Jaak Rakfeldt holds an MSW from Syracuse University (1972), an M. Phil. (1982) and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Social Science from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University (1983), and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Clinical Research at the Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry from 1986 to 1988. He is a full-time professor and has forty years of post-MSW professional social work experience, which includes thirty years of full‑time college‑level teaching, and nine years as a research scientist/clinician at the Yale Department of Psychiatry. He has been the Chair of the Department’s Mental Health and Substance use – Co-occurring Disorders Specialization since he created it in 1996. Professor Rakfeldt, has taught Research Methods, Psychopathology, Advanced Clinical Practice Courses, Mental Health/Substance Use Courses, Thesis Field Practicum Seminars, Social Work Research Methods (both MSW and BSW‑level), and the SIFI course (Seminar for Field Instructors).
Dr. Rakfeldt was the 2006 recipient of the “J. Philip Smith Outstanding Teacher Award,” at Southern Connecticut State University. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, where he does clinical supervision, conducts seminars, and participates in clinical research. Dr. Rakfeldt serves as a clinical consultant, conducts seminars and colloquia at various community mental health/substance use agencies and maintains a private clinical practice.
Dr. Rakfeldt has more than fifty publications, primarily dealing with mental health and substance use issues. He has over one hundred regional, national, and international conference presentations. Dr. Rakfeldt’ s research interests include clinical practice research as well as program evaluation, and policy and systems research, primarily in the area of mental health and substance use. Dr. Rakfeldt has received twenty-eight (29) grants including twelve (13) Connecticut State University (CSU) research grants.