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UH Graduate College of Social Work to receive national award
Oct 2, 2013 - 4:00:00 AM

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) will recognize the University of Houston (UH) Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) program with the 2013 Partners in Advancing Education (PIE) for International Social Work Award.

The award will be presented at the annual CSWE Annual Program Meeting in Dallas on November 1. In addition to the UH GCSW program receiving this award, this year's recipients include the organization, Buckner International, and an individual, Uma Segal. The awardees were selected for their national and international contributions to advance social work education, concepts, curricula and programming on a global level.

Any time your program gets recognized, it affirms what you are doing. To receive recognition from one's peer group is even more satisfying in that they know our program and what it's achieving and its impact within the global community, said Ira Colby, dean of the UH GCSW. Even without the award, the activities that our faculty, staff and students are involved in around the world are impressive.

According to Patrick Leung, professor of social work and director of the Office for International Social Work Education at UH GCSW, there is a longstanding history of involvement in international social work. Leung notes for nearly 17 years, UH GCSW has been the certifying agent for the education of child protective service workers in Hong Kong and most recently spearheaded the China Collaborative Project to provide support to 61 master's of social work (MSW) degree programs in mainland China in order to develop a MSW curricula relevant to their culture and values.

We are trying to create a model in the China Collaborative, a partnership to develop programs that fit their culture and history, which is very unique and different, said Leung. It is not the goal to replicate the U.S. curricula in China, but for China to develop its own curricula based on its unique characteristics and political structures.

In addition to leading the China Collaborative and certification training in Hong Kong, Colby mentions there are many opportunities to collaborate on research with international scholars and study abroad programs.

This award recognizes the UH GCSW program that is trying to make a difference within the global community and it has to be a two-way street, said Colby. It's not a one-way street where we send students out with a faculty person for a summer tour. It's about hosting international students and scholars here as well as us going abroad. It is really promoting the idea of global thinking and how what happens in China impacts us here in Houston.

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