Professor Victor A. Ayala
» Human Services
» Spring 1998
Spring 1998 Scholar on Campus Victor Ayala attended Hofstra University, where he majored in Spanish and psychology. During his junior year, he attended Univerisad Compulsatoria de Madrid, studying Spanish literature and architecture. He received his PhD in sociology from The City University of New York in 1991.
After college, Ayala worked on Wall Street as a junior trader and later joined Little Flower Children's Services as a foster care and adoption caseworker. In 1980, he joined the Office of Student Affairs at City Tech, where he served in various positions, including assistant to the director of student activities, a counselor in both the counseling and the student development centers, and director of the SEEK program. Following several years as a faculty member in the Department of Human Services, he was named department chair in 1997, a position he held until his appointment as dean of the School of Professional Studies in 2001. He also served as president of the Mid-Atlantic Consortium of Human Services Professionals (MACHS) from 1998 to 2000 and as vice president for regional development of the National Organization for human Services Education from 2000 to 2004.
Since 1985, Ayala also has served as a member of the board of trustees for the Urban Resource Institute, a minority-operated, not-for-profit organization that provides comprehensive services to intravenous drug users and their families, battered women, and the developmentally challenged, as well as a skills training and job placement program for developmentally disabled young adults. He served as chairman of the institute's board for three years, and currently serves on the board of trustees of Brooklyn's Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center. He also currently serves as board chair of CommuniLife, a multi-service agency providing housing and mental health services to the Latino community in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.
In 1987, Ayala co-founded the Brooklyn AIDS Task Force, a multi-service agency that continues to provide education, counseling and case management services for people living with HIV/AIDS. In 1992, he was named founding chair by the organization's board of directors.
As dean of City Tech's School of Professional Studies, Ayala has worked to strengthen the professional partnerships, clinical affiliations and student internship and service learning opportunities with the more than 150 businesses, hospitals and medical centers, social service organizations, government agencies and other community-based concerns with which the school's 11 academic departments collaborate. "Through these collaborative opportunities," Ayala says, "students integrate theory and practice by working alongside professionals to find real-world solutions to the real-world problems of real people."
In addition, Ayala has encouraged additional collaborations with an array of community-based organizations by sponsoring on-campus conferences that promote scholarship in a range of professional areas. These conferences run the gamut from those concerned with mental health care for all New Yorkers to improving services provided those living with HIV/AIDS, from developing more effective prisoner reentry policies and practices to curbing domestic violence, stalking and cruelty to animals.
Ayala has published articles on death and dying, HIV/AIDS, the caseworker and ethnographic research. He is the author of Falling Through the Cracks: AIDS and the Urban Poor, published in 1996 by Social Change Press. Presentations include a paper on "Students on the Edge," presented at a MACHS conference in 2000.
In 1994, he spoke on AIDS at the Fulbright Association 17th Annual Meeting & Conference in Washington, D.C., where he also talked about the AIDS epidemic and other issues with former President Jimmy Carter. The following year he addressed a United Nations/Global Forum for Education co-sponsored conference on AIDS as a growing international issue as part of the UN's 50th anniversary observance.