Christiana Best-Giacomini, Ph.D., LMSW

Assistant Professor of Department of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice

Joined USJ: 2017
Christiana Best-Giacomini, Ph.D., LMSW
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After 30 years in the New York City child welfare system, Christiana Best-Giacomini, Ph.D., LMSW, joined the master’s of Social Work faculty at USJ and fulfilled her dream of moving to a small suburban campus. While in New York City, Best-Giacomini moved up the ranks, first serving as a child protective specialist before earning her master’s degree in Social Work and doctorate in Social Welfare. An advocate for social workers, Best-Giacomini serves as vice president in the New York City chapter of the National Association of Social Work. Along with her vast experience, Best-Giacomini brings to USJ her expertise in the areas of child welfare, trauma, immigration, narrative social work practice, and racial equity.


Best-Giacomini is proud to be a social worker. “Having a social work degree gave me the flexibility to grow as a professional – educator, practitioner, and administrator,” she remarked. As an educator, her teaching style uses multiple pathways to learning in ways that are consistent with the developing research on brain science, adult learning styles, and retention of information. As a practitioner, she is able to pull on her work experience to assist students in becoming reflective practitioners, particularly through engagement and assessment skills. As an administrator, she learned how to navigate the organizational structure in one of the country’s largest child welfare agencies. She admits that everything she has done up to this point in her career has prepared her to be effective in the classroom. “I’m excited to be part of a university that values the art of teaching as much as scholarship and service, and I enjoy motivating students to become critical thinkers, while effectively integrating theory with practice.”


Outside the classroom, Best-Giacomini is conscientious in her efforts to enhance the field of social work. She curated the “Historical Child Welfare Timeline Exhibit: A Transformational Experience,” which chronicled 200 years of inequities and racial disproportionality and disparity in child welfare policies, procedures, and practices. “This project promotes social justice and equity for all children, youth, and families, which aligns with USJ’s values,” Best-Giacomini explained. Additionally, her publications focus on two specific areas – child welfare and immigration – including the book “The Long Goodbye: Challenges of Transnational Parenting.”

Academic Degrees

Ph.D., The Graduate Center, University of New York
MSW, Silberman School of Social Work
B.A., St. John’s University

Contact Information

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 860.231.5508