Billie Gastic Rosado, associate dean of the NYU SPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS), the Center for Applied Liberal Arts, and English Language Institute, recently joined the boards of two organizations in Connecticut that serve families and youth in need – the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC) and Connecticut Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
DVCC, located in Fairfield County, CT is a state-certified agency that provides safe housing for victims of domestic violence, counseling and advocacy services, and preventive education and awareness programs.
“The fact about domestic violence is that we either don’t talk about it at all or we only talk about it when there is an act of violence, like murder, that we read about in the papers,” stated Gastic Rosado. “Our goal is to educate individuals, particularly young people, as they begin to explore relationships, so that they understand what they deserve in terms of respect and what constitutes a good relationship.”
Gastic Rosado, a Connecticut resident, also is a new board member and the treasurer of CASA, which trains adults to work with young people who have been removed from their families due to abuse and neglect, and who are in foster care. “CASA is about ensuring that every young person in the foster care system has at least one adult in their lives who they know cares for them or is concerned about them,” she explained. “It provides children with a hub of support as they interface with the legal system to try to secure more permanent housing.”
For Gastic Rosado, being involved in leadership roles in these organizations is a natural extension of her academic interests and background. As an educator, she has conducted extensive research on school violence, focusing on students who were bullied in school, who had behavioral issues, and/or who were in the school-prison pipeline. “I looked at gangs first, because of the high proportion of Latinx youth in gangs, and then I started to think about the circumstances that led students to seek out community that they may perceive as having benefits, but that may make them more vulnerable. And, from there, I began thinking about the family conditions and the environments that put young people in that position.”
“Both of these appointments bring my scholarship to life by being a part of efforts intended to bring people into safe and healthy environments,” she noted.
It also ties in with her work at DAUS, where some students have had to make difficult choices in pursuing their education because of similar challenges. “I know of students in our DAUS population who have overcome homelessness and have had the courage to share stories as survivors. My board work makes me more knowledgeable about the experiences they bring to the classroom.”