Three faculty members and 7 graduate students from the University of the West Indies were hosted for a two-day visit to the School of Social Work in April. UWI faculty members Dr. Peta-anne Baker, Aldene Shillingford and Dr. Letnie Rock brought the group of social work and social policy students to the U.S. for the annual Social Work Day at the United Nations in New York. As part of their trip, they traveled to UConn to participate in the School of Social Work’s Annual International Day and other activities. A highlight of their visit was a meeting at the Legislative Office Building, where Representative Kenneth Green, MSW, and Representative Toni Walker, MSW, briefed the group on policy issues and the work of social work legislators. The students and faculty were greeted at a welcome dinner attended by UConn faculty and students and took part in the International Day activities (see separate article). Home hospitality was provided by faculty members Barris Malcolm and Lynne Healy and students Eva Csejtey and Shazia Chaudrey.
The visit was arranged as part of an ongoing linkage and exchange project between the social work program in Jamaica and the UConn School of Social Work. Initiated in 1993, the linkage relationship has resulted in several student exchanges for field placement and short term study-travel experiences and numerous faculty exchanges. Highlights of the collaboration were a co-sponsored international conference in 1999 and publication of a jointly edited special issue of the Caribbean Journal of Social Work. During the April visit, Professors Baker, Shillingford and Rock met with Dean Salome Raheim, Associate Dean Catherine Havens, and Director of the International Center, Lynne Healy, to discuss ways to continue the partnership. One student from UConn is completing her second year field placement in Jamaica in summer 2009 under the agreement.