Chapter Staff

Samantha Fletcher, Ph.D., MSW
Executive Director
518-463-4741 ext. 19

Samantha Fletcher earned a B.A. in Sociology at the University of Tulsa in 2000.  Before returning to school to earn a master’s and Ph.D. in Social Work at the University at Albany, she worked for over a decade in human services including at a family law firm, crisis pregnancy center, Islamic school and running an independent business.

While Samantha was pursing her Ph.D., she also served as the project coordinator and senior research assistant for the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Statewide Veteran Peer Support Program evaluation.  She supervised program development and implementation for 16 non-profit county programs focused on peer delivered services including individual mentoring, engagement in social activities, support groups, volunteerism, community education and partnership, and referral to existing veteran services.

Samantha also served as the Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and the Director of Admissions in the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany.  In this position, she worked on a diverse team of administrators and faculty to provide a quality education for bachelor, master, and doctoral social work students.  Samantha also partnered with the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to create a social justice group for students, faculty, and staff.  The purpose of this group is to bring a deeper consciousness to social injustice (with an emphasis on critically examining inequality at multiple levels) and promote a safe, reflective environment where members can explore personal assumptions, biases, values and beliefs.  By promoting a sense of responsibility for all participants to become change agents, participation in the group can help those entering the social work profession make inclusiveness a habit in their practice and everyday life.

Samantha became the Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers, New York State Chapter in September 2019.

In her spare time, Samantha loves spending time with her husband, three children, and friends.  She also enjoys reading, exercising, and traveling.


Amelia Lochner-Malavé
Director of Operations and Development
518-463-4741 ext. 10

Amelia has served the NASW-NYS membership since March 2015. Previously, she served as the Chapter’s Executive Assistant, Program Coordinator, & 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.

Natalya Sandul
Business Operations Manager
518-463-4741 ext. 20

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 three grand children.


Evelyn Williams, MSW
Policy Coordinator


Evelyn G. Williams has over 30 years of progressive experience in health care administration, consulting, legislative advocacy, and teaching at the baccalaureate and graduate levels. Her primary professional direction was in community health care assisting in opening three community health centers (CHC) and providing technical assistance to CHC’s in the federal Region II locations. She also held several administrative positions in the NYS Department of Health. In 1999, after completing eleven years as the President/CEO of Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center, Evelyn chose to pursue her consulting career, working with community-based organizations in the areas of program development, strategic management, and leadership.

Her consultant endeavors include providing consultant services to state and federal agencies, community-based organizations, and social/cultural groups. She assisted organizations in opening health care programs, developing short and long-term strategic plans, writing grants, conducting organizational performance evaluations, designing fundraising projects, facilitating governing board retreats, and planning and implementing statewide and national conferences and professional meetings.

Concurrent with the progressive experience in health care, Ms. Williams has had varied teaching positions since 1979. Completing her tenure in FORUM and the Center of International Programs within Empire State College, she is currently a lecturer within the School of Social Welfare, University at Albany.

Ms. Williams’ leadership skills are represented through serving on several statewide and regional professional organizations’ governing boards, as well as her role as legislative chair and chairperson of the community health care statewide association.

Ms. Williams, in addition to the above, is a certified yoga & Shake Your Soul/Dancekinetics instructor and a proud grandmother.


Shakira Maki, MSW 
Program Coordinator

Shakira Maki graduated with her BSW from Long Island University-Brooklyn in 2017, where she was a member of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society and received the Glenn Gritzer Award for Excellence in Writing and Policy Analysis.

Shakira attended University at Albany School of Social Welfare, where she obtained her MSW in the spring of 2020, with a concentration in Macro social work and a specialization in gerontology, as a John A. Hartford Foundation Internships in Aging scholar. Shakira is passionate about promoting excellent quality of life for low-income older adults, specifically through wellness and nutrition, and plans to achieve this through developing community-based wellness programming that allows older adults to age healthily and with dignity and choice.

Shakira has a background in providing case management and service coordination for older adults and served as an MSW intern for the New York State Office for Aging where she was able to work firsthand on programs that promote wellness and nutrition for older New Yorkers. Additionally, Shakira spent 2 years working as a Program Assistant with the University at Albany School of Social Welfare Continuing Education Program, where she was able to assist with program development through approving social work continuing education proposals and creating program evaluation surveys.

In her free time, Shakira enjoys practicing yoga, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.


Justine Dicio 
Executive Assistant

Justine is a student at the University at Albany, working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, while double-majoring in Sociology and Criminal Justice. She began working at the National Association of Social Workers in January of 2020, after serving in the office as a volunteer during the Fall of 2019. In her spare time, Justine enjoys exercising and being with friends. 


Alice L.Ackerman, MSW/PhD Student
2020-2021 NASW-NYS Intern
UAlbany School of Social Welfare: Macro Concentration

Alice has previously worked with local social service agencies, children’s theater, and in government positions and is excited to be working with NASW-NYS as an agent for change. Alice’s interests focus on research and political social work in order to address the systemic injustices in the world.


Matthew S. Mackey, MSW Student
2020-2021 NASW-NYS Intern
Adelphi University

Matthew has experience in advocacy planning, fundraising, public speaking and has worked in the healthcare field advocating for families with Special Needs Children. Xe aspires to run for public office one day on a social justice platform and looks forward to helping shape and advocate for policy reform with NASW-NYS.

Interests: Bioethics, Healthcare, Civil Rights, Immigration Reform, Social and Restorative Justice, Criminal Justice Reform, Writing, Advocacy, and Public Speaking.


Tajean ‘Taj’ Turnier, BSW Student
2020-2021 NASW-NYS Intern
Mercy College

Taj has previous work experiences with local social agencies, providing case management and advocacy services for the homeless and mental health population, crisis intervention at youth residential treatment centers, family support to reduce the risks of child abuse and is now excited to be working with NASW-NYS as an agent for change.

Taj’s interests focuses on addressing the systemic injustices in the world through Policy Reform, Advocacy and Community development.


Ryan Kane, MSW Student
2020-2021 NASW-NYS Intern
University at Albany: Macro Concentration
Ryan has a background of providing case management in residential settings. He has worked with varying populations at different social service agencies. This includes working with adults with substance use disorders, adults with disabilities, and adolescents.

Ryan is interested in reform and advocacy for environmental policies, and criminal justice policies on a local and national level.


Olivia Knox, BSW Student
2020-2021 NASW-NYS Intern
Marist College

Olivia has previously interned with Hudson River Housing and New York State Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson at his Poughkeepsie office. She has experience with case management and is looking forward to growing her experience working with NASW-NYS as an agent for change.

Olivia’s interests focus on criminal justice and political social work in order to address the systemic injustices in the world.


Kwamiah Little, MSW Student
2020-2021 NASW-NYS Intern
University at Albany: Macro Concentration

Miah has experience working with community-based organizations and programs that aim to alleviate the effects of poverty. Miah also has experience working in multiple areas in High Education with a focus on student engagement and skill building. She is always seeking further education through connective experiences and is excited to be working with NASW-NYS!

Miah’s interests center around youth development and reform, as well as providing vital pathways to both economic and intersectional equity for impoverished communities.


Gabrielle Buffoline, MSW Student
2020-2021 NASW-NYS Intern
University at Albany: Macro Concentration

Gab has a history of working with individuals in many settings including the emergency department, inpatient psychiatric units and the community. who present with mental health needs, substance use disorders and other trauma related experiences. Recently, Gab has begun working with crime victims providing trauma informed care to individuals who are incarcerated, in the community, and through a hotline.

Gab’s interests include Healthcare, Criminal Justice Reform, Advocacy, and addressing social determinants of health/disparities within communities.


Allie Wagner, MSW Student
2021 NASW-NYS Intern
SUNY Brockport 

Allie has previous work and volunteer experiences with local social agencies, providing care management and advocacy services for the homeless population in the Rochester area. She has also worked with varying school districts to provide youth with mentorship, reform efforts, and advocacy.

Allie’s interests are in youth reform and advocacy through policy work to address systemic injustices throughout the nation and the world.