Rebecca Thomas Received Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award in Social Work

Professor Rebecca L. Thomas has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in Social Work to Sofia, Bulgaria, for the 2023-2024 academic year, from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Thomas teaches in the Policy Practice concentration at UConn School of Social Work (SSW) and is the director of the Center for International Social Work Studies at SSW. She represents the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) at the United Nations on the NGO Committee of migration, and also serves on the Katherine Kendal Institute of CSWE. Her research and scholarship include international social work, international development, climate-induced migration, and refugees and immigrants.

From January 2024, Thomas will be working at the New Bulgaria University situated in Sofia, on three initiatives, with implications for research, policy recommendations, and sustained collaboration. She will be teaching a course on Program Evaluation to Doctoral Students; expanding her research on the lived experiences of Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria; and working with diverse stakeholders to strengthen social work practice and policy initiatives to advance the Rights of the Child in Bulgaria. These projects were developed in consultation with the leadership and faculty of the New Bulgaria University.

Thomas is among over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach or conduct research abroad for the 2023-2024 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus, and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.

"We congratulate Dr. Thomas on her Fulbright Scholar Program Award,” says SSW Dean Laura Curran. “This honor demonstrates her deep knowledge and expertise in international social work, research on refugees, and policy practice. It will also expand our School’s impact and support our mission to improve human well-being, both locally and globally.”

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

Learn more about Thomas’s research.