coordinator, and Grants and Development Specialist. She is a 2014 graduate of SUNY Geneseo with degrees in Political Science and Sociology. Amelia lives in Albany, NY with her husband Tomás and their cat Buttermilk Pancakes.


Olivia Knox (She/Her/Hers)
Policy Coordinator
518-463-4741 ext. 105

Olivia Knox earned a bachelors in social work from Marist College in 2021. While Olivia was completing her BSW, she served as the Communications Assistant for the National Association of Social Workers, New York State Chapter. In this position she assisted with the Chapter’s social media presence and advertising opportunities. Upon graduating, she enrolled in an advanced standing masters of social work program at Stony Brook University. In 2022, Olivia earned a masters in social work with a specialization in community, policy, and political social action. While Olivia was completing her MSW, she served as the Chapter’s policy assistant. In this position, Olivia coordinated the Chapter’s first in-person advocacy day, assists with developing the Chapter’s policy priorities and provides information to members on New York state policy relevant to the social work profession. Olivia became the Policy Coordinator at NASW-NYS in March 2023.

Olivia is also on the NASW-NYS Revolutionize Social Work Leadership team. This team is leading the journey to transform social work by identifying the ways in which racism is perpetuated in the profession to hold these systems of power accountable. Olivia’s interests include criminal justice reform and political social work in hopes of addressing the systemic injustices in the state.

Outside of social work Olivia enjoys spending time with family, friends and exercising. She also enjoys reading and exploring new places.


Nelle Morehouse (She/Her)
Program Coordinator
518-463-4741 ext. 104

Nelle has served the NASW-NYS membership as Program Coordinator since October 2022. She completed her MSW in 2020 from UAlbany, and previously worked as the Recruitment and Admissions Coordinator for the School of Social Welfare at UAlbany. In her spare time, Nelle enjoys cooking, sewing, and spending time with family and friends.


Katie Huntington (She/Her)
Executive Assistant
518-463-4741 ext. 100

Katie graduated from Hartwick College in 2020 with a BA in English. She has experience working as a non-profit administrator in the human services arena, and she is honored to help support the social workers and other activists who make our world more just and equitable for all. In her free time, Katie enjoys reading, studying astrology, and spending time with her husband Wyatt and their dog, Hammy.


Christina Levine
MSW Intern - CPPSA Concentration
Stony Brook University/School of Social Welfare

Christina graduated with her Bachelors in Social Work from Stony Brook University in Spring of 2023. Christina has previously worked with local community service agencies, women and family shelters, religious organizations, and food banks. Christina is passionate about helping others and engaging within communities. Christina is extremely excited to be working with NASW-NYS as an agent for change.

Interests: Policy Reform, Healthcare, Affordable Housing, Food Security


Jacob Schoff (He/Him/His)
MSW Intern
University at Albany - SUNY

Jacob Schoff is a graduate student at UAlbany, where he will graduate with his master's in social work in the Spring of 2024. Jacob graduated with his bachelor's in social work from Siena College in the Spring of 2023. While completing his BSW, Jacob acted as a public awareness coordinator for several campus-wide walks. He has also assisted homeless veterans as part of an interdisciplinary team and has served those who are homeless and without shelter in Albany. Jacob is excited to continue serving the unsheltered homeless through employment with the Joseph's House Outreach Van.

Jacob is looking forward to the macro level experience an internship with NASW-NYS will provide and is excited to encourage social justice. He has an interest in the homelessness crisis, as well as the intersection of our mental health, substance abuse, and healthcare systems. Professionally, Jacob aspires to advocate for others, while encouraging policy reformation in our healthcare and criminal justice systems.

In his free time Jacob enjoys being outside and spending time with family and friends. He enjoys basketball, bicycling, and hopes to visit every national park in his lifetime!


Angelo Catalano
Policy Team Intern - MSW Concentration
School of Social Welfare/University at Albany 

Angelo graduated with his Bachelor of Arts from St. John's University in 2016 with a major in English Literature and a minor in Philosophy. Angelo has previously worked with nonprofits tackling food insecurity and in higher education through his experience serving in the Siena College AmeriCorps VISTA program. Angelo is passionate about mental health disparities in the capital region, especially as they relate to food insecurity and public health. Angelo is excited to be working with NASW-NYS to support systemic change in our communities.

Interests: food sovereignty, mental health care access, renal social work, harm reduction