Month: June 2012

Distinguished Professor Lynne Healy Brings International Prominence to School of Social Work

Lynne Healy has spent the past three decades preparing new generations of social workers for deployment in an increasingly diverse world.

Lynne M. Healy, PhD
Healy’s efforts helped secure the UConn School of Social Work’s national reputation as one of the country’s leading programs for international social work training. In recognition of Healy’s expertise, dedication, and leadership, the Board of Trustees recently honored her as one of two new distinguished professors at UConn.

The growing diversity in the communities where graduates of the School of Social Work’s advanced degree programs work is reflected in the classes the students take. A recent class on International Development, Healy said, included students from Albania, Dominica, Ghana, Guyana, Nepal, Nigeria, and Rwanda. While a few of the students were foreign nationals, most of them were immigrants living in the U.S.

“There has definitely been a growth in interest in international studies,” says Healy, who started working at UConn full-time 33 years ago. “For some of those students, there is interest in working in another country; but for others, those international issues are right here in the diverse populations in Connecticut and places like Hartford.”

According to the latest census figures, one in eight Connecticut residents were born outside the United States, and one in five Connecticut children speak a language other than English at home.

Connecting with individuals from diverse and sometimes dramatically different cultures can be a challenge.

“Every social worker needs some awareness and knowledge of international issues,” says Healy. “There is a lot more attention being given to these different populations coming into our agencies, our schools, our hospitals, our clinics.”

Healy said the social work profession was focused almost entirely on domestic issues when she first started at UConn. But steady growth in the country’s immigrant population, and recognition of the impact of globalization, have changed that perspective over time.

UConn in many ways was ahead of the curve. Healy was instrumental in establishing UConn’s Center for International Social Work Studies 20 years ago. She still serves as the Center’s co-director. Located within the School of Social Work at UConn’s campus in West Hartford, the Center helps social workers develop a global perspective on human rights, human needs, social policy, and social work practice.

Since its inception, the Center has hosted talks by visitors from 37 different countries and it continues to sponsor frequent seminars and conferences on topics such as human trafficking, World AIDS Day, immigration law, and others. Through her work with the Center, Healy has initiated international and interdisciplinary collaborations, most notably UConn’s partnership with the University of the West Indies – Mona Campus.

Salome Raheim, dean of UConn’s School of Social Work, describes Healy as a “teacher of teachers” and “an internationally known scholar in the field of international social work.”

“Dr. Healy is an educator of extraordinary ability and dedication,” Raheim said in a letter nominating Healy for consideration as a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor. “The global perspective that she brings through her scholarship and internationally-focused public engagement enriches the content of our academic programs and enhances student learning.”

An administrator, teacher, researcher, and accomplished author, Healy is credited with writing one of the seminal publications on international social work: International Social Work: Professional Action in an Interdependent World (Oxford University Press, 2001, 2008). More recently, she served as co-editor of the Handbook of International Social Work: Human Rights, Development, and the Global Profession (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Angelina Yuen, a professor and vice president at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and president of the International Association of Schools of Social Work, described the Handbook of International Social Work as “a monumental masterpiece that is destined to become a classic text for students, scholars, and practitioners interested in international social work across the globe.”

Yuen said Healy is “generally regarded as one of the most outstanding pioneers” in the field of international social work, adding that her works have been used as textbooks by social work scholars and students throughout the globe and have “significantly impacted the development of international social work worldwide.”

Article Courtesy of UConn Today
By:  Colin Poitras

SSW Community Participates in the Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade and the 5th Annual Festival del Coqui

The SSW is pleased to have been a sponsor of this year’s Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade and the 5th Annual Festival del Coqui. The parade and festival celebrated Hispanic contributions, culture, music and food. There were 20 participants from the SSW community including alumni, faculty, students, parents, friends and staff along with Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, MSW ’82, JD ’85, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Pedro Pierluisi (Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner for Washington).
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Nancy Pearce MSW ’88 Author, National and International Trainer

Since earning her MSW degree in 1988, Nancy Pearce has been working with persons who have dementia and with those impacted by the disease progression. She travels extensively teaching families, friends and professionals how to communicate and connect effectively with persons with dementia and to create a more supportive community of care. Nancy recently revised her book, Inside Alzheimer’s (Forrason Press, 2011), to provide additional information specifically for the overwhelmed 24/7 caregiver and how extended communities can be more supportive. Her website is:

Nancy Pearce, MS, MSW, LISW

Nancy’s articles have appeared in Social Work Today magazine:

Helping Families Through Dementia Care-Related Conflicts

Helping Families Affected By Alzheimer’s

Connecting With the Person Inside Alzheimer’s

African-American Faculty & Staff Meet with UConn President Susan Herbst

African-American faculty and staff throughout the University were guests of UConn President Susan Herbst at a luncheon at the African-American Cultural Center on May 24, 2012.

Barris Malcolm, Kimberly Hardy, President Susan Herbst, Cheryl Jackson-Morris and Gloria Robinson
The event was an opportunity to meet the President and to discuss issues related to the recruitment and retention of talented African-American faculty, staff and students to enrich the University community. Those in attendance were able to hear her vision. President Herbst shared that while the incoming Vice-Provost for Diversity would be charged with accomplishing this goal, we all have a role to play by engaging in outreach to find those individuals through our established networks who can help the University grow. The President made special note that the School of Social Work leads the University in diversity across the board — faculty, staff, and students.